It’s certainly a juicy version of NFL “connect the dots.” The Jaguars lost wide receiver Marqise Lee for the season, because of an awful hit on his knee in their Saturday night preseason game with the Falcons.
The Jags made it official on Monday morning, that Lee tore a knee ligament (believed to be his ACL) and is going on injured reserve.
And now, in need of a veteran who can make an impact, most fans would want the team to pursue former Cowboys star, Dez Bryant.
Here’s the reality, even if you are comfortable with the selfish antics and locker room drama that the former Dallas Pro Bowler will assuredly bring, you still may not be able to convince him to come to North Florida.
Primarily, there’ another team, the Browns, who are very publicly flirting with Bryant already.
This is because, a. they are the Browns and they are dysfunctional and have been bad for going on fifteen years and b. Cleveland had already traded former 2016 #1 pick Corey Coleman and was without Josh Gordon for personal reasons for the first three weeks of training camp.
Gordon just came back, but is already experiencing tightness in his hamstring in his initial team workouts.
Now, as “Hard Knocks” left off last Tuesday, Bryant walked out of the Browns facility without agreeing to a deal. And as of Sunday morning, he still doesn’t have one with them.
Yet, that doesn’t mean that the sides won’t agree, shortly.
And that’s the issue for the Jaguars and what’s in Bryant’s favor.
While Jacksonville may have a void with Lee out for an extended period of time. Getting Bryant to seriously consider, much less agree, to come to the Jags will mean they have convince him and probably out bid the Browns, in terms of guaranteed money and overall price.
However, it’s also important to remember that most teams will leave several million or more available for situations like this one- a need because of injury. They also leave it available to rework other deals and give immediate guaranteed money for 2018. And the Jags may be plotting to do that, as well.
Cleveland meanwhile, reportedly, has over $50 million to spend for 2018 and can obviously, give Dez Bryant much in the short term.
So, it’s not just as simple as, bring him and get him to agree.
No, this Dez “Soap Opera” contains another team, and there could be still a silent third team that he’s also been talking to or may soon be talking to, as well.
Then, again, no one may sign Bryant, as the season begins.
It’s all in play for the former Cowboy and his representatives.
Report- Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey demanding trade
The continued soap opera of Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey had another chapter on Sunday and now, the Pro Bowl defensive back has apparently demanded a trade.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport says that Ramsey’s agent contacted the club Sunday night after the team’s latest loss, 13 – 12 to the Houston Texans, wanting his client to be moved:
Sources: #Jaguars Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade from the team. This stems from his frustration with how he’s being used and from a confrontation with coach Doug Marrone on Sunday. This has been steadily building.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
The latest dust-up involving the former Florida State first round pick and the club happened on the sidelines in the first quarter of the game. That’s when Ramsey was apparently upset the coach Doug Marrone did not challenge a completion to Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a key third-down with Ramsey covering him.
Television replays showed the ball may very well have been on the ground and the pass incomplete. Marrone and Ramsey had to be separated, not once but twice, after Marrone confronted him on the bench next to teammates:
Lets check in on the 0-1 Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey vs Doug Marrone? Oh pic.twitter.com/hJ7oe2XyAP
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 15, 2019
Then, Ramsey came back to argue with Marrone, while he was standing near midfield resuming his coaching duties. And, he had to be walked back to the bench area by an assistant coach.
The ongoing saga included reports last season that the Jaguars have been shopping Ramsey themselves for possible premium draft picks during a dismal 5 – 11 finish.
Ramsey was also suspended for a week of training camp a year ago for conduct detrimental to the team after he screamed at Jaguars beat reporter Philip Heilman. Heilman was filming an altercation between teammates Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler after a training camp practice.
Ramsey is making $3.6 million for this season, earlier in April the Jags picked up Ramsey’s $13.7 million option for next season.
The Jaguars send a message to their locker room last October when they dealt Fowler, former number 1 pick defensive end out of Florida to the L.A. Rams. So, it is not too far-fetched to think that VP of Football Tom Coughlin and Marrone would do the same with Ramsey soon.
However it’s not likely that something like that would happen this week, as the Jaguars are hosting the Tennessee Titans in the Thursday night game at TIAA Bank Field.
Credit Jaguars Doug Marrone for gambling on two point play
All too often, coaches deserve criticism for being way too conservative or not being willing to take any chances. So, when a coach does what Doug Marrone did in the final :30 Sunday in Houston, we say “raise a glass for him.”
To set the scene: the Jaguars had played a pretty subpar offensive game for much of the day behind rookie backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. However, Minshew rallied the team in the final two minutes down 13 – 6 to get into scoring range. This included Minshew scrambling on his own and running 18 yards down to the Houston at 13-yard-line with :52 left.
Then with :30 left, Minshew found second-year receiver D.J. Chark alone in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to pull Jacksonville within one point.
And that’s when Marrone, the Jags third-year head coach, decided to gamble on trying to win the game, right then.
Marrone called for a two-point play, and it was briefly halted when Texans coach Bill O’Brien called time out. Still, after the brief break and time to think about it, Marrone stuck with his plan and did not try to tie the game with a Josh Lambo extra point.
Instead, out of the shotgun formation Minshew handed inside to power back Leonard Fournette, who was stopped by a Texans double team tackle led by safety Justin Reid, just short of the goal line.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 15, 2019
That stop preserved the win for Houston and dropped the Jags 0-2.
After the game was done, Marrone met with the media and almost immediately was asked about the risk he took going for the two-point conversion, especially on a road. Marone answered that he had been contemplating going for two the entire time the Jags were driving inside the final two minutes.
Doug Marrone said he made the decision before the final drive that if the #Jaguars scored he was going to go for two.
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) September 15, 2019
As for Fournette, he said postgame that he felt like he had reached the ball across the goal line, but briefly, to give Jacksonville a 14 – 13 lead. Alas, the officials didn’t see it and replays couldn’t clearly show him getting the ball across.
No matter that goes as a loss, Marrone was trying to win a game that his team had no business being in.
This is especially, with the loss of QB Nick Foles to a broken clavicle last week, and then, not playing the game with the likes of DE Yannick Ngakoue, DB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee and LT Cam Robinson, who are all injured and still trying to recover.
So, shorthanded, and off a season that fell apart at 5-11 last year, Marrone sent the message to his team: “I want to win, right now.”
But. the Texans stopped it.
Yes, you can question the play call/formation to hand Fournette the ball.
However, you cannot argue with a coach showing guts to go for victory, when his team needs a spark.
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