Lawyers will tell you to “read the fine print.” And it’s that kind of fine print in the CBA of NFL contracts that is often important. And, in the case of the Jaguars disciplining defensive back Jalen Ramsey Sunday, they made very sure of the wording in their release to the media.
As we wrote, defensive line teammates Dante Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue got into screaming match and had to be separated twice from trying to fight at the end of Sunday’s practice. And, as that was going on, Florida Times-Union writer Phillip Heilman was taping it off his phone.
That’s when Ramsey began to scream profanely from a distance for him to stop.
Ramsey later sent a tweet, now deleted, that basically threatened Heilman for having filmed the altercation and put it on social media and in his story for Jacksonville.com.
So, the organization decided to take action Sunday evening against Fowler and Ramsey and suspend them from all team activities for this week. Those include practicing at Minnesota and the game Saturday with the Vikings. And the phrase that they used was “violating team rules and conduct unbecoming of a Jaguars football player.”
And, that’s an important distinction, as Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio points out:
By suspending him for "conduct unbecoming" instead of "conduct detrimental," Jaguars tiptoe around the voiding of Jalen Ramsey's guarantees https://t.co/RTNX5kawX1
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 13, 2018
As Florio wrote about “conduct unbecoming a Jaguar” vs. “conduct detrimental” makes a huge difference in the team being able to void guarantees in Ramsey’s rookie contract:
The Jaguars arguably could have dubbed the behavior “conduct detrimental” (and possibly would have won any grievance challenging it), but they opted instead to call it a violation of team rules and “conduct unbecoming,” which apparently is different than “conduct detrimental.”
So why the distinction-without-a-difference between “detrimental” and “unbecoming”? The Jaguars possibly wanted to impose discipline without voiding of the guarantees because: (1) the gesture is irrelevant as to Ramsey, a great player who isn’t going to be cut during the term of his rookie contract; and (2) the move may have inflamed the situation with Ramsey, who already may be upset at discipline he potentially regards as an overreaction.
Yes, it’s a small distinction that basically means the same thing: Ramsey gets a week off for discipline/bad behavior.
And there is no doubt that the front office carefully thought out the public way to announce the suspension, and then, be ready for any fallout, including from Ramsey and his representatives.
Bottom line, it was not a good look for the Jaguars Sunday.
And, the team is hoping to put it behind them, soon.
Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR
The bad news on the injury front for the Jaguars continued on Thursday, when they placed star linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve.
Source: #Jaguars LB Myles Jack (knee) is going on Injured Reserve today. A hit to the Jacksonville defense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 5, 2019
Jack missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury that was believed to be a sprain suffered in the loss to the Colts two weeks ago. However, the move to IR indicates it may be more serious.
The Jaguars season has unraveled over the course of the last month with injuries to their defense and the team trading away perennial Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Jacksonville had already put DT Marcel Dareus on IR, All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been trying to battle through a bad back and DB Tony Harrison has still not been cleared with a concussion.
Coach Doug Marrone has expressed the last two weeks that it has been a struggle for his defense with all of the injuries mounting late in the year.
As for Jack, he had settled in the middle linebacker roll after Telvin Smith abruptly retired in May.
Jack has been solid, but not spectacular, in the middle of the defense registering 7 or more tackles in five games this season. However he hasn’t forced a fumble, has only one interception and half of a sack. Jack also has just three tackles-for-loss at a position that often dictates much more output than that.
The former second-round pick out of UCLA had question marks about his knee coming out of college, when the Jaguars took him in the 2016 draft. However, he has answered critics on his durability by being active for all 59 games of his career up until last week.
Jacksonville will use veteran Donald Payne at middle linebacker for now. Payne played significantly last week against the Buccaneers and has been on and off of Jacksonville roster this season.
Can Jaguars get necessary spark from Gardner Minshew?
The Jaguars were back on the practice field on Wednesday and have to rally around their rookie QB, Gardner Minshew, to re-ignite their season. And their opponent, may be the perfect for them, too.
Minshew took over in the second half for an ineffective Nick Foles, as Foles committed turnovers on each of Jacksonville’s first three possessions. Now, he’s back as their starter to see if the 4-8 Jags can salvage some games in December.
Now, the 4-win L.A. Chargers come stumbling to North Florida off a dramatic loss in Denver and yet, somehow, have been listed as 2.5-point underdogs by top sports betting sites.
Philip Rivers and the Chargers, new-look defense is coming to Jacksonville to try and move to 5-8 and make a run at a .500 season. In effect, both of these teams’ seasons are all but over, so they are just playing for pride. And while mathematically, the Jags are not completely out of the AFC South race, yet, let’s be honest … the Titans and Texans are not going to drop four straight games … and it definitely isn’t looking like the Jags are going to win four straight.
Coach Doug Marrone is clearly in trouble and everything they try is not working. There were plenty of games that the Jaguars could have or should have won, but didn’t. And, now they are sitting on the very bottom of the AFC South with few games remaining.
Onto to the matchup.
The Chargers have owned the Jaguars historically, as they have won in two of the last three and seven of the last ten meetings. But right now, this is a pretty good spot for the Jags.
When we look at standard offense on any given Sunday, the L.A. Chargers are about two points better than the Jacksonville Jaguars on average. The Chargers put up 20.33 points per game against the Jags 18.33. It would be nice for Jaguars fans, if the Chargers performed significantly worse on the road, but they don’t.
They are almost exactly the same level of bad whether at home in Los Angeles or out on the road. And unfortunately, for Jags fans who buy tickets to home games, they have let them down at TIAA Field by performing worse in Jacksonville, to the tune of nearly three points per game. They score just 15.83 on their home field.
The yardage stats are comparable in this one, as the Chargers pass for 255.33 per game, while the Jags pass for 242.50. The Chargers rush for 92 yards per game, while the Jags run game with Leonard Fournette has dropped off to 79.67 average, currently.
On defense, the Chargers are a respectable top ten unit (No. 7 in the league) that allows just 18.50 points per game. They hold teams to 212 yards passing and 97.83 yards rushing.
However, that’s where Minshew will put them to the test. He is far more mobile than Foles and got Jacksonville 11 points in the second half Sunday with them driving for more. That is until the rookie’s killer interception at the Tampa Bay goaline midway through the fourth quarter.
So, most of the numbers point the another Jacksonville loss. That said, the Chargers have lost three straight but have shown some flashes of brilliance. So too did Minshew, who won four games in eight tries earlier this year as the fill-in starter.
If you can avoid this game for your “Survivor Pools” do so … If you are a bettor … stay away.
This is a game where anything can happen, especially with “Minshew Mania” back.