JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone wishes Jalen Ramsey well. For real.
The Jaguars' head coach said as much on Wednesday – and he said he meant it – and that was the early reaction to the team trading the two-time Pro Bowl cornerback to the Los Angeles Rams Tuesday evening.
"I have no issues'' with Ramsey, Marrone said as the Jaguars (2-4) began preparing to play the Cincinnati Bengals (0-6) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Added Marrone: "I wish him the best. I really do."
The Jaguars on Tuesday traded Ramsey – the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft – to the Rams for three draft selections: a 2020 first-round selection, a 2021 first-round selection and a 2021 fourth-round selection. The Rams are currently 3-3.
There will be more reaction later Wednesday on jaguars.com to Tuesday's trade, with players expected to speak in the locker room after an early-afternoon practice. But Marrone's late-morning media availability marked the first meeting of a team official since the trade.
Jaguars Owner Shad Khan addressed the trade in a statement, saying "The Jacksonville Jaguars are doing just fine today."
"I give kudos to our football staff for not only managing this matter extremely well, but giving our team and fans a lot to look forward to in years to come," Khan said. "Credit also goes to our players for their professional approach throughout this situation. It did not go unnoticed. Now it's time to turn the attention again to what's most important – the Jacksonville Jaguars."
Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin also addressed the trade in a statement.
"Given the situation with Jalen, we made this decision based on what we thought is in the best interest of the Jacksonville Jaguars, for this season and well into the future," Coughlin said. "We feel the trade that we struck with the Rams gives us great value for the next two drafts, and we remain very confident that our team today will compete this season for a division title. Jalen was a productive player, but the time came to move on and we wish him and his family the best in Los Angeles."
Marrone was asked if he was surprised at the trade's timing.
"In this league, nothing ever really surprises me anymore – especially from the business side of things," Marrone said.
Marrone said he learned of the trade "like everybody else did," with General Manager David Caldwell informing him of the trade Tuesday evening.
The news ended a month of drama around Ramsey, who initially requested a trade following a Week 2 loss in Houston. Ramsey during that game became demonstrative toward the sideline after Marrone did not challenge what Ramsey apparently believed was an incomplete pass. The two then exchanged words on the sideline, with Ramsey and Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations reportedly discussing the situation following the game.
Ramsey, who reportedly was not happy with that meeting, started a Week 3 victory over Tennessee but missed the ensuing three games with a back injury. Ramsey missed practice leading to a Week 4 victory at Denver for multiple reasons – flu, the back, the birth of his child – then did not practice the next week because of his back. Ramsey saw a back specialist in Houston the day after the Jaguars' Week 5 loss to the Carolina Panthers.
He practiced last week, and Owner Shad Khan told a reporter he expected Ramsey to play, but the cornerback was inactive for a Week 6 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
"I think we have to be careful when we say that this a blueprint with injury and wanting to move, because obviously he did have an injury," Marrone said. "So, I don't even want to go there. How to stop anyone else from doing it? I can't answer that. …
"I respect everyone that's in that locker room and the way they handle a lot of their things. It's difficult, especially when a player is injured and doing everything they can to get back."
Marrone said he was doing "everything I can" with Ramsey, and said he spoke to Ramsey shortly after the trade.
"I keep trying to tell everyone: We had a very good relationship, and I told him the same thing: 'I appreciate what you you've done, I wish you the best and I'll see you in the summer,''' said Marrone, whose wife's family is from Ramsey's hometown of Nashville, Tennessee.
Marrone also was asked what could have been handled differently with Ramsey.
"I can't speak for that," Marrone said. "I was busting my butt to get him healthy and get him out there. That's a great question for him. I think he's the only one who's going to be able to answer that."
Marrone also said he addressed the trade with the team Wednesday morning.
"I just told them that we made the trade last night, and that we appreciate what Jalen has done for this football team – and we wish him the best of luck and we have to focus on Cincinnati," Marrone said, adding: "I looked at it as I had a good relationship with him, and we were working together to get him healthy and get him on the field. That's where my focus was, so he could get him on the field and win football games.
"Now, I'm concentrating on the players who are here and getting our guys focused on Cincinnati."