Jaguars will have to bench Jalen Ramsey if they want to trade him

Jacksonville Jaguars

With a trade possibly coming soon, the Jacksonville Jaguars have to bench cornerback Jalen Ramsey on Thursday night.

Jalen Ramsey was somehow allowed to speak to the media on Tuesday, as he tiptoed around the idea he has asked for a trade. With the Jaguars on a short week ahead of a Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported a deal sending Ramsey elsewhere before that game is unlikely.

But Rapoport added that Friday is the most likely target date for a trade. Despite a reported asking price of two first-round picks, and a big contract extension looming for Ramsey, there should be a good market for arguably the best cornerback in the NFL.

Even facing the prospect of an 0-3 start with a loss to the Titans, Jacksonville’s next step with Ramsey is clear. There’s a case for just limiting his snaps on Thursday, to lessen the risk of injury, but they have to go all the way and take him out of uniform if there’s real momentum for a trade.

Ramsey has not missed a game in his career, so there’s no latent durability concern there. He has played 98.5 percent of the Jaguars’ defensive snaps through two games this season, via Football Outsiders, and he has played 99.5 percent (2018), 95.8 percent (2017) and 98.4 percent (2016) of the snaps over his three full seasons. So the idea of limiting his snaps shouldn’t be on the table, if only for cosmetic “trying to win” purposes if he did play.

But if Ramsey were simply rendered inactive Thursday night, as the team protects his trade value, that would be understood more easily. He may protest the move, under the cover of wanting to be there for his current teammates right to the end.

But if it paves the way for the quickest possible exit from Jacksonville, and preserves a chance (however minimal it would be) to play for a new team on Sunday if he’s traded on Friday, Ramsey can surely be convinced to go along with a plan to bench him Thursday night.

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