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Jalen Ramsey’s blue flu won’t help him get what he wants

Several NFL teams have shown serious interest in acquiring defensive star Jalen Ramsey from Jacksonville, but Mike Florio says the Jaguars need to keep the Pro Bowl cornerback at whatever cost.

Jalen Ramsey is messing with the wrong marine.

Although Jaguars V.P. of football operations Tom Coughlin has a well-earned reputation for being overly harsh with football players, Coughlin justifiably will not react well to Ramsey’s ill-conceived ploy to force a trade by feigning illness.

And he’s indeed feigning illness. ESPN’s Adam Schefter set the stage for what’s currently happening over the weekend, when he suggested that Ramsey will “find[] a reason not to practice,” setting the stage for a showdown.

ESPN’s Josina Anderson nevertheless claims that the illness is legitimate: “I’m told Jalen Ramsey is actually legit sick coincidentally, while in the midst of demanding a trade. As for how long this plays out, my understanding is it’s day-to-day at the moment as I’m told ‘all I know is he can’t practice today.’”

He may not be able to practice (if he’s legitimately sick), but he can still show up for work. Especially since he works in a place that has, you know, health-care workers and medications immediately available.

No one (other than Anderson) is buying this, and it’s going to enrage Coughlin. It’s also going to make Coughlin even more determined to stand firm.

It likewise could affect Ramsey’s status in the eyes of other teams, who may be less inclined to trade for a guy who could attempt that same ploy at some point in the future.

For many in the league, faking an illness or an injury amounts to crossing a line that can never be uncrossed. It speaks, many would say, to the heart and the character of a football player. This reality makes it even more important -- if Ramsey is truly sick -- that he does everyhing he can to show up at the facility to let the Jaguars confirm for themselves that he truly has some sort of an illness that would keep him from practicing, because of the strangely coincidental nature of the situation.

Ramsey needs to know how this looks, if he’s truly sick. And he needs to care enough about how it looks to make sure that no one thinks he’s faking an illness. Leaking that he’s “actually legit sick” to someone in an industry that thrives on information and access is not the way to create the impression that he’s not faking it.