Jacksonville Jaguars likely to consider trading Jalen Ramsey in offseason

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is likely to be one of the many players whose names will unexpectedly emerge in trade talks this offseason.

Ramsey is slowly but surely forcing the Jaguars into considering a blockbuster trade this offseason, league sources told ESPN.

One league source said he “absolutely” believes the Jaguars will entertain the idea of trading Ramsey, while an NFL general manager said he would not be surprised if that’s the route the Jaguars decide to pursue.

Jacksonville responded to the report Sunday, saying the team is not planning to trade Ramsey.

“The Jaguars have zero intention of trading CB Jalen Ramsey,” the team said in a statement. “There is no truth to this rumor.”

Much of the scrutiny has been brought on by Ramsey, who tweeted last week: “When I’m gone from here, y’all gone miss me.”

Ramsey addressed the tweet Thursday, saying it was meant for “fake fans” who haven’t stuck with the Jaguars, who have been among the biggest disappointments in the NFL this season. The Jaguars went 10-6, won the AFC South and reached the conference championship game last season.

But despite starting 3-1 this season, Jacksonville (3-6) is last in the AFC South thanks to a five-game losing streak.

Ramsey emphasized Thursday that he wants “to play for one team my whole career,” but his behavior has caught the attention of his team, according to sources. The outspoken cornerback has made headlines multiple times in recent years because of his brash opinions — both about himself and opposing players.

As unthinkable as trading away a player of Ramsey’s caliber would be, bear in mind that the Giants considered trading Odell Beckham Jr. last offseason before deciding to sign the star receiver to a long-term contract.

Ramsey has next season and a fifth-year option remaining on his contract with the Jaguars, who will either have to make him the highest-paid cornerback in the game or make the decision to move on from him.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco contributed to this report.

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Ereck Flowers to become fourth player to start at left tackle this year for Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Ereck Flowers, the ninth overall pick in 2015 by the New York Giants who was cut last month, will start at left tackle for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Flowers becomes the fourth player to start at that spot for the Jaguars (3-6) because of injuries. Cam Robinson suffered a torn ACL in Week 2 and his replacement, Josh Wells, injured his groin in Week 5 and was placed on IR.

That forced the Jaguars to move reserve guard Josh Walker to left tackle, where he started the last four games. Walker injured his foot in last week’s loss to Indianapolis and the team listed him as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Pittsburgh at TIAA Bank Field.

Flowers started 49 of the 52 games in which he played for the Giants from 2015-18 at left tackle but never played at the high level expected of a top 10 pick. He lost his starting job in Week 3 to Chad Wheeler, who signed with the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2017, and the team cut him on Oct. 10.

The Jaguars signed Flowers on Oct. 12 and he did not play in the team’s next three games. He made his Jaguars debut last week, sharing time with Walker during the second and third quarters.

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Jalen Ramsey reiterates he wants to stay with Jacksonville Jaguars for rest of career

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jalen Ramsey doesn’t want to play for any team other than the Jacksonville Jaguars, despite what one of his recent posts on social media might indicate.

The third-year cornerback made that pretty clear on Thursday, but he also admitted that he doesn’t like the negativity from what he called “fake fans” around the franchise’s disappointing 3-6 record heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I’ve said multiple times, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again that I want to play for one team my whole career,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey has one year remaining on his rookie contract, but the Jaguars are expected to pick up his fifth-year option this spring. He is also eligible to sign a long-term deal with the Jaguars once the 2018 season is complete.

Ramsey’s post on Twitter and Instagram on Monday morning is what started speculation that he was unhappy and wanted to play elsewhere. That came the morning after he was responsible for three coverage busts, including two which resulted in touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 29-16 loss to the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Ramsey declined an interview request with ESPN on Monday but addressed his comments on Thursday by saying they were meant for “fake fans” that haven’t stuck with the team, which arguably has been the biggest disappointment in the NFL in 2018. The Jaguars went 10-6, won the AFC South, and reached the AFC Championship Game last season. They got off to a 3-1 start this season before losing five consecutive games.

“If that’s what people want to do or if that’s how people feel, then it’s certain people, like y’all going to miss … we bring some good things,” Ramsey said. “And, yeah, we slipped up here recently. Not executed and played like we know we can. But, like whoever, the fake fans, if y’all [the media], whoever, if y’all want to jump ship, then, look, it is what it is.

“But y’all going to miss us when we either gone or when stuff back popping. We don’t want y’all no more.”

