Luke Jones offers Dennis Koulatsos some insights into Liars Luncheon and no questions about Lamar Jackson
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Luke Jones, Dennis Koulatsos
Dennis Koulatsos 00:02
Welcome back on the flip side where Luke Chamaraja waits for us to tell us his observations and thoughts for the lives luncheon that I’m sure all ravens nations tuned into. Luke, welcome back.
Luke Jones 00:13
Dennis, good to talk to you again. And yeah, it was a very interesting I won’t say interesting meaning anything earth shattering, but obviously with the elephant in the room being Lamar Jackson. And it’s not just the biggest story here in town. It’s the biggest story in the NFL, and the Ravens and Eric d’acosta Completely unwillingness to talk about it to the point where Raven’s PRs cutting off the third question about it. And look, I get it to a point Nestor and I had a very impassioned conversation about this. Yeah, look,
Dennis Koulatsos 00:49
I know he comes up towards the end of the show with me, and I’m sure he has a lot to say on the subject. I mean, surely, he’ll have a lot to say on it.
Luke Jones 00:56
And, you know, we, you know, we got it, kind of it got a little heated, and it’s not even that we disagreed on on points. But here’s what I will say is I’ve thought about it, you know, talking about this 24 hours later. I think what bothers me about it is and look full disclosure, the ravens, PR staff absolutely had tried to steer the conversation to not make this all about Lamar and to understanding we have a job to do but also understanding Hey, it’s a pre draft luncheon press conference, it’s about that. Which, okay, you know, what, Dennis? I’m fine. If, with the couple questions we ask, answer the question, then, look, it would not have been that hard for Eric Acosta to say something resembling substance. That really isn’t anything in the big picture. Do you follow what I’m saying? Like?
Dennis Koulatsos 01:48
Well, you know, we have a saying, it’s not just my business, but eat the frog. Right? When you have when you have a situation the quicker you swallow it to get rid of it the better right? If you have two frogs, you eat the bigger the so yeah, the frog in a room, an elephant? What are we going to call it? So let’s take gentlemen, ladies, whoever’s in the room. Let’s take 510 minutes. Right talk about Lamar Jackson, let’s get him out of the way. But understanding what you understand that this is a large luncheon, this is a pre draft, meeting with you all, understanding that this is the biggest story in the NFL, perhaps in all of sports, right? I mean, once the mattress goes away in Wrestlemania, and this, that and the other March Madness, it’s still the biggest story in all the sports. So let’s acknowledge it. Let’s go through the storm together. Let’s not let’s not spend 90% of the of this conversation. But let’s spend 10% Is that do we agree upon it? Yes. And then genuinely answered the questions versus deflect and say the same thing they’ve been saying all along.
Luke Jones 02:39
Right, right. So so for me, I mean, it didn’t even have to be 10 minutes. So even if it’s even if it’s ended up being what it was, guys, I’ll take a couple more questions. Yeah, because here’s the thing, when you completely if you want to, if you want to try to steer the conversation, me as a media member, I’ll say, Okay, fine. Then whatever questions we ask it, and look, we understand that you can’t be fully transparent, we understand how delicate and complicated this situation is. However, when you go through the entire thing without even mentioning Lamar Jackson’s name and you refuse to comment? Yeah, that that to me is, if you’re if you want to if you want to dictate the terms of what questions we can or cannot ask, fine, but then answer a couple questions. Right, and then we move on. So that didn’t happen. Instead, we got a filibuster? No comment, you know, it did not answer. Because here’s the thing. And Eric made mention that this is, you know, that in some capacity or another, they’ve talked about this five times since the end of the season. Well, that’s one that’s not really true. Because Eric had spoken twice since the end of the season. And one of those was in Indianapolis, that’s not a local media event. So and since the last time he had spoken in Indianapolis on March 1, Lamar Jackson had requested his trade, even if it hadn’t been made public yet. And the Ravens had placed the nonexclusive tag. So a lot had happened since the last time he answered that, look, it would not have been that difficult to say, Hey, I’ve spoken to Lamar or I haven’t spoken to Lamar since he tweeted out his announcement and revelation that he had requested to trade. We are still hopeful and optimistic that we’re going to work something out. Lamar is our quarterback we plan on him being our quarterback week one, we have his contractual rights at the moment. You know, we can’t guarantee anything because this is the business and we respect his business acumen and we have our own, it would have been very easy to say something like that. Instead, they just said no comment. Now. The thing I will say and this is where Nestor and I kind of you know, argued or debated was when he said when he is basically given a no comment to the first couple questions and then when PR does cut off the next question, which ironically, was much more about the quarterback draft class. Then Lamar
Dennis Koulatsos 05:00
Jackson, but 100%
Luke Jones 05:02
what it was. And to be clear, they answered questions about the quarterback class, as as the press conference went on, and even acknowledged the possibility and this was telling, and this really spoke to the different tone that they took that Eric acknowledged that well, we have quarterbacks on our board. So theoretically, you know, hypothetically, we could take a quarterback in the first round now, whether you actually believe that or not, and it’s most likely a moot point unless you’re talking about overdrafting Hendon, hooker, that 22 There’s not going to be a quarterback.
