October 17, 2019
Earlier this week, news broke that All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey had been traded, not only to a team other than the Eagles, but to one of the teams the Birds could be fighting against for a playoff spot come late December: the L.A. Rams.
Given that the Eagles are in desperate need of secondary help — not to mention that the trade deadline is less than two weeks away — the fact that the biggest cornerback name out there is now off the market is not sitting well with the majority of the fanbase, even though acquiring the talented 24-year-old defensive back would've cost at least two first rounders and a fourth rounder.
Well, as it turns out, Eagles fans aren't the only ones upset that Howie Roseman and Co. weren't able to land the coveted corner despite being one of the teams most linked to Ramsey in the days and weeks leading up to the eventual trade. According to ESPN's Josina Anderson, at least one player in the Eagles locker room feels like the team let its players down.
#Eagles player to me on Jalen Ramsey going to the #Rams: "We dropped the ball. I don't even want to talk about that (!@#^). Everybody knew what it was going to take to get him. I could've told you that."— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) October 17, 2019
Before you start questioning the validity of anonymous sources, there's a pretty good reason whoever this player is would want to remain unknown — he is, after all, criticizing the people who are directly responsible for him having his current job and can take it away at any time.
Whether or not you agree with his opinion that the Eagles should have offered more than the Rams, however, that's definitely open for debate. Here's what our own Jimmy Kempski wrote immediately following the trade:
On the "that's too rich of a cost front," they keep their their next two first-round picks. For a team that had the second-oldest roster in the NFL heading into this season and a severe lack of young/cheap, first-contract talent, the Eagles need to hit on as many of their future draft picks as possible. Otherwise, after finally breaking through with the first Super Bowl title 20 months ago, they run the risk of seeing what might have been a nice long run of contention fizzling out earlier that anyone would have expected.
On the "but just go get him" front, the Eagles value the cornerback position highly, behind only the quarterback position, and likely a smidge behind offensive tackle and the pass rush. They've dumped a lot of resources into building their anemic cornerback position for years, and still haven't gotten that fixed, as any casual observer has seen over the last, um, decade? Ramsey would have boosted the Eagles' chances of contending this season, and would also check one of the cornerback boxes for the foreseeable future, assuming a trade for him would also result in an eventual contract extension.
Part of the reason the Eagles might have felt that price was too high to pay is that Jalen Mills and Ronald Darby should both be back on the field soon, and perhaps Roseman believes that a cheaper acquisition — perhaps someone like Chris Harris Jr. of the Broncos — combined with players returning from injury could be enough to solidify a secondary that has been absolutely abysmal this season.
But with Ramsey out of the picture, and the deadline rapidly approaching, the Birds are running out of both options and time.
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