These are not good times for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
They’ve fallen so far so fast it’s hard to recall that they were in the AFC championship game – and led by 10 points six minutes into the fourth quarter – less than 20 months ago.
After starting last season 3-1, Jacksonville has lost 12 of its last 14 games, including the first two this year.
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The Jaguars signed Super Bowl LII darling Nick Foles this offseason, and after Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement last month, it looked like they’d have a chance to win the AFC South. But Foles suffered a broken collarbone less than one quarter into Week 1, and star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and head coach Doug Marrone had a shouting match on the sideline during Sunday’s loss in Houston.
Which brings us to Thursday night, when the Jaguars host the Tennessee Titans, a game that can be live-streamed on the Yahoo Sports mobile app.
‘I want to f - - - - - - win’
On Monday night, there were reports that Ramsey had asked to be traded. He is a two-time first-team All-Pro and was the fifth overall pick in 2016. His rookie contract expires after the 2020 season.
On Tuesday, Ramsey affirmed that he has, but emphasized that he was not the one who leaked that information to media.
During an opening statement, Ramsey said he didn’t want to be a distraction to his team, particularly with the short week of preparation. A reporter noted that he had become a distraction because of the trade demand.
“Let’s be clear about something in regards to that: I didn’t leak that information,” Ramsey said. “Me and my agent, we are not the ones who leaked that information. And I was very strict about that, because I did not want it to get out and I didn’t want it to be a distraction, I didn’t want everybody asking my teammates all kinds of questions during the week. Let me be real clear about that: we were not the ones.
“You need to ask the other side, or whoever.”
Ramsey also said that the things many seem to love about him – his passion and fire on the field – are the things that are being counted against him now.
“All I care about is winning, man. I want to f- - - - - - win. Straight up. Excuse my language, but everybody know that. That’s who I am. ... I’m going to continue giving that as long as I’m here.”
Will Ramsey be traded?
On Tuesday, Ramsey said he was preparing to face the Titans, though he also spoke as though there was a chance he wouldn’t be with the Jaguars come game time.
At his best, Ramsey is one of the top two or three cornerbacks in the NFL. In that game against the Texans, he held DeAndre Hopkins, one of the game’s best receivers, to five catches for 40 yards.
Any team interested in acquiring Ramsey – and there were plenty of players making it clear they’d love to have him as a teammate on social media Monday night – will have to sign him to a likely record-setting contract as well as give up at least one first-round draft pick, though reportedly Jacksonville would like two.
NFL Network reported on Tuesday morning that the Jaguars “most likely target date” to trade Ramsey would be Friday, after the game with Tennessee. This year, the NFL trade deadline is Oct. 29, so there’s time for the Jaguars to maximize their return on Ramsey, or they could wait until after the season.
Titans looking for consistency
Tennessee is looking for consistency after its first two games: the Titans stunned the Cleveland Browns on the road in the season opener, 43-13, but then dropped their home opener last week, 19-17, against the Colts.
The Titans’ problem this past Sunday was they couldn’t stay on the field: they were 1-for-10 on third down, frittering away a defensive effort that included two turnovers and three sacks.
Meanwhile, Tennessee’s Marcus Mariota was sacked four times, including twice on third down. The Titans are playing without three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan, who is suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancers.
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