Dennis Koulatsos 05:31
But Levis is dropping, so there’s a chance that may be there at 22. So whether they trade back or pick him, but also with the uncertainty of quarterback, I mean, of course, he had to interject Lamar Jackson into this into the pre draft, because it does affect whether it’s quarterback wide receiver running back scheme, guard, whatever you want to go to. But yeah, whether Henan hooker is there in a second round if they trade back or, and I think teams are paying attention, because are you going to get a back party with the last pick of the draft every year? No. But to Eric’s point, every pick is potentially very, very important to the organization.
Luke Jones 06:08
It is so so just you know, just to finish my thought there. If if ravens PR and the Ravens wanted to steer the conversation from away from Lamar Jackson, I get that look, I understand it’s the pre draft press conference, but we’re not doing our jobs if we’re not going to ask about it. And the idea is with the understanding of okay, we won’t pepper you with 30 Lamar Jackson questions, the couple that we do ask, give us something of substance that’s usable, right. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable, I scratch your back, you scratch mine kind of scenario. So you know that that’s the point. Last point, I’ll leave, but they’re going to handle things the way they want to handle them. Certainly, we’ve talked about Nestor and I’ve talked about that a whole lot. And we’ll continue to so that is what it is. And but at the same time, on the other hand, what are they going to say at this point? You know, we know what this is? It’s and let’s face it, it’s a lousy, it’s a lousy situation. And I think the overall tone on you know, what is usually a pretty light hearted fun press conference. Look, it’s called the liars lunch. And we know we’re not getting any earth shattering information about draft prospects, you know, you’re not going to sit there and say, Yeah, that’s the guy. We’re open the draft in the third round, or that’s the guy that we think stinks. And we took off our board. But at the same time, when you have this cloud, this Lamar Jackson, sad saga, this impasse hanging over the entire organization, heck, to your point hanging over the entire NFL world at this point in time.
Dennis Koulatsos 07:37
It really bigger than the Aaron Rodgers story. I mean, we go through this with Aaron every year. And so it seems this is a huge, huge deal. I mean, the biggest story was Tom Brady. Well, he’s retired. Now you got Aaron Rodgers, but Lamar Jackson is far and away the biggest store in the NFL, but I thought it was fully handled by the PR department on a number of levels in terms of setting the room, reading the room, setting the expectation, and gone through through the questions that you knew, reporters wanted to ask because it’s what the fans want to know, to that’s your job is, is to ask questions that the fanbase is curious and learning the answer to
Luke Jones 08:12
no question about it. And again, that’s where I said, you know, for the, you know, the the pre screening that they did, okay, fine. Understand, no problem. But to me, that comes with an understanding that there’s going to be something resembling substance, even if it’s not really substance, sad about it. Acknowledging that, yes. Yep. You know, Eric talking about, you know, I mean, that’s what was so odd about the juxtaposition of this, compared to a week ago, when, you know, a little over a week ago, when John Harbaugh was speaking as Lamar tweeted out, John was still going off the old script there, right. So it’s very clear they changed their tone. You know, that’s my biggest takeaway is that change that shift in tone on Wednesday, and now, that doesn’t mean Lamar is absolutely 100% done in Baltimore or not? I still think this could go a lot of different ways. But I think if you’re going to set it lay out an expectation that the media not make this all about Lamar Jackson, that’s fine. Then answer a couple questions about it and give, give your best non answer answer that you can give and not just, you know, don’t just hide behind a no comment, then. That’s, that’s that’s my biggest takeaway, as I’ve thought about it now, over close to 24 hours.
