JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — In his first game since demanding a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars, two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey jogged out of the tunnel and onto the field Thursday night to a smattering of cheers.
And then it started raining.
His future with the Jaguars has never been more muddled, especially with comments on the Uninterrupted “17 Weeks” podcast with Nate Burleson in which Ramsey said his trade request stemmed from “some disrespectful things said on their end” after the Jaguars’ loss Sunday to Houston.
The shouting match with coach Doug Marrone? Ramsey wrote that off to passion and emotion, which happens all over the league.
He held his ground on wanting out of Jacksonville.
“Requesting the trade … it’s kind of been building over time,” Ramsey said on the podcast, which was taped Monday. “It has nothing to do with my teammates here. It has nothing to do with the city. … But it’s more so with the front office and the organization.”
Ramsey said Tuesday neither he nor his agent had anything to do with his trade request becoming public. He said he didn’t want to be a distraction, but it was all the talk going into the Jaguars’ Thursday night game against the Tennessee Titans.
Jags owner Shad Khan told the NFL Network, “This is a team sport, and I think I am very sensitive to individual needs. But we have to do the right thing for the team.”
Ramsey delivered a strong performance in the loss to the Texans, holding DeAndre Hopkins to four catches for 27 yards when he covered him. He also dropped an interception right in his gut that looked certain to go for a touchdown.
But the moment that stands out was when Marrone didn’t challenge Hopkins’ first-down catch late in the first quarter. Ramsey yelled at Marrone as he walked off the field. Marrone responded by getting in Ramsey’s face and screaming.
“I didn’t think much of that in particular because that happens from time to time,” Ramsey said on the podcast. “That’s just passion and emotion. I felt like that got blew up more than it should have. … It was just the moment, it was just the incident.”
He said he had moved beyond that until after the game. Ramsey described the locker room atmosphere as tough. He didn’t say who met with him from the Jaguars, only that he didn’t like what was said.
“Some disrespectful things were said on their end that made me definitely walk out and call my agent as soon as I walked out,” Ramsey said. “I said, ‘It’s time. My time is up here in Jacksonville.’ I said I want to ask for a trade. I was truly at peace, like I wasn’t in a mindset of making a decision while I was angry. I was completely calm. I still stand by that decision, asked for a trade.”
Ramsey started Thursday night, like always.
He sat on the far end of the bench next to quarterback Gardner Minshew after the Jaguars scored first for a 7-0 lead, even as the rest of the starting defense stood together near the sideline during the kickoff. Before long, Ramsey joined them.