The Minnesota Vikings missed out on Minkah Fitzpatrick, but they might as well set their sights on Jalen Ramsey.
For the second time in as many weeks, a stud defensive back has requested a trade. Minkah Fitzpatrick voiced his displeasure with the Miami Dolphins before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now, Jalen Ramsey has asked to be dealt from the Jacksonville Jaguars following a rough start to the season. Ramsey was involved in a sideline altercation with Head Coach Doug Marrone during Sunday’s loss to the Texans.
Minkah Fitzpatrick set the market for trades. He was sent to the Steelers in exchange for a first-round pick as part of a package. The full details of the trade can be found below in a tweet from Adam Schefter.
If Minkah can haul a first-rounder, Ramsey should do that and then some. Ramsey, 24, has been phenomenal during his NFL career. He is a two-time Pro Bowler, was a first-team All-Pro in 2017, and pure shutdown corner. The 6-foot-1 cornerback has everything you want in a coverage guy: confidence, size, talent, and a passion for the game. His ball skills are top-notch, knocking away 45 passes in his career already. Ramsey has also never missed a start in the NFL. He is as reliable as they come. So yes, the Minnesota Vikings should try to bring him in.
I mentioned that I would be comfortable offering a first for Minkah Fitzpatrick, and I would offer so much more for Ramsey. Of course, he has the talent to make a trade worthwhile. For those of you asking about money, I’ll get to that in a minute. But let’s think about the potential of Ramsey in the Minnesota defense.
The Vikings are desperately thin in the secondary thanks to some injuries. Mike Hughes and Mackensie Alexander both seem close to returning to action, but their absence was surely felt early against the Packers. We’ve heard it a thousand times, but Mike Zimmer loves his defensive backs. Why wouldn’t he want a proven stud who hasn’t hit his prime yet? Ramsey has already played in a defense that featured another great corner in A.J. Bouye.
Playing alongside Xavier Rhodes would only bring out the best in each, and Zimmer would have his hands on two studs. Add Harrison Smith behind them and they will play free. Of course, that leaves Trae Waynes in a difficult position. Could he play the slot? Would he be part of a trade package? That would be up for the team to decide.
Show me the money
The Vikings find money in mysterious ways. Making room for Jalen Ramsey actually isn’t as difficult as one would imagine. He is still under his rookie contract, which ends after his fifth-year option in 2020. His rookie deal was mostly guaranteed, putting his yearly base salary at roughly $3.6 million in 2019. The fifth-year option jumps to over $13 million for 2020, but a rise in the salary cap and roster moves next spring can open things up for it to work for the future. The Jaguars are on the hook for the guarantees, putting a trade suitor only on board for the prorated base salary.
Minnesota has a championship-caliber defense that would easily be the best in the league with Jalen Ramsey. The money will not be an issue in 2019, and the rest can be figured out later.
The Jaguars have reportedly asked for at least one first-round pick – and more – in any trade packages. The Minnesota Vikings should throw their hat in the ring. Here are two possible trade scenarios:
Trade 1: Trae Waynes and a 2020 2nd for Jalen Ramsey
Trade 2: 2020 1st, 2021 3rd, and cap filler
One positive for the Minnesota Vikings is that they are in the NFC. Jacksonville would be smart to trade Ramsey outside of the conference. That potentially narrows the field down to 16 teams in the hunt and drastically boosting Minnesota’s chances. Obviously we will not know until a trade is finalized, but the Vikings would be foolish not to make an offer.