Seahawks’ secondary needs a playmaker, but should it be Jalen Ramsey?
Should the Seahawks pursue a trade for disgruntled Jacksonville cornerback Jalen Ramsey? I asked that question on Twitter Thursday and got a mixed bag of replies. Those who don’t want the Seahawks to trade for Ramsey think he might be more trouble than he’s worth — the latest example coming this week when Ramsey did not practice because he had the flu then a bad back and likely won’t play in Jacksonville’s game at Denver on Sunday because he’s in Nashville for the birth of his second child.
Many wonder if he was sick at all, and his back injury came as a surprise to Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, who tried to laugh it all off at a news conference even though he probably is not amused one little bit by his star’s shenanigans.
Those who want Ramsey think he’ll be a huge upgrade to a Seahawks’ secondary that needs to improve. You could also make a case that the Seahawks might be one of the best teams to deal with a player like Ramsey since coach Pete Carroll has experience with different-drummer personalities in the past. Richard Sherman, Marshawn Lynch, Michael Bennett and Earl Thomas all come to mind, and for the most part, Carroll got the most from those four players on the field before things turned south.
I suspect things will go south with Ramsey in time, but I’m guessing he’d be a happy camper for the next few years after he signs a contract extension that might make him the highest-paid corner in the league, somewhere in the neighborhood of $15.5 or $16 million a year.
Is he worth that kind of investment and hit on the salary cap? I would say yes because he’d be an instant play-maker on a secondary that doesn’t appear to have one anymore. I know that interceptions aren’t the end all be all anymore than sacks are. Good defenses also rely on passes knocked away and quarterback hits and batted balls at the line of scrimmage.
But I still find it a little bit crazy that in the last 18 games, Shaquill Griffin has no interceptions, and Tre Flowers is still looking for his first career pick, and he’s been here for 19 games now. The Seahawks have only one interception this year, and they’re lucky to have it — when a catchable ball bounced off of Donte Moncrief in the Pittsburgh game, Bradley McDougald picked it off while diving toward the sideline.
If the Seahawks acquired Ramsey, they could move Griffin back to right cornerback, where he had more success as a rookie than he’s had at left cornerback. It’s not to say he’s been bad on the left side of the field, just not great and not as good as he was on the right side. Flowers, from what I’ve seen, heard and read about him, is generally considered to be an average cornerback at best.
Then again, Griffin and Flowers are still so young that it’s fair to expect them to get better. Or maybe we’ve seen the ceiling already.
The other part of the Ramsey speculation is what you’d have to give up to get him. Early reports said that Jacksonville wanted two first-rounders, which we can probably all agree is too much. But wouldn’t you think their trade demands will go down in the coming weeks after Ramsey calls in sick again or doesn’t play all out? He wants out of Jacksonville no matter what, and yet, owner Shad Khan doesn’t want to trade him.
But what if you gave up a first and a second for an All-Pro corner? Or if you gave up a first and Flowers? Or a first and Griffin for that matter? If they gave up a second-round pick in the package, they would still keep one of their own since they have two of them in the 2020 draft — they got the other one from Kansas City in the Frank Clark trade.
Next year during the draft, if you’re watching all of the other teams besides the Seahawks pick in the first round, you can tell yourself that Ramsey will probably always be better than the prospect you would have taken in the middle to the latter part of the first round. He was a first-rounder himself, taken fifth overall by the Jaguars in 2016.
If the running game gets going, which is a realistic expectation, the only thing that would hold the Seahawks back from being a viable Super Bowl contender is its secondary — and perhaps the defensive line if Jadeveon Clowney and Ziggy Ansah don’t pick up the pace.
If I had a say in the debate, I’d tell general manager John Schneider to pull the trigger on a trade for Ramsey.
Follow Jim Moore (@cougsgo) on Twitter.