At least he showed up. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue did not report to the team facility with the rest of his teammates because he wants a new contract, a league source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Ramsey said after June’s mandatory minicamp practice that his agent told him the Jaguars will not give him a contract extension in 2019. Roughly an hour later, Ramsey joked on social media that he’s going to “ask for so much money, they have to put me on lay-away.”
Us sports fans are sort of blatant contradiction. Lots of folks try to at least say out loud that at least 95% of their interest in sports lies in the games themselves. In their teams and wins and losses. In successes and failures.
They/we try and say that the rest of what goes into sports – the drama between players and coaches, contract disputes, off the field tomfoolery, doesn’t peak our interest. If it’s not the product on the field/ice/court it is of noooo concern to us. No sir.
At the same time, we all know that is a lie. We discuss amongst ourselves ad nauseum all that drama and gossip as if we just started season 1 of “Gossip Girl” and are trying to figure out the true identity of this mysterious scribe. It is the worst kept secret in fandom.
One of the specific items of interest of late concerns NFL players and their handling of dissatisfaction with their contracts. Arguably the league’s best Running Back, Le’Veon Bell, sat out all of last season losing an entire years pay, rather than play for the Steelers who he decided were not compensating nor treating him fairly. Before that season began, NO ONE would have believed you had you said Bell would forego the whole year to make his point. But he did.
So now it’s pure exhilaration watching contract disputes because the guy might show up or he may just take paddle boarding lessons in San Diego for a year. Who the fuck knows?
Which brings us to our headline. Jalen Ramsay, never one for the subtle or understated, showed up to training camp in an armored car. He quite literally showed his team that he wants them to “back the Brinks truck up” as a sign of his value. What. A. Move. It’s one thing to hold out, like his teammate Yannick Ngakoue. It’s another to tweet. Another to give interviews. But to roll up ready to get ripped off by Affleck, Renner, and the boys is a different play altogether.
Now obviously it is a massive question whether or not this pays off (GET IT!?) for Jalen Ramsey. Does forgoing a respectable luxury car, sports car, limo, or any other normative means of transportation in favor of hopping out of the back of an armored car drive the point home enough? Does it make Jaguars execs look at Ramsey and say, “you know what, he’s right. Pay him,”? I don’t know. Sure am glad I don’t have to make that decision though.
The rest of this preseason should be chock full of contract and roster drama. We’ll all find it fun, even when we pretend we’d rather talk about the 2-0 pitchers duel the Red Sox just put us through in 95 degree heat. We’ll all even know better.
Maybe that’s just it.