- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 18, 2006

A month shy of four years since he was Washington’s top draft choice, Patrick Ramsey was so diminished in value that the Redskins traded the backup quarterback to the New York Jets yesterday for a sixth-round selection in next month’s draft.

Ramsey’s departure was a foregone conclusion after the Redskins gave him permission to shop his services following a 2005 season in which his role as a starter lasted less than two quarters and Mark Brunell quarterbacked Washington to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Ramsey, who has one year left on his rookie contract, will compete with holdover Chad Pennington to start for the Jets, who changed coaches after slumping to 4-12 last season. Pennington, the toast of the town and a favorite of former Jets coach Herman Edwards after leading the NFL in passing in 2002 and guiding New York to the second round of the playoffs in 2004, played just three mediocre games before undergoing a second shoulder surgery in less than a year in October.

Offensive tackle Jon Jansen, Ramsey’s closest friend on the Redskins, said his buddy “has showed he can be a terrific quarterback in this league” and was looking forward to a legitimate chance to start again.

Said Ramsey: “I am grateful that Coach [Eric] Mangini and [general manager] Mike Tannenbaum have brought me here to compete. I understand Coach Mangini is going to play the best players, and that is all I can ask for. I have a lot of respect for both Brooks Bollinger and Chad Pennington and the work they have put into the Jets. I look forward to working with my new teammates and coaches.”

Not only was Ramsey, who turned 27 last month, behind the 35-year-old Brunell, but the Redskins traded up to choose heir apparent Jason Campbell in the first round last year, and they just signed veteran backup Todd Collins, who spent the past five years in new associate head coach Al Saunders’ offense in Kansas City.

“We appreciate Patrick’s contributions during his time here with the Redskins,” coach Joe Gibbs said in a statement. “Through this entire process we always wanted what was best for Patrick, and in working with him we feel this is where he wants to be. We wish all the best to him and his family and his future with the Jets.”

Ramsey will reunite in New York with favorite receiver Laveranues Coles, who caught 99 passes during their 18 starts together in Washington in 2003 and 2004. Ramsey, who couldn’t be reached for comment, has a career record of 10-14 with 34 touchdowns, 29 interceptions and a 75.0 passer rating.

Although he has a strong arm and unquestioned toughness, Ramsey never made it through an entire season as the No.1 quarterback. Ramsey started his first two games in October 2002, getting sacked 13 times in then-coach Steve Spurrier’s risky scheme and finished out his rookie year by starting the final three games. In 2003, the Redskins were 4-6 when Ramsey suffered a season-ending broken foot Nov. 23 at Miami.

New coach Gibbs, not sold on Ramsey, traded for Brunell the following March, and the veteran won a theoretically open competition that summer. After Brunell had struggled for weeks, Gibbs turned to Ramsey for the last seven games of 2004. Gibbs announced Ramsey would open 2005 as the starter, but when the quarterback didn’t play well in preseason and then was knocked out of the season opener against Chicago, the coach immediately handed the job back to Brunell. With Campbell already in the wings, Ramsey’s time as a Redskin was all but over.

Ramsey’s departure leaves just 12 Redskins whose Washington tenure predates Gibbs’ return in 2004. The only such skill position players are reserve running backs Ladell Betts and Rock Cartwright and receiver Taylor Jacobs, whose future with the team is precarious at best after the additions of Antwaan Randle El and Brandon Lloyd.

Notes — Backup safety Omar Stoutmire signed with New Orleans, leaving only defensive lineman Demetric Evans, linebacker Warrick Holdman and tight end Brian Kozlowski as unrestricted free agents. … Jets guard/center Jonathan Goodwin is expected to be one of a handful of free agents to visit the Redskins next week. Goodwin, 27, made 10 of his 13 career starts last season. Washington needs backup interior linemen to replace the retired Ray Brown and Cory Raymer, who was released.

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