Dennis Koulatsos 09:36
So you don’t think they would have answered the question that there’s a rumor outright that they have pulled the contract offer from Lamar, the 133 guarantee? You don’t think they would have answered that?
Luke Jones 09:48
No, not quite. Not quite. I mean, I would have settled for Eric. You know, I’ve talked to Lamar or I haven’t talked to Lamar or this is the last time we spoke anything Long as last but yeah, I mean, it’s
Dennis Koulatsos 10:02
any truth to this rumor. Yeah. What do you expect the guy to say at that point, but I do think it’s telling that they said it, they’ll consider a quarterback and why why shouldn’t they consider a quarterback whether it’s hooker or levels or Stetson Bennett on someone else? Right? I mean, they they need mean right now. What do they have on a contract that quarterback room? What does that look like? And the other piece of it? What if Lamar Jackson decides this to say that the season, they have to have it, they have to have a plan B and A Plan C?
Luke Jones 10:30
Yeah. And it’s not even that you feel particularly good about Plan B or Plan C at this point in time, but it is what it is at this point. And, you know, they have to do their due diligence that if Indianapolis does come calling about trading or trying to sign them onto an offer sheet again, I don’t think they’re going to, at least you know, Jim Mercedes seemed seemingly done his best to dismiss that notion. But you never know. I mean, it’s just we’ve talked about it at this point in time, all bets are off. And that’s why I’ve kind of, you know, I was pushing back on this even a year ago, when people kept saying, Oh, it’s a non story, they’re gonna get a deal done. It’s like, well, it’s a story. Yeah. Well, I’m talking back then we’re not hearing
Dennis Koulatsos 11:11
it. It is, right.
Luke Jones 11:15
It’s a story till it’s not anymore. So yeah, so but that’s, that’s my big thing at this point. You know, we can’t make any assumptions at this point. And look, you can sit there, you can sit there and say, well, there’s not another team that that’s vying for Lamarr services. And look, it certainly appears that way. However, we also know Lamar Jackson, misguided are not smart or wise or not. He has a lot of conviction. Or if you want to call it stubbornness, or we’ll however you want to characterize it. That said, How do you know that he’s just automatically going to play on the tag or that he’s going to show up? We don’t even August 15, let alone no talking to before the start of the season. So there’s just how can you predict any of that, because of how he has how he’s operated? Let’s face it at this point in time, doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.
Dennis Koulatsos 12:09
Does this team have the appetite to go straight through this scenario? Another full season, I mean, there’s look, the way the draft one unfolds. If at four, let’s say CJ Straub is there, and they have him as a best rated quarterback in the draft and the culture. Listen, we’ll give you what gave me the fourth floor bar straight up, if they have the appetite to move away from him and eat the proverbial frog at that point. It’s not a stretch to think that I’ll do it and I’ll have their 22nd and whatever, but at least I’ll have a quarterback that can that will appease a fan base and say, Okay, we got a fresh start another five years. Maybe he’ll he’ll develop, maybe he won’t, but we just don’t have the appetite to we’ve done it for two years. Well, the more we’re exhausted, you know, he keeps moving the goalposts. He doesn’t want to fool the guaranteed deal, but he does what, at least 231 guaranteed,
Luke Jones 12:54
right? So that’s semantics, ethics, right? So
Dennis Koulatsos 12:58
who’s kidding who here? So like you said, the fact that they even mentioned, and that’s posturing, and they use a press conference to send a message, I’m sure to him and his camp that oh, they’re considering taking a quarterback. So it’s tit for tat. You know, he, he, he the bombs, crashed bombs harpaz presser a week ago, and they come out and say, Well, yeah, we certainly consider a quarterback at some point. So now that’s on his camp. So and again, all of it might be posturing. But we don’t know. We just don’t know.
