As North Florida gets ready for the Jaguars to head to training camp later this month to hopefully have a bounce-back 2019, obviously, one of the biggest keys will be the play of newly-acquired quarterback Nick Foles.
And on Tuesday morning, the “Good Morning Football” show on NFL Network debated what free agent could have a “Kawhi Leonard-like” impact in his first year with a new team. As you probably know, Leonard made the most of being traded to the Toronto Raptors, as he led them to the NBA Title last month.
— GMFB (@gmfb) July 9, 2019
Obviously, under the premise that Leonard had previously won a championship being part of the San Antonio Spurs before he was was traded to the Toronto Raptors last off season, is not dissimilar to what the situation is with Foles, now.
As host Kay Adams pointed out, Foles proved “championship worthy” leading the Eagles in the playoffs two years ago and the Super Bowl 52 upset of the New England Patriots.
As Adams said Tuesday morning,
“If Nick Foles can go in there and bring this team together, be a mature presence in that locker room I think that he switches everything and makes the biggest impact really on the NFL as far as guys who switched teams.”
The Jaguars are certainly hoping so as they have paid Foles a team record $50 million guaranteed on his four-year free-agent deal back in March. And, they even hired his former quarterback coach John DeFilippo to come in and run the offense. So clearly, they are attempting to recreate the magic that happened in January of 2018, when those two were together.
And, Foles is already shown leadership and the ability to set the right tone for the offense during the Jags off season program. We wrote in May about V.P. of Football Tom Coughlin raving about that point, when he said in an interview then,
“The way he’s gone about it is very interesting. He works his teammates really, really well. You used the word ‘selfless?’ That’s the word he uses. I think the second day he’s here, he’s over at (Leonard) Fournette’s and they’re going over installation for that day…. He’s out there working just like everybody else is out there working. And, his presence is what’s important. It’s like that thing that I insinuate a lot… ‘Don’t tell me. Show me.’ Let’s stop so much verbaige and let’s work it.”
Speaking of the Eagles, co-host and former NFL receiver kick returner Nate Burleson went with new free agent running back Jordan Howard making such a turnaround for Philadelphia and their running game.
Meanwhile, co-host Kyle Brandt said Tuesday morning that he’ll take Odell Beckham, Jr. coming to the Browns via the trade with the Giants, as the “Kawhi-like” one year impact in Cleveland that may put them over the top.
Jaguars taking strange risk with playing Jalen Ramsey Thursday
As the Jaguars get set to try to win their first game of the season on Thursday night against rival Tennessee, the dominant story line will be about DB Jalen Ramsey and his status with the team. Further and most importantly, if the team does indeed intend to trade him as soon as Friday, why is he even playing in the game?
As for that, we wrote yesterday that Ramsey is still on the Jaguars roster and expected to not only be active, but start in tonight’s game. This despite numerous reports since Sunday, that he wants to be traded, and the team is actively shopping him to the first takeer that will give them at least one number one pick in return.
Importantly, the front office has not denied that they’re trying to move the disgruntled former Pro Bowl corner, you can only take that to mean: they are trying to pull off a trade.
So it raises the very valid dilemma of: playing arguably your best player in the third game of the year, but also the realistic possibility that Ramsey could somehow hurt himself in the game. And while a serious injury isn’t likely, something slight like a groin or hamstring injury could come from playing in this game.
Another very valid point is that if the Jaguars could not make a trade in the last 48 hours or so for Ramsey, are they really going to get more value by trading him Friday, this weekend or next Monday?
So, here we go with the team taking what appears to be an unnecessary risk with a player who obviously privately has made it clear he wants out of North Florida.
Of course the other possible part of this is; the VP of football Tom Coughlin is willing to “play poker,” for now, with the other teams in the league that are pursuing Ramsey and might even wait another week or two before pulling the trigger.
After all the Jaguars have until October trading deadline to find the best deal possible.
However, the argument against that is that Ramsey could become a bigger distraction than what he already has and cause more problems than he already has behind the scenes for the team.
It certainly is a dilemma.
And it’s one that will play out Thursday on National TV, if and when Ramsey is out there running around, while the team is trying to deal him somewhere else, maybe as soon as the weekend.
Jaguars coach Marrone confirms Jalen Ramsey will play Thursday
Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey told the media on Tuesday that, as long as he was going to be with the Jaguars he was going to give it his all. And, that will now include the Thursday night game with the Tennessee Titans.
After speculation that Ramsey might be traded prior to the showdown with the Titans at TIAA Bank Field, Ramsey not only participated in the Wednesday walk through practice with his teammates, but coach Doug Marrone announced after practice that he will be playing in the game Thursday night:
Coach Doug Marrone said that Jalen Ramsey will be suited up tomorrow. Says “Jalen and I have always had a good open relationship… we sat down yesterday and talked about what went on with him and I… that’s behind us right now…” Says Jalen is focused on playing tomorrow.
— Tiffany Blackmon (@tiffblackmon) September 18, 2019
So, Ramsey will at least be with the Jaguars for a few more days. Speculation continues to run rampant that Jacksonville will complete a trade for Ramsey maybe, as soon as Friday after the game.
Earlier the day ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike DiRocco reported that because Ramsey was on the Jaguars roster still at the end of business on Tuesday (or 48 hours before game time) that Jacksonville would still be obligated to pay him for this week
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport also says the Jaguars are holding firm in their belief that they can get two future number one picks in exchange for Ramsey.
However, that would be highly unlikely, as most teams know the Jacksonville is looking to rid themselves of the defensive back. And, Miami trading number one pick Minkah Fitzpatrick earlier in the week for a single number one pick with a swap of other mid round draft picks this year and next year, seems to have set the market.
This is particularly because, Fitzpatrick is still relatively inexpensive for the rest of this season and the next two years. However, Ramsey in the final year of his deal and if the team trading for him assumes his fifth year option his price tag, it will Skyrocket to a $13.7 million salary next year.
There is a further complication that Ramsey might reject wanting to sign a long-term deal with that team that acquires him and therefore, he essentially becomes a rental player for the remainder of this year.
Marrone further said that he spoke to Ramsey after his Tuesday news conference and team practice and they they were ready to go with Thursday’s game. The Jags are 0-2 and already in a “must win” mode for the NFC South early.
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