ADVERTISEMENT

How will face Lamar Jackson with the end of the Crows?

ADVERTISEMENT

You can always tell how insecure the fan base is about a player’s future by how easily they can be shaken by a post on social media. Lamar Jackson, who entered the offseason without a contract after the Ravens were eliminated from the playoffs over the weekend, put that theory to the test. On Tuesday, fans in Baltimore gathered on various platforms to share their interpretations of this vulgar post, which Jackson posted to his Instagram story:

ADVERTISEMENT

What did this mean? Lamar’s back is turned to the camera, which makes it look like he’s leaving, right? Or, perhaps, his jersey number cropped to look like a zero means time is up. Wait, I get it: owner Back to the camera to indicate that he is coming Back. Yes, that’s it – nothing to worry about.

It would be easier for Ravens fans to accuse themselves of believing that everything would be fine if Jackson didn’t skip the team’s road trip to Cincinnati over the weekend, an act that sparked rampant speculation. Then on Monday, Jackson posted this to his Instagram feed:

Excuse me. This reads like an angry teen in the middle of a dramatic breakup. The 26-year-old clearly doesn’t feel appreciated, but by whom? Of course, many assume it’s the team, but it’s easy to forget that athletes are human beings with lives outside of the sports they play. Jackson’s position could have nothing to do with his contract negotiations, or it could have everything to do with them. Regardless, this is clear: The Crows will have a football game to play in nine months, and as of now, Jackson is not contractually obligated to play in it.

Usually when we see the starting quarterback for a team that gets to that point, it’s a midrange player who stands on the line between “long-range starter” and “potential liability,” like Blake Bortles or Baker Mayfield. It’s not usually a former MVP who’s just entering the pinnacle of his career. Rarely do these quarterbacks reach the final year of their four-year rookie contracts before getting an extension from their teams. But the Ravens not only let Jackson play that senior year, they also let him play at the fifth-year option. The only other first-round passers to do so are James Winston and Marcus Mariota. Neither of them ever lost again to their respective teams.

We’re still a long way from becoming a reality for Jackson, but it’s shocking that he’s gotten to this point. So how did the crows allow it to get this far? And is there really a chance they’ll let a generational quarterback talent leave?


Jackson and the Ravens were already on bad terms when those long-running contract talks began in the regular season. A deal was supposed to be completed over the summer — deals of this magnitude don’t usually happen during the regular season — but there was a glaring lack of updates on that front. And when Lamar does. One receiver, and close friend, Marquis Brown was traded to Arizona during the draft, We got our first public display of resentment with Jackson. You throw a mysterious injury situation above all else, and the social media drama we’ve seen this week makes a lot more sense.

Jackson suffered a PCL strain early in Baltimore’s Week 13 win over the Broncos. At the time, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh phrased it as a hit that would keep him out for “days to weeks”. That was in early December. The knee injury turned out to be the season-ending one that kept Jackson out of the AFC North title decider in Week 18 and Sunday’s loss. As the weeks went by and Jackson remained sidelined, Harbaugh’s tone when discussing recovery turned increasingly pessimistic:

Frustration was clearly building as this seemingly minor injury continued to keep Jackson on the sidelines. This sparked speculation and discussion about Jackson’s commitment to the team and his rehabilitation process. Even his colleagues were asked about it. Receiver Sammy Watkins, who joined Baltimore after Jackson’s exit, made headlines with comments of this nature, sort of suggesting the quarterback was playing there: “In this league, everybody’s so excited, they get hurt,” Watkins said. Washington Post before the Bengals game. “I don’t want to speak for him and his situation and everything he’s been through through the contracts. I don’t know what world he’s in. But for me, you have the chance to do something special. … He can get this team to the Super Bowl. No I think he thinks of it that way.”

Shortly thereafter, Lamar came out with a statement explaining that he still had knee problems despite the work he had done to rehabilitate it.

After the Bengals’ loss, some of Lamar’s teammates walked out with full quarterback support. Team captains such as Marlon Humphrey and Calais Campbell emphasized Lamar’s dedication to both the team and his rehabilitation work. But Campbell threw a little bait for the skeptics.