Luke Jones 13:28
It’s impossible to know. Because I don’t think they know. I mean, I really don’t I think you
Dennis Koulatsos 13:33
have to know that. But they have to they have to hope for the best Luke and I have to prepare for the worst. And that’s where and I’ve seen I’ve seen what can do it and become on a cam Newton’s was a great player, but his shoulder was shot the last time I saw him play he can’t he just can’t throw the ball. But they have to have a contingency plan. And it really shouldn’t be Tyler Huntley. No offense to Tyler Huntley, but he’s a serviceable good backup quarterback from what we’ve seen in the NFL, but if they start to see that with haunt me behind center, you’re looking at 899 and eight, I mean, based on a bet, at best, right, based on the performance, your defense and everything else. You just cannot win without a quarterback. And that’s yeah, that’s the pickle that Durbin because people all you have to get rid of Omar, and then why? I mean, the guy you can’t ignore his record, you just can’t.
Luke Jones 14:19
Right. Exactly. And that’s where, you know, that’s where I think both sides of the aisle in this argument. Look, there’s there’s a wide range, right. And I found myself at different spots on that scale at different times. You went up even down a year ago, at this time, I would have told you I think the ravens are gonna have to give Lamar fully guaranteed deal, but part of the problem with that Dennis was he never exercised any leverage to try to do that, you know, his move to try to do that a year ago would have been to hold out in training camp and trying to try to, you know, but now when he didn’t do that, and then he has a second straight season where he finishes injured, I mean it just so but I want to go back to something that you just said because it was interest thing to me. And this, you know, this ties in with the point that you had made as far as just the fatigue, the sheer exhaustion that the entire organization has with this. If you’re in a position with, let’s say, Lamar, let’s say he’s playing on the tag holds out until, I don’t know, the final week of August, you know, and this is a complete spit ball scenario, at what point in time. And you can say all you want about John Harbaugh, or the leadership in the locker room, players, you know, they like Lamar, and they do. Everyone likes Lamar is a person, anyone that I think has looked at this would still say, probably to a man, that they like, Lamar, as a guy, it’s just like, What are you doing, man? Like, what are we doing here? From a business standpoint, from a negotiating standpoint, you know, especially now when it’s, you know, it’s clear what his market is, it’s not aligned with what he wants. I mean, that’s just the case, just like the housing market or cars or anything. There’s ebbs and flows to it, right. I mean, what something is worth at some point in time, does it mean what it’s going to be worth a year or two from now? So you look at that, but at some point in time, and you know, to use your Tyler Huntley example, and I don’t, I’d probably be a little bit on the lower side and say, I think they’d be a seven and 10 kind of team probably right. Yeah. But that’s also eliminating and discounting the human element. And at one point in time, does this scenario, crater, your locker room, and that doesn’t mean that it completely. Everyone hates eats, eats each other, and that you’ve turned into like the 1970s, New York Yankees, but it does lend itself to an idea of without Lamar Jackson, its team doesn’t have a shot to win a Super Bowl as its presently constructed. Like it’s just not even close. Right? Unless you would, you know, unless you draft CJ Stroud somehow, and he’s amazing as a rookie. So you know, I’m assuming that kind of scenario is out of play. You don’t have a shot at the Superbowl? So when you have that, what impact is it having on your locker room? What impact does that have on other players making business decisions? You know, doesn’t mean that everything falls apart, and that you you’re at each other’s necks. But are you winning as many of those close games? Are you putting in the same kind of work every week? There’s a trickle down effect, and how could there not be? So that’s where you kind of you kind of look at this in its totality now bringing it back to the big picture of where they are right now, after eliminating that specific scenario. But looking at it in general, at some point, how’s this not impacting? Yeah, we’ve talked it sure as heck has impacted the rest of their offseason. I mean, do we really think if Lamar Jackson was on a long term contract right now that they’re single addition outside the organization would be Nelson Aguilar, come on now. You know, I mean, so it’s, it’s absolutely impacting their roster construction. And at some point in time, I don’t know how it doesn’t really start to impact what’s happening on the field with the rest of your players. And, you know, whether it’s flat out dissension, and resentment, or whether it just becomes a case of guys are kind of checked out. You know, I think that’s those are factors that are impossible to quantify or predict, but I don’t know how you can dismiss that. The possibility of that happening. If this does drag on and there continues to be no resolution in sight.
