“And with the third pick of the 2016 NFL Draft, the San Diego Chargers select Joey Bosa, defensive end, Ohio State.” And just like that, many (though obviously not all) Chargers fans were disappointed, confused, angry (and also wrong) at the selection of the former Buckeye who would be playing out of position. I, along with many other fans, was hoping for the Chargers to select former Florida State Seminole star cornerback, Jalen Ramsey to sure up their pass defense. But the Bolts went with Bosa, and the rest you can say is history.
Fast forward three years later where there seems to be a slither of hope for Chargers fans dreams to come true finally; for Jalen Ramsey to fashion a lightning bolt on the side of his helmet. Please be aware that what I am about to present is nothing more than conjecture, but there is still some decent logic to my premise.
First, let’s start with the rumors that surfaced during the 2018 season where apparently the Jacksonville Jaguars were looking to move on from Jalen Ramsey for a multitude of reasons, one being his brash and outspoken personality on and off the field. Coughlin is an old school football guy that frowns upon that type of behavior fearing it could eventually become a distraction in the locker room (looking at you Antonio Brown). Now in my personal opinion, I feel this rumor did not originate from the Jaguars themselves, but rather from Ramsey’s agent. The motive here is that Ramsey is fed up with the losing and poor offensive play and wants out, so a rumor like this will then have teams calling up Jacksonville to inquire what their price tag would be. Regardless, the Jaguars quickly put out the smoke to those rumors and Ramsey finished out the 2018 season with Jacksonville. However, let’s go 141 miles south of Jacksonville to Orlando, the host to this years NFL Pro Bowl, where there seems to be some lingering vape in the air to this whole Ramsey trade rumor. Thanks to social media, fans can now partake in the journey of their favorite athletes to have a behind the scenes look at their lives. Fans who follow the Chargers social media, or players like Keenan Allen, Derwin James, Melvin Gordon, Des King, and Melvin Ingram probably noticed something intriguing about this week’s Pro Bowl practice; Ramsey was constantly commingling with Los Angeles players and staff. Chargers wideout Keenan Allen posted on his Instagram story a video of all of the Chargers walking to the practice field and shouting them all out, and low and behold who else was amongst them was Jalen Ramsey. Allen introduced Ramsey as part of the Bolt Gang which then led to them all snickering in laughter. Exhibit B, Des King posted on Instagram a selfie video and said, “Jalen Ramsey to the Chargers put a bolt sign.” Lastly, Ramsey was seen in numerous practice footage hanging out with former coach, Gus Bradley, hugging him, laughing, and saying “The Chargers are in the building!” as he was one of them.
Now I know I sound like a 13-year-old high school girl stalking her ex-boyfriend but let’s dig a little deeper why and how Ramsey to the Chargers could make sense. Naysayers will be quick to say the Chargers have too many players of their own they need to resign like Rivers, Gordon, Allen, Bosa, and Ingram. Those Debbie Downers are right. That being said, after this upcoming season, players like Okung, Liuget, Benjamin, and Addae will all likely be no longer with the team, creating a nice chunk of cap space. And in no way am I claiming to be a capologist, but a creative GM can always find space in the way they structure deals, so I don’t want to hear that money will be an issue. Ok, but why would the Chargers go after Ramsey when they don’t have a dire need at the cornerback position? Simple, remember that fight for LA?
Well so far the Rams seem to be winning it as they look to hoist the Lombardi Trophy over their heads in a couple of weeks when they face the Patriots in the Super Bowl. Chargers have to start thinking about going “all in” and make a splash move to regain some attention/ LA market share while attempting to win a ring when they still have a franchise QB under center. Alright so I convinced you why L.A. would make the move, but why would Jacksonville trade their best player away right? The first reason is why any team looks to trade away their star player, money. The Jaguars are $3 million over the cap for this upcoming season and only have $16 million in cap space the following year. Ramsey won’t be cheap to re-sign, and that could scare them and make them want to get as much value for him as possible. That leads us to our next reason for a possible trade; Jacksonville needs a makeover, in particular at the quarterback position. The Jaguars will look to move on from Bortles this year and be in search for their next QB of the future. A name to pay attention to is Kyler Murray, former Oklahoma Sooners star QB. Jacksonville could look to moving up to the backend of the first round to select their next signal caller of the future so that they can exercise the 5th year club option later on down the line. Makes sense now? Good!
Now let’s put the cherry on top and talk about compensation. Chargers will have to go all Mike Ditka and give up their entire draft, right? Not exactly. Yes, Jacksonville needs a makeover and need to shed some cap space and obtain some young and cheap talent, but the deal might not be as crazy as one would think. Let’s take a look at a couple of situations where some top cornerbacks were traded and what the compensation received was. In 2012, the Buccaneers made available their star cornerback Aqib Talib. Tampa Bay was frustrated with his off-field antics where he received multiple suspensions (one for testing positive for Adderall without a prescription and another for an altercation with a cab driver). Talib was extremely young and talented, but Tampa Bay was just over him, so they decided to ship him (along with a seventh-round draft pick) off to New England in exchange for a fourth-round selection. The following year also saw another big-time cornerback change teams via trade. Darrelle Revis was not only the undisputed best cornerback in the league in 2013, but he was arguably the best defensive player in the game at that time and as a result, wanted to be paid as such.
However, the New York Jets knew they couldn’t afford to re-sign him so instead of losing him for nothing they traded him to Tampa Bay for a first round pick (13th overall) and a fourth rounder the following year. Lastly, the most recent trade involving a star cornerback packing his bags for a new team occurred this past year when Kansas City sent their talented but brash corner, Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams. The Chiefs were fed up with Peters’ childlike behavior, and it all came to a boiling point when he was suspended for throwing a flag into the stands and received a suspension for the act. Following that suspension, Peters got into a verbal spat with coaches which probably sealed his fate. Kansas City also was concerned what a contract extension would look like for the ball-hawking corner. As a result, the Chiefs traded Peters away for a 2018 fourth round and 2019 second round pick. Now if we analyze these deals, the closest deal that could be used for precedent would be the Peters deal. Revis was arguably the best defensive player in the league at that time something Ramsey isn’t quite yet so that is why that deal structure should not be used. Peters was/is a young, talented corner that accumulated a lot of turnovers. Ramsey doesn’t get as many turnovers as Peters, but he shuts down wideouts on a more consistent basis. To sum it all up, if the Chargers parted with their first round pick this year along with their third for next year then I can see Ramsey becoming an official Jack Boy!
This past offseason the Rams decided to make some bold moves and go all in, in an attempt to win the fan base and the Super Bowl, something they are on the verge of doing. If the Rams are successful next week, the Chargers need to take a good long look at themselves and ask, do we want to continue slowly building through the draft? Or should we throw all of our chips in the middle and try to make a serious run at this thing while we still have number 17 behind center. They certainly owe it to Rivers to be more aggressive this upcoming offseason. Sound off Charger fans! If LA could get Ramsey for a first and a third would that excite you? Or would you think it’s a foolish attempt to try and get better?