The Los Angeles Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars on Tuesday night, ending the star cornerback’s tumultuous tenure in Jacksonville with a trade to the defending NFC champions.
Jacksonville got first-round picks from the Rams in 2020 and 2021, along with a fourth-round pick in 2021.
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Ramsey is one of the NFL’s elite defensive backs, earning two Pro Bowl selections and one first-team All-Pro nod in three seasons with Jaguars. The fifth overall pick in the 2016 draft has nine career interceptions along with innumerable conflicts with his coaches, the front office and the Jags’ opponents.
One month after he requested a trade, Ramsey is off to the West Coast to join Aaron Donald on the Rams’ defense.
Ramsey has missed the Jaguars’ last three games with an apparent back injury, but he returned to practice last week. He’ll probably need to play immediately with the Rams (3-3), who are without both of their usual starting cornerbacks as they head to Atlanta this weekend.
The defending NFC champions traded cornerback Marcus Peters to Baltimore earlier in the day, getting depth linebacker Kenny Young for a two-time Pro Bowl selection who will be a free agent next year. Los Angeles also put cornerback Aqib Talib on injured reserve Monday after he missed last weekend’s loss to San Francisco with a rib injury.
Ramsey had never missed a start in his professional career before his current injury, but that was about the only certainty around the Tennessee native who once committed to USC, only to end up at Florida State.
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Ramsey’s relationship with the Jaguars frayed in recent months. He had a public spat on the sideline with coach Doug Marrone in Week 2 at Houston, and he clashed with personnel chief Tom Coughlin after the game.
The Jags made their move five days after owner Shad Khan said he had a “heart to heart” with Ramsey and expected him to play against New Orleans last weekend. Ramsey didn’t, prompting Khan’s decision to move on from the disgruntled defender.
Ramsey is under contract through the 2020 season after the Jaguars exercised his fifth-year, $13.7 million option in April — at the same time Ramsey apparently was upsetting Coughlin by skipping the Jags’ voluntary offseason workouts.
Coach Sean McVay’s Rams have had few problems molding together plenty of strong personalities in recent years, and Ramsey’s upside is tremendous — even at the heavy cost of two first-round picks.
Ramsey will join two prominent ex-Jaguars in Los Angeles, all three of whom were top-5 draft picks by Jacksonville.
Pass rusher Dante Fowler re-signed with the Rams after he was traded from Jacksonville at last season’s deadline, while quarterback Blake Bortles is Jared Goff’s backup after five years with the Jags.
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The Rams are on their first three-game losing streak of McVay’s tenure, although their sputtering offense likely deserves more blame than the defense.
Los Angeles hasn’t made a first-round pick since 2016, when Jared Goff was the first overall selection.
The Rams began their busy day by acquiring offensive lineman Austin Corbett from the Cleveland Browns. Los Angeles needs a new left guard after Joe Noteboom’s season-ending knee injury.
The Associated Press contributed to this article