Sources: Jaguars owner Shad Khan holding up potential Jalen Ramsey trade to contenders

Charles RobinsonNFL columnist

With star cornerback Jalen Ramsey continuing to press for a trade from the Jacksonville Jaguars, two opposing team executives have told Yahoo Sports that team owner Shad Khan has become a hurdle in trade talks.

Only 10 days ago, both executives — whose teams had preliminary discussions with the Jaguars about acquiring Ramsey — expressed optimism that a deal could be completed as quickly as Sept. 23. One executive even put a ballpark figure on where he believed the compensation for Ramsey would land: something in the neighborhood of what the Kansas City Chiefs surrendered for defensive end Frank Clark, which netted the Seattle Seahawks a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick and a swap of 2019 third-round picks that moved Kansas City up eight spots.

That type of trade bounty has apparently never interested Khan, who not only is standing firm on a price of two “quality” first-round picks, but prefers to keep Ramsey and sign him to a long-term contract extension.

However, that doesn’t mean Ramsey is off the trade market. The opposing executives agreed he’s still available. But the Jaguars aren’t willing to let Ramsey go for anything under what they perceive to be maximum value. Now a deal that once looked like it could develop swiftly has been complicated by the reality that it’s Khan — and not the front office — setting the trade bar.

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was sidelined from Sunday's game in Denver against the Broncos. Jacksonville won, 26-24. (AP)
Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was sidelined from Sunday's game in Denver against the Broncos. Jacksonville won, 26-24. (AP)
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As one executive framed it, “The idea that nothing has changed [in the trade dynamic] is wrong. Ownership is obviously involved and a hurdle to overcome.”

What that will ultimately mean for Ramsey’s market remains to be seen. A league source told Yahoo Sports late this week that a wide swath of teams have kept tabs on Ramsey’s availability, including the Seahawks, Chiefs, Philadelphia EaglesOakland Raiders and Baltimore Ravens. Thus far, none of those teams has felt compelled to meet the somewhat nebulous trade value Khan is seeking. Complicating matters more is that the teams aren’t speaking to Khan directly. Instead, they are communicating with a Jaguars front office that isn’t empowered to do a deal without the team owner signing off on the structure — fully knowing that Khan ultimately may not be inclined to trade Ramsey regardless of what is offered.

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What’s clear is that Ramsey still wants to get off the Jacksonville roster, and opposing NFL teams still view him as having All-Pro ability at his position. One executive said Ramsey is the league’s most attractive trade commodity since the Raiders made dominant edge rusher Khalil Mack available last preseason. Oakland ultimately dealt Mack and two draft picks (a second-rounder and a conditional fifth-rounder) to the Chicago Bears for two first-round picks, a third-round pick and a sixth-rounder. The Bears also surrendered the highest-paid defensive contract in NFL history to Mack on the heels of the trade. That is important, considering Ramsey is expected to want a contract extension sooner than later from any franchise that would acquire him.

As it stands, Ramsey hasn’t been on the field with the Jaguars since the team’s 20-7 victory over the Tennessee Titans on Sept. 19. He has since missed practice due to illness, back “tightness” and an excused absence for the birth of his second child. He joined the team in Denver for Sunday’s game against the Broncos but ultimately sat out the win due to the aforementioned back injury.

It remains to be seen whether he will take the field with the Jaguars next week against Carolina as he continues to press for a trade.

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