Before his release by the New England Patriots, many pundits applauded Antonio Brown for masterfully orchestrating his exits from both Pittsburgh and Oakland. They commended him for setting up a scenario that resulted with him signing with a team like the Patriots, a perennial contender. It didn’t matter that his actions were petulant, childish, and maybe even a little embarrassing.
He got what he wanted in the end – so, hooray for player empowerment! But while other actions appear to have led to his demise, it is hard not to wonder if Brown has started something. It seems as if another player unhappy with his current team may have taken a page out of Antonio Brown’s playbook.
According to multiple reports, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey called in sick to work this morning.
It isn’t an unusual thing for someone to do. Most of us have probably done it after a good Super Bowl party. Maybe we did it because we wanted the weekend to start on Thursday night (or Wednesday). We also may have also done it because, like him, we hated where we worked and didn’t want to go.
Of course, there is the distinct possibility that he does indeed have the flu as several media outlets have reported. But at the same time, Thursday night he appeared to be saying goodbye to several players after the game.
It makes the timing of his illness a little convenient.
So, when he heard (or was told by his agent), that the team did not want to trade him, maybe he felt like he needed to do something to force their hand a little bit. Perhaps, if he caught the flu and couldn’t practice today or anytime soon, the Jaguars would weary of him and trade him.
Because if he is so sick he can’t practice, they can’t possibly expect him to play. If they try to call him out and say he is lying, he will point to Sam Darnold. If he can be so sick with mono that he can’t play, surely Ramsey can’t play because of the flu. Should the team try to deny his claim, they will look like jerks attempting to force a sick man to play a dangerous game.
Not only will he win by orchestrating his exit, but he also wins in the court of public opinion.
If that is the case, if it is all a big scam – it’s genius. The Jaguars will grow weary of him. Eventually, they will trade him and be satisfied with what they can get for him rather than what they want. It may take a few weeks, but in the end, he will get what he wants.
If it works, Jalen Ramsey will have orchestrated his exit without looking like a fool.