“I really think he worked as hard as he could to give him a chance to play,” said Campbell, via the Baltimore Banner. “As he gets older and wiser, he’ll learn how to take care of his body in different ways. He’ll have to learn that process from a pre-absorption procedure so you don’t have to go into rehab, but that’s something that comes from time. When I was 26, I didn’t know what I knew.” Now. There is plenty of time for him to learn and grow.”

I highly doubt Campbell meant much by the comment, but there’s little difference between a 26-year-old defensive end who isn’t doing her best to take care of his body, and a 26-year-old linebacker who’s going for nine. The form of the contract. And even the most ardent Lamar supporter – I consider myself one and believe he is a player Top five quarterbacksThere is no denying that his recent injury record is worrying. This was the second consecutive season that Jackson was unable to finish. Last year, it was an ankle injury that sidelined him, but the result was the same: The Ravens were leading the AFC North when he went down. He was sidelined longer than expected, missed the rest of the year, and Baltimore sank down the standings.

In that regard, I could see how a commitment to pay Jackson a quarter of a billion dollars, with a pool of secured funds, would be difficult for Baltimore. But the thing is, we don’t really know what Jackson is looking for in his next deal. There have been reports that he wants a contract on par with the one Deshaun Watson got from the Browns earlier in the season – with the sticking point being the guaranteed part of the deal. Watson, despite being named in 26 civil lawsuits in which women said he turned professional massages into forced and unwanted sexual encounters, Watson got $230 million from his five-year agreement fully guaranteed. reports said Jackson seeks an agreement structured similarly to Watson’s, including full warranties. The fact that Jackson doesn’t have an agent probably means we only get the team side of the story in any of these media leaks, however He tweeted in August He never received such an offer.

The entire discussion surrounding Jackson is based on speculation. We really don’t know how his knee feels or how dedicated he is to his rehabilitation. We don’t really know what he’s asking for in contract negotiations, or where his head is when he returns to Baltimore at all. But we know this: Jackson’s teammates love him and he’s the best player on the team. Before all this other stuff started coming to light, the debate over how much the Ravens would be willing to pay a quarterback like Jackson was based solely on outdated stereotypes of cellphone, black quarterbacks. There were concerns about the sustainability of his health… despite the fact that the injuries he sustained came in plays he pocketed. There have been concerns about his passing ability… despite the fact that he’s ranked eighth in EPA passing since 2019, according to TruMedia.

Jackson’s injury and subsequent breakdown of the Baltimore offense, which never scored more than a touchdown during his absence until Sunday when he scored a massive touchdown two The landing, once again proved what we already know: The Crows need Lamar more than Lamar needs her. He is the best player on the team and certainly the best offensive player in the team’s history.

For that reason alone, letting Jackson walk away — or even tempting fate by playing the franchise tag game with him — shouldn’t be an option. the only fact The options are to get a long-term deal as soon as possible, or, and this should be the last resort, to trade it in for an impossibly large amount of venture capital. If the commercial compensation for an aging star like Russell Wilson were two first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a three-picker, imagine what the 26-year-old former draftee would be like. The NFL doesn’t allow teams to trade picks from drafts more than a few years in the future, so it may not be possible for even another front office to put together a package worthy of a player like Lamar. Baltimore would almost certainly give him pennies on the dollar.

For these reasons, I think Ravens fans can relax and take a deep breath. NFL teams do some stupid shit, but they don’t just let their star quarterbacks leave the building without a fight. We saw this last year when the Cardinals and Kyler Murray put aside their differences and public bickering to make a long-term deal. Baltimore has its own experience with this, too. A decade ago, the organization was locked in complicated contract talks with Joe Flacco, who wasn’t nearly the player Jackson was after, but was seeking a franchise quarterback. The Ravens were understandably reluctant to push Flacco, who had led the team to some playoff success, but was widely seen as a midway starter at the time. No deal was struck prior to the 2012 season, the final year of his contract, and discussions continued until Flacco went on a historic postseason and led Baltimore to its second Super Bowl title. Shortly thereafter, the team made Flacco the highest-paid player in football, and while he was widely seen as an overpayer, he was seen as a price to pay.

A decade later, the Crows found themselves in a similar place, only without the Lombardi Cup to make negotiations more straightforward. However, the solution to the problem remains quite straightforward: just pay the man whatever he wants.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
%d bloggers like this: