PHILADELPHIA — Cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Philadelphia Eagles feels like a thing that should happen, right? The Eagles seem to need him. The fans are clamoring for it. Heck, even ESPN NFL analyst Field Yates is trying to will an Adam Schefter bomb.
So, what are the odds of a deal between the Jacksonville Jaguars and Eagles actually going down prior to the league’s Oct. 29 trade deadline?
Let’s take a look:
Are the Eagles interested?
Yes. For sure. They view Ramsey, 24, like much of the league does: as an elite cornerback who could instantly make their team better. There doesn’t seem to be any great concern about handling all that comes with a player such as Ramsey, who has a reputation of being high maintenance. The Eagles hold the belief that their culture can absorb strong personalities, and recent history suggests they’re right.
Cornerback is a major area of concern right now, at least externally. Ronald Darby (hamstring), Jalen Mills (foot), Sidney Jones (hamstring), Avonte Maddox (neck) and Cre’Von LeBlanc (foot) are all banged up, leaving Rasul Douglas, the recently re-signed Orlando Scandrick and Craig James — who has played two career snaps on defense — as the only healthy players at the position. Through a quarter of the season, Philadelphia is dead last in opponent pass yards (324 per game).
So, yeah, the idea of acquiring one of the top three corners in the NFL is appealing.
So, what’s the problem?
There are a couple of things, including:
1. The Jaguars aren’t interested in dealing Ramsey, per Schefter. Team owner Shad Khan is leading the charge to keep him.
They’ve had plenty of time to gauge his market since Ramsey requested a trade in mid-September, and to this point, they have not been inspired to act. If anything, there is a feeling in some circles that their resolve to keep him has hardened. That could change, particularly if Ramsey makes life difficult for the Jaguars. He did not practice last week because of a combination of an illness, the birth of his child and a back ailment. He was inactive for the Broncos game in Week 4 due to the back issue, the team said, which also kept him out of Wednesday’s practice. It could get messy, but the Jags’ preference is to avoid a breakup.
Philadelphia has to weigh the immediate need versus keeping the franchise’s long-term interests in mind. With the Jags in a keep-him posture, it likely will take a big offer (two first-rounders?) to make it reconsider. The Eagles are in on Ramsey at a certain level, but they’re not going to go overboard, and it might take that to land him.
Given those two factors, the current odds don’t appear to be in favor of Ramsey ending up with the Eagles in 2019.
What’s the path forward, then?
That’s something I believe the team is still sorting through. Howie Roseman is one of the most active general managers in the league, and you can be sure he is working the phones.
There are good corners on bad teams who will be the subject of trade speculation as the season goes along, such as Chris Harris of the Denver Broncos, Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins and Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals.
The Eagles aren’t feeling great pressure to make a splash move — at least not yet. Mills is eligible to return off the physically unable to perform list in Week 7. Jones returned to practice Wednesday, and between Maddox, Darby and LeBlanc, the Eagles should be getting more corners back from injury in the coming weeks.
Help is on the way. But is it enough to solve what has been the No. 1 issue for the Super Bowl hopeful Eagles?
Ramsey or not, better keep an eye on Philly between now and the trade deadline.