Jalen Ramsey

AFC Notes: Jaguars, Ramsey, Jets, Decker

The Jaguars suspended cornerback Jalen Ramsey for a week of preseason action, but the ban won’t void his guarantees, according to Mike Florio of PFT (on Twitter). That’s because the Jags suspended Ramsey for “violating team rules and conduct unbecoming of a Jaguars football player,” rather than “conduct detrimental.” The small difference in language made a huge difference in the outcome for Ramsey, and probably kept the team on good terms with one of its defensive stars.

Unfortunately, there’s no loophole to help defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. Thanks to a previous suspension under the personal conduct policy, Fowler’s future guarantees have already been eliminated.

Here’s more from the AFC:

AFC Notes: Browns, Pats, McCourty

The Browns were seemingly dealt a big blow last week when receiver Antonio Callaway was arrested. News of the arrest came right after the team had traded away Corey Coleman to the Bills, and not too long after Josh Gordon left the team for an indefinite period of time. Callaway seemed poised to start as a rookie, but his arrest clouded the whole situation.

Callaway apparently did not inform the team of his arrest, and the Browns only found out through media reports. Many speculated the Browns would discipline him internally for failing to tell the team about the incident, but it appears no suspension will be forthcoming. Coach Hue Jackson said after practice today that the team’s punishment for Callaway was playing him nearly the entire game in the preseason opener, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon-Journal (Twitter link). It seems like Callaway dodged a bullet, as many organizations would’ve been a lot more displeased with his failure to inform them of his situation.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • The Patriots may have traded for cornerback Jason McCourty back in March, but that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to make the team. McCourty is on the “roster bubble” according to Mike Reiss of ESPN, who writes that New England currently has a logjam at corner. Reiss thinks McCourty’s lack of special teams contributions could cost him the opportunity to suit up on the same team as his twin brother Devin McCourty, a safety for the Patriots.
  • Speaking of AFC East roster bubbles, tight end Nick O’Leary is a “surprise cut candidate” for the Bills, according to Joe Buscaglia of Buffalo 7. Buscaglia writes that O’Leary was “once thought of as a shoe-in for the 53-man roster”, but has now been demoted to the third-team offense in practice and very well may find himself cut. The 2015 sixth-rounder caught 22 passes for 322 yards and two touchdowns last season.
  • As a result of Jalen Ramsey‘s suspension by the Jaguars, the guarantees in his contract could void writes former NFL agent and current CBS Sports analyst Joel Corry (Twitter link). Although it shouldn’t end up mattering for a player of Ramsey’s caliber, it’s a fascinating look into how quickly all the guarantees in a player’s contract can go out the window in the NFL.

Jaguars Suspend Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler

The Jaguars suspended star cornerback Jalen Ramsey for a week, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Michael DiRocco of ESPN soon posted in a follow-up tweet that defensive end Dante Fowler was being suspended as well (Twitter link). 

According to Rapoport, Ramsey’s suspension was for “going after local media for what he believes is unfair treatment of his teammates especially Dante Fowler.” Adam Schefter of ESPN soon added in a tweet that the official reasoning was “violating team rules and conduct unbecoming of a Jaguars’ football player.”

The suspension seems to stem from a series of tweets that Ramsey posted earlier, attacking media members for their criticism of Fowler. Fowler’s suspension was apparently unrelated, as he was suspended for “fighting and violation of team rules” according to Schefter (Twitter link).

With the suspensions, Ramsey and Fowler will miss the next week of practices and the team’s second preseason game on Saturday against the Vikings. While they won’t miss any regular season time, it’s still a big deal. It’s very rare to see a team suspend one of it’s top players like this, and it’ll be interesting to see how the locker room responds.

 

Jalen Ramsey Injures Hand In Practice

The Jaguars are contending for the AFC South title and, if things go awry at the top of the AFC, a first-round bye. And the defensive-powered team looks to have lost one of its top players because of an injury sustained at practice.

