Jalen Ramsey

Jalen Ramsey blames teammate for blown coverage on 49ers' Emmanuel Sanders

ramseyrappap.jpg
AP

Jalen Ramsey blames teammate for blown coverage on 49ers' Emmanuel Sanders

On the most important play of the game of San Francisco's Week 16 win, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey let 49ers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders run right past him on the line of scrimmage.

Seconds later, Ramsey was chasing Sanders down from behind, after the latter had hauled in a 46-yard reception on third-and-16, setting up a game-winning field goal for Robbie Gould.

At first glance, it appeared Ramsey was to blame for allowing Sanders to get so wide open. But in reality, it actually was by design.

The play was designed for Ramsey to play a trail technique, where he would intentionally allow the receiver to get past him so that he would be able to jump anything underneath. The trail technique only works, however, when there's a safety over the top to cover the deep ball. That was Taylor Rapp's responsibility, and the rookie showed his inexperience in turning the wrong way, allowing Sanders to break free inside.

After the game, Ramsey didn't shy away from pointing the finger.

"We was in a form of two-man," Ramsey described. "We had an adjustment check to it because they [were in] condensed splits. I played my technique, trusting that [Rapp] was going to be over top. He wasn't."

By defeating the Rams, the 49ers officially eliminated Los Angeles from playoff contention. Ramsey, who was acquired in a mid-season trade, clearly was frustrated by that development, and might have thrown the second-round pick under the bus as a result.

[RELATED: Where 49ers stand in NFC playoff picture after beating Rams]

It would seem, though, that Ramsey's brief time in Los Angeles thus far hasn't gone the way he had hoped, and therein lies the problem for the Rams. They traded away their own first-round picks in the next two drafts, as well as a fourth-round selection in 2021 to acquire him, and you don't pay that kind of price for a rental. Ramsey, though, will be on the final year of his contract next season and will be due to hit unrestricted free agency in 2021. Whether it's the franchise tag -- which would not go over well with Ramsey -- or a lucrative long-term deal, Los Angeles has already committed itself to the standout cornerback for the foreseeable future.

When you consider that the Rams' draft cupboards essentially are bare and they're about to enter salary-cap hell -- that's what happens when you bank on the wrong QB -- an unhappy team leader (who knows he has all the leverage) could create a troublesome situation. Just ask the Jaguars.

Richard Sherman says Jalen Ramsey has all leverage after Rams' trade

Richard Sherman says Jalen Ramsey has all leverage after Rams' trade

SANTA CLARA -- The Los Angeles Rams gave up two first-round draft picks and a fourth-rounder this week to acquire cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams paid the exorbitant price despite Ramsey being under contract for only another one-and-a-half seasons. San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman, who acts as his own agent, said that puts Ramsey in an incredibly favorable position in his negotiations with the 49ers' NFC West rival.

“It seems like they gave up a lot for him and it’s going to be great for him because he has a lot of leverage,” Sherman said. “I wish they would try to not pay him at this point.

“Give up two first-rounders, and it’s like, ‘Oh, we’re going to play hardball in these negotiations.’ Yeah, back up the Brinks truck to his house and call me when you’re done.”

[RELATED: Gap between 49ers, Rams won't close after Ramsey trade]

Ramsey is under contract to play the 2020 season on the fifth-year option price of $13.7 million. He is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent after the 2020 season. If the Rams do not work out a contract extension, they could also keep him around on the franchise tag.

Jalen Ramsey-Aaron Donald best NFL duo? Marcell Harris says this isn't NBA

Jalen Ramsey-Aaron Donald best NFL duo? Marcell Harris says this isn't NBA

The 49ers' much-improved defense has plenty of star power, but so do their rivals in Los Angeles after a blockbuster trade Tuesday. 

The Rams traded three draft picks -- two first-rounders and one fourth-rounder -- to the Jacksonville Jaguars for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, giving LA two of the NFL's best players at their respective positions when you remember that defensive tackle defensive lineman force of nature Aaron Donald also plies his trade in Tinseltown. 

It'd be difficult to find two players on the same defense better than Ramsey and Donald, so ESPN's "SportsCenter" account asked on Twitter if there is a better duo of defensive cornerstones around the NFL. The problem, according to 49ers safety Marcell Harris? There are nine other players on a defense.

Harris has a point. Star power only can get you so far in the NFL -- even at historically important positions like quarterback or edge rusher -- because of the league's commitment to parity above all else. When it comes to the NBA, a team with the two best players on the court wins in the regular season and playoffs more often than not. 

[RELATED: Shanahan busts out jokes leading into 49ers vs. Washington]

While this is not necessarily Harris' gripe, the 49ers have a strong case to have a duo under consideration. Whether pairing defensive lineman DeForest Buckner and edge rusher Nick Bosa or swapping out one for one of linebackers Kwon Alexander and Fred Warner, San Francisco has a few cornerstones in its front seven. It's that group that made the Ramsey trade a head-scratcher to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco, who argued that the Rams' offensive line should have been a bigger concern than their secondary, considering the 49ers' success in Week 6.

Still, Ramsey and Donald are as good as what they do as just about anyone else in the NFL. The 49ers will get their first look at them in the same defense in Week 16 at Levi's Stadium, and they'll see firsthand whether the duo's dominance lifts the rest of the Rams' defense.