Randy Mueller, 2000 NFL Executive of the Year, has over 30 years of experience in the football business, including general manager positions with the Seattle Seahawks, New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins. With the Heavy, Mueller breaks down the NFL from a main office perspective. You can follow Randy on Twitter @RandyMueller_
With the revelation coming to light via comment by Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti on March 29 that former NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is not interested in signing a long-term extension, Raven is in the middle of a rock. rock and a hard place.
According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, “Bisciotti does not foresee Baltimore signing Jackson before the start of the season” unless he changes his mind and calls Eric. [DeCosta] and said, “I’m ready.”
If I were Raven, I would act sooner to break the deadlock. In a week when the Ravens signed head coach John Harbaugh to a three-year extension keeping him under contract until the 2025 season, the same cannot be said for their QB star.
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It’s not uncommon for a player to refuse piles of cash a team is supporting to dump onto his pitch, but that seems to have been the case for Jackson. Sure, the Deshaun Watson deal (5 years, $230 million total guarantee) with the Cleveland Browns complicates things a bit but there’s a deal to be made if both parties want it.
Bisciotti’s words made it clear that the ball was in Jackson’s court, and that Jackson had neglected to show a willingness to commit, but rather focused on his quest to win the championship. That was noble on his part and by waiting, his price went up. Many eyes in the NFL’s negotiating world are on these deals.
The impact of the Kirk cousins on the Jackson negotiations
No player has bet on himself like that since Kirk Cousins after the 2015 season in Washington when he went from $824,000 to $24 million in 2016. Since then, Cousins has made more money than any QB in the league and no one will be able to put him in their top 5 in this position.
No one has played the system better. Speaking of the top 5, that’s where the Ravens will have to knock Jackson out using a franchise tag – the average salary of the top 5 highest-paid players in a position in a given year. That number will most likely be $43 million annually by 2022.
Most insiders consider this to be the pinnacle of negotiation for Jackson and his advisers. The risk is that Jackson stays healthy and his team is good in 2022. Consider Joe Flacco, circa 2012, as a free agent after leading his team to a Super Bowl win and earning money as the highest paid player in the country. It’s the high limit poker game being played in NFL practice between Jackson and Raven.
The authenticity of Jackson’s motives is known only to him and I would consider him at full face value. I believe him, but as a team, Raven needs to find an alternative.
It’s all about timing. I am not suggesting to continue or not to continue the negotiation, but until they present themselves with a viable option, they are in a precarious position. Some of the worst deals made by NFL generalists stem from making them when you’re desperate and don’t have an alternative. You end up paying too much and not using good judgment.
I lived it and because of this fact, I think Jackson is giving the Ravens a chance to make a choice for themselves.
1 2022 QB prospect who creates sensations for Baltimore
I find backup QB Tyler Hundley admirably performed in 2021 in Jackson’s absence, but I’m talking about the addition of QB in the 2022 NFL draft. Someone the team feels they can. develop and upgrade their pass game.
I actually suggested this as an option for the Browns in 2021 to guard against what happened to Baker Mayfield. Might cost Raven a second round pick or so, but there will be someone in the draft with whom Raven’s evaluators and coaches can come to a clear consensus and feel like they can raise his game.
I happen to like Bailey Zappe, QB from Western Kentucky. I think if he were two inches taller he might be competing for the first QB being considered in this draft. He’s precise, he’s comfortable in the pocket, he’s got plenty of arm strength to predict and for my money can make all the NFL pitches needed to be successful. I see similarities with other 6-foot QBs who have been successful over the past decade in the NFL.
What if the Ravens managed to capture him outside of the first round?
Nobody thinks you can replace Jackson with an untested second-round pick, but he gives them picks and can help them get through the game. It also sends a message to Jackson that we love you so much, we’re getting married and no longer dating. At a bare minimum, it’s an option they don’t currently have.
At least crows ‘need to have a choice’
The Ravens also need to be honest in giving Jackson a market value along with him and his agent – even if it’s his mother. Let’s be real: He’s not Patrick Mahomes, he’s not Josh Allen, he’s not Aaron Rodgers. But my point is, let’s find out where both sides think he is.
The Jackson side will think he should be the highest paid player in football – fully guaranteed just like Watson. It really doesn’t matter what we as fans think, you have to establish common ground between the players and the team to come up with an agreement.
One mistake made in Washington with Cousins in my opinion is that they have no other pick or lane to choose from. They have been cornered and have no choice but to overpay the Cousins significantly.
Not ready to sign right now, Jackson is giving Raven a chance to look for options. No one, not even the media, can question their thought process. It makes perfect sense. No one here suggested Baltimore move from Jackson. I’m suggesting that the Ravens need to make a choice.
In fact, it was probably their only play. It could only save them a few million dollars in the process and bring Jackson closer to the negotiating table.
CONTINUE READING: Former NFL project GM 4 most suitable quarterback remaining
https://heavy.com/sports/baltimore-ravens/lamar-jackson-contract-negotiations-2022/ Former GM: Ravens Need ‘Alternatives’ In Lamar Jackson Negotiations