Jalen Ramsey suffered a hand injury Friday during Jacksonville’s workout, Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com tweets, adding that Ramsey is questionable for Sunday against the Cardinals.

However, the talented cornerback may be closer to doubtful. When asked if he would play in Week 12, Ramsey said, “No,” per DiRocco (on Twitter). Ramsey has not missed a game in his two-year career, starting all 26 for which he’s suited up as a Jaguar.

Should the cornerback be unable to go, Aaron Colvin would likely move into the starting lineup. Journeyman Tyler Patmon and seventh-round rookie Jalen Myrick are the other corners on the Jacksonville roster.

While the assignment isn’t as strenuous as it would have been under ordinary circumstances, with Blaine Gabbert returning to Jacksonville as Arizona’s starter rather than Carson Palmer or Drew Stanton, the Jaguars have received quality work from Ramsey and would obviously be weakened without him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Green, Ramsey

Just a day after activating offensive lineman Ted Larsen, the Dolphins have decided to make him inactive for their Sunday night affair versus the Raiders. Larsen, 30, was forced onto the injured reserve for the first two months of the season after suffering a torn biceps in the offseason. It remains to be seen how long it’s going to take until Larsen returns to the starting lineup, but he’s expected to replace left guard Jesse Davis at some point over the next few games.

  • Just as a key starter is returning in Larsen, Miami said goodbye to lead running back Jay Ajayi when they dealt him to the Eagles for a fourth round pick on the day of the trade deadline. The move came as a surprise to many Dolphins fans given the importance of the 24 year-old to the team’s offense. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald opines that the deal was just another in a series of questionable decisions that the franchise has made over the last few years. Salguero points out the team’s moves to get rid of Vontae Davis, Brandon Marshall, Mike Wallace and Karlos Dansby as points in time where the team gave up too early on talent. The trade does open up more playing time for the likes of Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams, but the Dolphins’ offense will certainly look a lot different without Ajayi in the backfield.
  • One of the many brawls as a part pf today’s slate of games came from an incident between Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Green. After Ramsey pushed one of the league’s best receivers after the whistle, Green unleashed a flurry of punches onto the Jaguars second-year defensive back, which prompted both sidelines into a shoving match. Both Green and Ramsey were ejected after the scuffle. However, Green was apologetic about the incident after the loss, as Michael DiRocco and Katherine Terrell of ESPN.com pass along. “I shouldn’t have reacted that way. I apologize to my teammates, [Bengals owner Mike] Brown, and everybody, because that’s not who I am. It just got the best of me today.” We’ll see how the league reacts to the situation as a suspension could be in order given the severity of Green’s reaction.
  • While both players were forced to leave the contest, many around the league pointed out that Ramsey did not actually throw a punch. However, there was some clarity given out on that front after the game. Apparently, the officials said that Ramsey was ejected because they thought he did throw a punch, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport reports that the Jags cornerback was informed by league officials after the team’s win that he was sent to the locker room because they thought he engaged Green too, even though it appears that Ramsey did not punch back. We’ll have to see how the Jacksonville players and coaches react to the apparent officiating mistake.

AFC Notes: Browns, Texans, Jags, Jets

Second-round signal-caller DeShone Kizer is in the mold of Super Bowl-winning division rivals Ben Roethlisberger (Steelers) and Joe Flacco (Ravens), according to Browns quarterbacks coach David Lee, but it doesn’t sound as if he’ll see the field for a while. “He’s got a great future,” Lee told reporters, including Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com. “He’s just a long way from being ready. He’s not ready, but he’s climbing on it, and he’s making progress.”

