What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
The Original Argument: The Baltimore Ravens’ level of interest in taking a long-term risk on Lamar Jackson is diminishing.
Where We Are Today: The Ravens aren’t alone.
There’s two ways of looking at this situation. One option is to throw around a lot of bluster like professional blow-hack Stephen A. Smith. Like of many of his counterparts at the World Wide Bottom Feeder and across the sports media world in general, Smith seems to be taking it personally over what some quarterback gets paid.
I could understand this level of vitriol if Smith or the screamers of his ilk were Jackson’s agent or members of the player’s union. At least in that case, they’d have some skin in the game. But I’m not here to ponder their probably scurrilous and certainly uninteresting motives. I’m on record back in Part I that I honestly couldn’t care less about the opinions of those who think they know best how to spend money that isn’t theirs.
Instead, I’d like to point out my main assertion on this matter as expressed in the earlier piece: Lamar Jackson is a bad risk for $200 million+ guaranteed. I don’t need to rehash why I said that a few weeks back; you can always go back and revisit my reasons. The bottom line is I took the rational approach to this situation. From a strict business position, pumping guaranteed money into a play-maker who relies on his legs…and already has two significant leg injuries…has far too much potential to back-fire. Not to mention from here, the stakes only go up from here.
At this point, it’s’ clear I’m not the only one who sees that. Like I said in Part I, the most likely outcome here was the Ravens were going to place some form of franchise tag on Jackson. But once they used the non-exclusive version on him, the door was open for any other NFL to make Jackson an offer. As we sit on the cusp of the NFL’s unbridled free-agency period, not one team has even politely tapped on the frame of that open door.
Up front, Stephen A. Smith need not worry about the origins of Lamar Jackson’s next meal. No matter where he plays football in 2023, the franchise tag means he’s getting $32 million. But like a poker tournament, eventually the antes go up. That’s what will keep other teams away.
After 4 p.m. Eastern (U.S.) time today, all the doors are open in terms of tossing out proposals. There’s rumors floating about today that the Ravens have offered Jackson an extension for 3years and $133 million…every nickel of it being guaranteed. However, that feels like simply an excerpt from Baltimore’ original offer. In any event, the fact remains that for everybody except the Ravens, this afternoon the price of poker goes up.
While other teams can make offers for Lamar Jackson, there’s two catches. First, the Ravens have the opportunity to match any offer, which would allow them to keep Jackson. In other words, a team can make a proposal, then get left at the altar. Now, if the Ravens decline to match an offer, the offering team gets Jackson, but then has to give the Ravens two first-round draft picks.
I’m not saying nobody won’t take that bet…but before I dare speculate on who might, let’s take a look at what’s on the table.
There are some who can’t believe the Ravens haven’t locked up the former Heisman Trophy and NFL MVP winner. There are those like Stephen A. Smith who have their own theories as to why. Before this season, Baltimore offered Jackson a six-year, $290 million deal which included $133 million in guaranteed money. Lamar Jackson opted for the “betting on himself” angle by turning down that deal.
Now the bet is all about what can Lamar Jackson deliver. NFL teams live and die on the salary cap and draft picks, and whatever an suitor for Jackson thinks the pay-off might be, the next decade of that franchise would be riding on it. Betting on Lamar Jackson is the definition of going “all in” for any NFL general manager. Not only does it means the future of the team, but it can have dire consequences for the guy who made the wager. Do the homework and find out how many NFL general managers had their careers torpedoed by a single gamble.
Given all that, noise-holes like Stephen A. Smith insult the intelligence of anybody who can think beyond “click-bait” and truly understands risk management. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…as an old poker player, where the pot stands now, were I in that position, I wouldn’t push my chips in on Lamar Jackson.
Change my mind.
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