As for the coverage busts that happened against the Colts, Ramsey denied that he was ignoring the defensive call or freelancing.

Coach Doug Marrone said Monday that Ramsey was supposed to play zone coverage instead of press-man on tight end Eric Ebron‘s 53-yard touchdown. Ramsey also had tight end Mo Alie-Cox in man coverage on the 1-yard line but charged at the line of scrimmage, which resulted in Andrew Luck lofting a TD pass to Alie-Cox.

Ramsey said the mistakes happened because the calls and/or adjustments weren’t communicated effectively.

“We have calls that, depending on what the offense comes out in, I play press, I play man on my respective side. And if it’s not communicated thoroughly all the way across the field, and that point I was on the opposite side of the field,” Ramsey said of the 53-yard touchdown to Ebron. “That’s what I thought I was in. Like I said, I’ve never just went out there and was like, ‘They playing this so I’m going to just, like, F-it, I’m going to play this.’ No. That’s not how it was.

“The call was not communicated throughout the field, so I stayed on my man and that’s what we talked about and we argued about it and we went through about it on the sideline. But that’s what I’m saying. We’ve got to get communication better. It’s little things like that we just got to fix up.”

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Josh Allen expected to return vs. Jacksonville Jaguars after Buffalo Bills’ bye week

Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen, who has been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Jets because of an elbow injury that sidelined him the past three games, is expected to be ready to return after Buffalo’s bye Nov. 25 against the Jaguars, a source tells ESPN.

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Jacksonville Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) expected to play after missing 5 weeks

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette will make his long-awaited return to the field on Sunday after missing the past five weeks with a right hamstring injury.

The Jaguars (3-5) play the Indianapolis Colts (3-5) at Lucas Oil Stadium and it will be Fournette’s first game action since he aggravated his hamstring during the first half of the Jaguars’ victory over the New York Jets in Week 4. Fournette practiced all week, the first time he’s done so since the Jets game.

“So far, no issues,” Jags coach Doug Marrone said early Friday afternoon. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do. So, no setbacks.

“Right now, he’s completely healthy … today, at this time, approximately 12:24 [p.m. ET].”

Fournette originally hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener at the New York Giants and missed the next two games. He returned against the Jets at home in Week 4 and ran 11 times for 30 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards before aggravating the injury.

Fournette, who ran for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns and caught 36 passes for 302 yards and another touchdown as a rookie last season, has just 71 yards rushing and four catches for 19 yards this season.

The Jaguars won’t have cornerback A.J. Bouye, who was officially ruled out with a calf injury, and reserve cornerback Quenton Meeks (knee). Bouye said on Wednesday that he was not going to play against the Colts. The Jaguars are getting nickelback D.J. Hayden (toe) and cornerback Tyler Patmon (neck) back this week, too, so that will somewhat help the defense overcome the loss of Bouye, who will miss his first game since signing with the Jaguars in March 2017.

In addition, linebacker Telvin Smith (shoulder), defensive end Lerentee McCray (hamstring) and tight end James O’Shaughnessy (hip) are questionable.

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Status of Jacksonville Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye unclear after talk of injury

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It appears the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be without one of their top defensive players for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis — but they may be betting their top offensive player back, too.

Cornerback A.J. Bouye politely declined an interview request on Wednesday by saying he wasn’t going to play against the Colts because of his calf injury. Bouye was hurt against Houston on Oct. 20 and missed the Jaguars’ game against Philadelphia in London the following week.

However, coach Doug Marrone said “that’s news to me” when told of Bouye’s comment before the Jaguars hit the practice field.

“I guess I’ll have to talk to him about that,” Marrone said. “That’s not what the trainer told me. He did say that? OK, we will take care of that. That’s not been told to me by the trainer. That’s the truth.”

Bouye is tied for the team lead with five pass breakups and has one interception. He led the Jaguars with 18 pass breakups and six interceptions last season, which earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl and on the All-Pro second team.

Marrone did get some good news on Wednesday, though, because running back Leonard Fournette practiced fully for the first time since he aggravated his right hamstring injury in Week 4. Marrone did not say whether that meant Fournette would play against Indianapolis, but it’s clearly a good sign for the player around which the Jaguars built the offense.

Marrone said the team will not limit Fournette if he is able to play.

“We are full-boring everybody,” Marrone said. “Once a guy is ready to play, that has to be our expectation. I think you get into trouble when you put a player on the field and he is not able to live up to the expectation that you have for him meaning that all of a sudden now if something happens, it’s kind of like a built-in excuse. That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. I have always told players [if someone says], ‘I’m going to go out there, but I don’t feel like whatever …’ What does that mean? If they say, ‘I’m not 100 percent, I can’t do what’s expected of me.’ Well, then, I can’t put him on the field.”

Fournette originally hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener against the New York Giants and missed the next two games. He returned against the New York Jets in Week 4 and ran 11 times for 30 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards before aggravating the injury.

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Vince Manuwai, former Jacksonville Jaguars guard, dies at 38

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Former Jacksonville Jaguars guard Vince Manuwai died on Sunday in his home state of Hawaii, his family told the Honolulu Advertiser. He was 38.

The Advertiser reported that Manuwai collapsed while moving into an apartment in the town of Kakaako, which is on the island of Oahu.

The Jaguars selected Manuwai in the third round of the 2003 draft out of the University of Hawaii. He played eight years in Jacksonville, starting 105 games.

“We are saddened by the news of Vince Manuwai’s passing,” the Jaguars said in a statement. “Vince was a quiet, strong, reliable and respected member of the Jaguars family for eight seasons. Throughout his career he was a key part of our offensive line, and the way he went about doing his job was a great example for his teammates and others. We offer our condolences, our thoughts and our thanks for the Manuwai family in remembrance of Vince.”

Former Jaguars running back Fred Taylor called Manuwai one of his favorite teammates in an Instagram post.

“Big Vince never complained and he was always down for the s—,” Taylor wrote. “He’d always say ‘whatever you wanna do bruddah, I got you’ and he always rushed to snatch guys off the pile and pick me up. I love you bruddah, RIP big fella!”

Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said he did not know Manuwai but had a memorable experience with him while he was the offensive line coach with the New York Jets and went to work out Manuwai before the 2003 draft.

“Back in my younger days, I’d get in those drills and hold the bags,” Marrone said. “Vince, he knocked me right on my ass. That s— went viral. All the line coaches that at the time were my friends — now a lot of them aren’t in the league — they are like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can’t believe it.’ I’m like, ‘That guy is strong!’

“I always watched him because I liked him. Scouts may say he’s a little bit short, he had a little bit of short arms, but he was a tough son of a gun and strong and powerful.”

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Jacksonville Jaguars sign QB Landry Jones as insurance for Blake Bortles

The Jacksonville Jaguars have signed former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Landry Jones as insurance due to concern about Blake Bortles‘ health following Sunday’s game in London, it was announced Wednesday.

Bortles, who has an injury to his non-throwing shoulder, is still expected to play against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, as of now. The Jaguars have a bye week after a 24-18 loss to the Eagles at Wembley Stadium.

Jones recently visited the Jaguars for a workout.

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Four Jacksonville Jaguars players detained in London

Four Jacksonville Jaguars players were detained early Saturday after an incident in London, where the team is to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

In a statement, the Jaguars said the players were detained “over restitution of a bill.”

“The matter is being resolved, and the players are with the team,” the Jaguars said. “Any discipline will be handled internally.”

The team did not say which players were detained.

According to London-based news outlet The Sun, the players were accused of trying to leave the London Reign Showclub, which features burlesque and circus performers, without paying their tab.

The news — the latest in a bad run for the Jaguars — was announced about 12 hours before the team’s 9:30 a.m. ET kickoff against the Eagles at Wembley Stadium. Multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks bumped up the point spread Saturday night, moving the Eagles from 3 to 3.5-point favorites.

Coming off a season in which they reached the AFC Championship Game, the Jaguars (3-4) have gone in the opposite direction and have lost three consecutive games entering Sunday’s clash against the reigning Super Bowl champions.

The offense has been bad during the streak, getting outscored 57-0 in the first half of those games and turning the ball over 10 times — including eight (five interceptions) by quarterback Blake Bortles. Three of his interceptions have come in the Jaguars’ own territory, another was returned for a touchdown, and two others occurred in the end zone.

Bortles was benched last weekend against the Houston Texans after losing two fumbles. Coach Doug Marrone reinstated him as the starter but warned that things could change if the turnovers continue.

Injuries are part of the reason for the offense’s struggles. The Jaguars are on their third-string left tackle, the other four offensive line starters are dealing with nagging injuries, and two tight ends have been lost. Star running back Leonard Fournette has played in just two games due to a hamstring injury.