Kizer, the 52nd overall pick from Notre Dame, is competing against Brock Osweiler and Cody Kessler to open the season as the Browns’ starter. Osweiler has impressed Cleveland’s coaches since coming over in March in a surprising trade with Houston, and the fact that he’s the most experienced and accomplished of the Browns’ QBs matters to Lee. “You can say what you want, but the guy in the last two years has taken two different teams [Texans and Denver Broncos] to the playoffs, and there’s nobody else in that room that can say that,” Lee pointed out. “Plus, this is his sixth year of experience. [The other guys have] got [little or] no experience. … So he’s the senior citizen. He looks like a guy who’s played before. He’s great at the line of scrimmage. He’s great in the huddle, I mean calming effect. Is he the quarterback? We don’t have one yet, but he’s in the mix for sure.”

  • The Texans worked out safety Jaiquawn Jarrett on Monday, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Jarrett, a former second-round pick, spent the first two seasons of his career with the Eagles before joining the Jets from 2013-15. He didn’t appear in the NFL in 2016. A veteran of 47 career games, Jarrett boasts nine starts through five pro seasons. Houston has no plans to sign either Jarrett or fellow defensive back Aaron Williams, whom the Texans hosted earlier this week, as Wilson writes in a full article.
  • Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey underwent core muscle surgery Thursday, per NFL.com’s Mike Garafalo, who adds that he should be ready for the regular season (Twitter link). Ramsey also dealt with a notable injury last spring, a torn meniscus that required surgery and kept him out of organized team activities and minicamp, but still went on to post an excellent rookie season. Last year’s fifth overall pick, Ramsey started all 16 of the Jags’ games, intercepted two passes (one of which he returned for a touchdown) and ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 21st-best corner.
  • Josh McCown has a smaller-than-anticipated lead over Christian Hackenberg as the Jets’ training camp quarterback battle approaches, writes Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. McCown wasn’t all that sharp in minicamp, whereas Hackenberg exceeded expectations, per Cimini, who notes that Bryce Petty is a clear third in the race. The Jets invested a second-rounder in Hackenberg only a year ago, but it seems the ex-Penn State Nittany Lion is widely regarded as a lost cause after he couldn’t crack the lineup last season for a club whose QB play was among the worst in the league. But Hackenberg should get on the field sometime this year for a team that’s now in a full-scale rebuild.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

Impact Rookies: Jacksonville Jaguars

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

Today, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the Jacksonville Jaguars’ draft class:

Patience and an unlimited bank account by team ownership might just be the tickets to get the Jaguars into the playoff picture in 2016. If not, heads are certain to roll, both in the front office and on the field. The maturation of quarterback Blake Bortles, along with the emergence of receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, gives Jacksonville formidable aerial weapons. The addition of former Jets tailback Chris Ivory gives the team a solid 1-2 punch in the backfield, as the newcomer is expected to split time with T.J. Yeldon.

The defense received the bulk of the front office’s attention via the free agent market. Denver’s Malik Jackson was brought on board to join injured 2014 first-round talent Dante Fowler, drastically upgrading the team’s pass rush. Toss in free safety Tashaun Gipson leading a revamped secondary and you can see that coordinator Todd Wash had enough weapons on hand even before the cache of talent the team snatched during the draft.

Jacksonville failed to address their primary need – offensive line – spending six of their seven draft selections on defensive talent. Still, you can envision at least two future All-Pros (Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack) to hopefully emerge from this crop. The rest of the defensive selections were taken with one task in mind – attack the pocket and get to the quarterback.

First Round – Jalen Ramsey, DB (Florida State, No. 5 overall)

The Jags wasted little time running up to the podium with Ramsey’s name on the card handed to the commissioner. Many had figured Ramsey, the best athlete in the draft, would be taken by the Chargers at No. 3 to help ease the loss of Eric Weddle. Ramsey may have slipped past the Chargers and Cowboys due to some minor knee issues and, as it turns out, that injury did pop up during Jacksonville’s rookie campJalen Ramsey

Still, to find Ramsey on the board with the fifth pick was a blessing. The addition of Gipson via veteran free agency will see Ramsey remain a cornerback, at least at the start of his NFL career. He’s already listed as their starting right cornerback, leaving former starters Dwayne Gratz and Aaron Colvin as caddies for Ramsey and Davon House. Both former starters will also have to contend for a roster spot, as the team also inked former Giants first rounder, Prince Amukamara, to a one-year deal. Additionally, the team seems enamored with versatile Nick Marshall, a former college passer making the conversion to the secondary.

