One of the biggest NFL stories circulating over the past year and a half is Lamar Jackson’s contract situation. Like every time his name is mentioned, Lamar creates one of the biggest buzz in the media. Since Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti spoke to the media about the situation, the talks have again exploded. Comments about Deshaun Watson’s contract and guaranteed money have led people to believe Bisciotti won’t step up to give Lamar the money he deserves and wants. This creates belief that Lamar is preparing to walk away from the Ravens, generating even more media talk.
Well, Lamar came out and put those rumors to rest pretty quickly with a tweet.
I love my crows, I don’t know who put this fake story I have thoughts on leaving, stop trying to read my mind
—Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) March 30, 2022
Instead of getting people to take a step back, reassess the situation and discuss what a contract with the Ravens might look like, talk about his departure is still active. I’m starting to feel like the emoji at the end of Lamar’s tweet. One of the most recent discussions took place on ESPN’s show To get up with Mike Greenberg and Michelle Beadle. They did a segment with former general manager Mike Tannenbaum and guest host Chris Long, pictured below.
Tannenbaum praises Lamar for his handling of the situation so far. His opening line says it all: “Lamar Jackson is a great player and Hall of Fame agent.” I find it quite difficult to disagree so far. Lamar could have signed an extension after 2020, following Josh Allen. He probably would have gotten a bigger contract than Allen through a unanimous MVP, over $44 million or more a year. In the meantime, Lamar has made millions more, almost guaranteed to have a minimum of $45 million a year. If he wants to play with a franchise tag or two, who knows where the market will be. $50 million a year for Lamar could be a steal for the Ravens when they finally get a real shot at discussing a contract with him.
Chris Long also chimes in after Tannenbaum’s dialogue. His comments about investing in Lamar are pretty off the mark. They spent $100 million on a left tackle and poured two first-round picks into wide receivers in three years. He has, what Long would call, a “game changer” in tight end Mark Andrews who the front office has invested nearly $60 million in.
It’s also not an easy task to find replacements for your top 3 running backs on your roster just before the start of the first week of September. The Ravens lost their capable 2-gauge, likely Pro-Bowl running backs JKDobbins and Gus Edwards to ACL tears. Both are capable of 1,000-yard seasons and were expected to have a great year in 2021 before their injuries. They also lost the next substitute in line, Judge Hill, when he tore his Achilles tendon. So it makes sense that the running backs on the roster were the “second pass of veterans who couldn’t find jobs elsewhere.” That’s all there was left to sign a week before the start of the NFL season.
I like his comments about the risk of injury that don’t scare Jackson. One of Lamar’s greatest traits as a dynamic quarterback is his ability to avoid contact when running the ball. As Long says, whether it’s going downhill, sliding out of bounds, or maneuvering his body to just take peeks, he’s very controlled when he directs the ball. The hardest punches we’ve seen him take come from the pocket. He didn’t miss a game in college and only missed time due to illness in the NFL before his injury kept him out of six games last season. An injury that was acquired from a dubious blow while throwing the ball, not as a runner.
Of course, the endless white noise never ends when Lamar is involved, so Long has to end with a side commentary. Although Lamar has publicly written about his intention to stay with the Ravens, Long brings up the idea of Lamar coming to his hometown team in Miami, an idea that is gaining traction due to Miami’s recent spending on the offensive end of the game. ball. and the uncertain status of Tua Tagovailoa’s future as a starting quarterback there.
Whether or not Lamar signs an extension before the season, one thing is certain. Tannenbaum is right: Lamar’s silence and his handling of this situation as his own agent made him a lot of money in the years to come.