The defense hasn’t played at its 2017 level, either. The Jaguars are giving up 121.9 yards per game rushing (25th in the NFL), have forced only five turnovers (second-fewest in the league) and have only 15 sacks despite having the second-highest pressure rate, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The combination made for a headline-making week in Jacksonville, with Bortles defending his mistake-filled play and the defense bristling at criticism that it is soft.

Information from ESPN’s Michael DiRocco and David Purdum was used in this report.

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Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles says he’s not afraid to make mistakes

Blake Bortles is the Jacksonville Jaguars‘ starting quarterback for Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles, but he knows he could permanently lose that job if he continues to turn the ball over the way he has the past three weeks.

Yet Bortles says that is not going to affect the way he plays.

“You’ve just got to go play. I don’t think you can worry about it,” Bortles said after Friday’s practice at Allianz Park in London in his first media opportunity since he was reinstated as starter. “You can’t play the position and play the game constantly worrying about, ‘What happens if I make a mistake?’

“I’ve always kind of played fearless and not scared to make the mistake. I think that’s allowed me to make some plays, but in saying that, I’ve got to also be smart and obviously take calculated risks and make sure whatever I’m doing is putting us in position to score.”

Bortles hasn’t done that the past three weeks. After his second lost fumble early in the second half of a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans, coach Doug Marrone sent him to the bench in favor of backup Cody Kessler.

At that point, the Jaguars had committed nine turnovers in a little more than 10 quarters. Bortles had eight, including four interceptions and a fumble in a Week 5 loss at Kansas City. He also hadn’t led the Jaguars to any first-half points in losses to the Chiefs, Cowboys and Texans. Kessler led the Jaguars to a touchdown but also fumbled when he was sacked and had a pass bounce off running back T.J. Yeldon‘s hands for an interception.

After rewatching the game Sunday night and Monday, Marrone opted to stick with Bortles as his starter. Marrone said he is treating quarterback the same way he would any other spot: Bortles holds on to the job until it’s clear that his performance is hurting the team without being attributed to other factors.

“I’ve got to go play, be smart, take care of the football,” Bortles said. “Do the things that kind of we’ve always preached, things that are obviously important as far as playing quarterback. Get completions, be efficient, move the chains, score points and, most importantly, take care of the ball.”

Another area he wants to improve: Getting off to a fast start. The Jaguars scored on their opening possessions in their three victories (Giants, Patriots, Jets) but have failed to score on opening drives in their four losses. That includes losing a fumble on the third offensive snap against the Texans.

“It’s kind of been our thing this year. When we start fast, we play well and win, and when we don’t, it’s equal to a loss,” Bortles said. “Although you don’t want to have it like that. You want to be able to, if you don’t start fast, find ways to make adjustments, score points and be competitive regardless. But in knowing that, we’ve got to, I think, put that much [more] importance on the start and how we come out of the gate and expect to start fast and want to score touchdowns right away.

“If we don’t, then we’ve got to find ways to still score throughout the game and get it together.”

Part of the slow starts can be attributed to injuries to running back Leonard Fournette, along the offensive line and at tight end, and inconsistent play along the line and at wide receiver. The Jaguars traded for running back Carlos Hyde last week, and he is expected to make his Jaguars debut Sunday, which should help since Fournette will miss his fourth consecutive game and sixth overall with a hamstring injury.

Sunday’s game is critical for the Jaguars (3-4) to keep from falling two games behind Houston (5-3) in the AFC South. It’s also important for Bortles’ future with the franchise. The criticism, calls for a permanent benching and quarterback trade rumors this week have been at an all-time high since Bortles’ arrival as the third overall pick in 2014. Although he recently signed a three-year contract extension and has a salary-cap figure of $21.5 million and dead money figure of $16.5 million in 2019, the Jaguars may opt to find another quarterback if Bortles can’t turn his season around.

Bortles said he feels no additional pressure, though.

“There’s been pressure it seems like since I got to Jacksonville, so it’s kind of normal,” Bortles said. “I think there’s pressure at every position at all times in the NFL. If you’re not getting the job done or playing well or being successful, they’ll eventually replace you and find somebody else that can.

“… I think I’ve always kind of had an ability to ignore it, I guess — the outside noise or the pressure or whatever you want to call it — and kind of just focus on going and playing football. I’ve always just thought and believed [if] you win football games, eventually the noise will go away. That’s all I want to do. I try to do whatever I can to help this team win. Obviously the past couple weeks haven’t been great, and we’re looking forward to changing that script this week.”

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