Second Round – Myles Jack, LB (UCLA, No. 36 overall)

If Jacksonville was fast to get to the podium with the Ramsey card, they were at warp speed when it came to Myles Jack. Medical reports are split on Jack as some say the injured star is 90% ready to contribute while others indicate that he could have a short-lived career due to his knee issues. Perhaps the Jags felt that Jack was just too good to pass up, even if it is for the short term.

If Jack’s knee is able to withstand the rigors of NFL life, he could be the team’s playmaker at strong-side linebacker. Recent off-field issues for current starter Dan Skuta put the veteran in a precarious situation, but even on his best day, he could not compare to Jack at his worst. Skuta ranked eighth on the team with 40 tackles in 2015 and his 1.5 sacks are easily replaced. Skuta’s roster spot could be in further peril, thanks to the drafting of Yannick Ngakoue and Tyrone Holmes (more on them in a bit). Outside of Telvin Smith, look for the linebacker unit to undergo a transformation this year, with middle linebacker Paul Posluszny possibly holding on to that spot one more year before Jack could be asked to shift inside in 2017.

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Extra Points: Ramsey, Jags, Sanders, Loadholt

Jaguars fans everywhere were scared earlier this offseason, when reports indicated that fifth overall selection Jalen Ramsey would require a knee operation — having already dealt with losing 2015 third overall pick Dante Fowler Jr. to an ACL tear, Jacksonville held its collective breath awaiting further updates on Ramsey. Luckily, Ramsey is now expected to return by training camp, a sentiment that Ramsey himself confirmed today, telling Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times Union (Twitter links) that he isn’t experiencing any physical limitations. Ramsey, who is expected to play cornerback in Gus Bradley’s defense, says he felt comfortable with the Jaguars’ defensive scheme throughout the draft process, and feels even more locked in now that he’s continued to learn.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Entering the final year of his contract, wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders seemingly isn’t worried about his ongoing contract negotiations with the Broncos, as he explains to Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post“I don’t think it weighs on me,” said Sanders. “I think it weighs on other people and then they talk about and it’s like, ‘All right, you’re trying to put the weight on me.’ If I could just keep my ears closed and not listen to the noise, I wouldn’t even know this is a contract year.” Sanders reportedly exchanged contract figures with Denver management last week.
  • Tackle Phil Loadholt is a possible cap casualty if he doesn’t win the Vikings‘ right tackle job, writes Ben Goessling of ESPN.com. While free agent signee Andre Smith secured $1MM guaranteed on his one-year contract with the club, Loadholt doesn’t have any guaranteed money left after he restructured his deal earlier this year. Loadholt is reportedly progressing well in his recovery from a 2015 Achilles tear, but Minnesota’s offensive line has so much depth that it’s hard to see him making the final roster unless Smith is the one who gets cut (which could be an option, notes Goessling).
  • Locker room issues apparently played a part in Dominique Easley‘s release from the Patriots earlier this year, and former first-round pick doesn’t sound all that interested in changing that perception now that he’s joined the Rams. “I wouldn’t say it’s (among) my main goals, because (being a great person is) just who I am,” Easley said of his rumored off-field problems on SiriusXM NFL Radio (Facebook link). “But, yeah, there’s been obviously stuff said about me. I mean, we don’t know where it came from. Obviously, the person doesn’t want to come out and say it, either.”

Jalen Ramsey Expected Back By Training Camp

Jalen Ramsey underwent successful surgery to repair the meniscus in his right knee and he is expected to return by training camp, the Jaguars have announced. The Jaguars were hoping that the No. 4 overall pick would be back on a 4-6 week timeline but there was a possibility of a longer recovery depending on the severity of the injury. Now, barring any unforeseen setbacks or complications, the defensive back should be on the field Week 1 for Jacksonville. Doctors told Ramsey that this surgery on his right knee is expected to sideline him six weeks in all, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Jalen Ramsey (vertical)

Last week’s news came as a big scare for Jaguars fans as this marks the second straight year in which a Jaguars’ first-round pick suffered an injury before taking the field. Now, the Jags should be able to trot out the FSU product alongside pass-rusher Dante Fowler Jr., who missed all of the 2015 season after tearing his ACL in a minicamp practice.

Ramsey was highly coveted by the Cowboys who were selecting at No. 4, but they opted instead to take Ohio State product Ezekiel Elliott. The Ravens, who held the No. 6 overall selection in the draft, also tried to nab Ramsey by swapping picks with Dallas, but the two sides could not agree on a deal. Once things fell into place, the Jaguars pounced on the opportunity to grab the top defensive back in this year’s draft at No. 5. At least one team, the Dolphins, had Ramsey rated as the best player in the draft. Ramsey has a sky-high ceiling and his ability to play either safety or cornerback makes him even more valuable.

Ramsey received considerable hype prior to the draft, with the only real knock on his game being a general lack of playmaking statistics. In his time at FSU, Ramsey racked up only three interceptions, although that could be explained by the fact that opposing quarterbacks simply did not throw in his direction that often. Overall, Ramsey allowed a completion rate of just 38.5%.

Photo via Pro Football Rumors on Instagram.

Jaguars Sign Jalen Ramsey

The Jaguars have signed first-round draft pick Jalen Ramsey, according to John Oesher of Jaguars.com, and Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com reports that it is a four-year, $23.5MM deal, with a $15.1MM signing bonus. Ramsey, one of the most dynamic defensive players in this year’s class, is the sixth Jacksonville draft choice to put pen to paper, leaving third-round pick Yannick Ngakoue as the team’s only unsigned selection. There are now just 11 first-round picks who have yet to sign their rookie contracts, as our tracker shows.

Jalen Ramsey (vertical)

Ramsey received considerable hype prior to the draft after a standout collegiate career with Florida State, with the only real knock on his game being a general lack of playmaking statistics (he mustered just three interceptions during his tenure with the Seminoles, although that could be explained by the fact that opposing quarterbacks simply did not throw in his direction that often, as Ramsey allowed a completion rate of just 38.5%). Ramsey is remarkably athletic, and he has the ability to play either safety or cornerback at the next level. The Ravens, who held the No. 6 overall selection in the draft, tried to nab Ramsey by swapping picks with the Cowboys, who held the No. 4 overall selection, but the two sides could not agree on a deal. As a result, Jacksonville was able to land the heralded defensive back with the No. 5 pick. At least one team, the Dolphins, had Ramsey rated as the best player in the draft.

However, Ramsey suffered a right knee injury earlier this week, a disturbing bit of deja vu for a team that lost last year’s first-round pick, Dante Fowler, for his entire rookie season after Fowler tore his left ACL on the first day of minicamp. Ramsey’s injury is being characterized as a small meniscus tear, and as ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets, Ramsey will visit Dr. James Andrews this week for a second opinion. Ramsey is expected to require surgery, but as of now, Schefter says, the team plans to have him back prior to the beginning of the regular season. However, even a player with Ramsey’s ability and upside will need some time to adjust to the professional game, so he will be at a disadvantage if he is forced to miss a significant portion of training camp.

Jacksonville’s second-round selection, Myles Jack, has major knee concerns of his own, which caused him to plummet from a surefire top-10 pick to the No. 36 overall pick. All the Jaguars can do at this point is remain optimistic about the prognosis of their prized young defenders, and as of now, there is no reason for them not to be.