Dennis Koulatsos 18:29
I have a couple of close sources who shared with me the Lamar Jackson hasn’t talked to JK Dobbins Rashard Bateman, since the end of last season, that’s disappointing to hear. There’s other rumors about his his habits and start, you know, being late missing treatments, etc. So there’s also a lot of stuff behind the scenes that may or may not be true that we’re not aware of, but the team is aware of it, right. So that’s, the guy can win games, but when you get to, he can win games. And but anytime you got to say the phrase, but after you’re talking about somebody, it does give you cause for concern and to pause and take a look at things a little bit differently.
Luke Jones 19:06
Yeah, no question. And I mean, look,
Dennis Koulatsos 19:09
we see OTAs last year and you ideally you want your franchise quarterback, the faith your franchise to be there, you want it to be in Cincinnati, I don’t care what the circumstances during the playoff game. So my point is, your point about the locker room is how does how does the locker room view him? Is he the guy still or not?
Luke Jones 19:26
Well, and even with that, I think you can still really like a person. Sure. And really like him as a you know, even as a teammate as certainly love them as a player to your point how successful they’ve been at least in the regular season. But this is where I think when something’s gone on this long. And you know, you were just alluding to some of it and look, we’ve we’ve all heard the rumors conjecture, different things have been out there. You know, how much of its true how much of it’s false, how much of it is somewhere in the middle, which is usually how it works. But I think this is a time where You always try to separate the business side, from the player, you know, the the athlete, the, you know, the all the prep everything that goes into it. But when you’re seeing something like this, and you know, whether it’s questionable decisions as far as still not employing an agent, or, you know, you’re having Ken Francis making teams may call at some point in time, you have to start to connect the dots in some way. And you kind of say, Okay, how does this all Jive as far as trying to win a Super Bowl and doing everything you can to win? And, you know, that’s when you just how can you not? How can you ignore a disconnect there? Look,
Dennis Koulatsos 20:38
so put up put on your GM hat. And this is Ken Francis, or Lamar Jackson calling you and you’re the GM? And I’m going to go negotiate with you. And I’m going to tell you Look, I don’t need a fully guaranteed contract. But we started with 231, you’re going to check you want to check out at Hello, you’re going to say listen, you got about 30 seconds here. More or less of time with me because we’re in a whole different ballpark. You know, you are 133 From what I hear with the ravens, nevermind a Watson deal. You’re not getting that to 31 We’re out. You know, we could if you tell him to 20 months, we’re not talking, then what’s the point? You see what I’m saying that we’re wasting time here? Yeah, we’d love to have one. But if 231 is your starting point, we’re not we’re not we’re nowhere near the ballpark. So no wonder no one has expressed interest in them.
Luke Jones 21:24
Here’s the I mean, this is a very simplistic example. I can tell you, you know, the finest vehicle you have on your lot tennis and you have plenty and I Koons has done so well for me over the years reciate that but I could say the finest highest price bracket that you have. That’s a non starter for where I am financially. And Lawson I love you. But like we’re not even gonna negotiate about that. Because that’s just not what I realistically
Dennis Koulatsos 21:54
we go through it every day I traded a beautiful 2022 BMW and his beautiful green with 1400 miles. I got a price at 91 grand it’s five grand behind market value. I got a guy in Montana offer me 80 grand for it. Love you want to do business with you, but we transact at 91 You’re at 80 I can show you cars and 80 grand range but if you want that car it’s gonna cost you 91 It’s no different. It’s nothing personal about it. It just right you know the value that’s gotta be there. In there’s real simple. Yeah, and there’s no view. But if you’re a normal NFL GM, you got the pretty smart and you got a guy telling you whether it’s an agent Lamar 231 Is my client starting price. We’re not We’re not What are you talking about? Guaranteed in this league? What are the Watson deal? Can’t talk about that. That’s an outlier. Let’s talk about the Murray deal. Let’s talk about you know, the Wilson deal. Let’s talk about you know, the all the recent deals, let’s talk about the pending deals or borrow and then the rest of those guys right, which hadn’t happened yet. They’re not getting guaranteed contracts either.
Luke Jones 22:58
And if they do then, okay, we’ll come back to this but
Dennis Koulatsos 23:01
the only the only way those guys get if they all got together with Lamar and Burroughs got together with Lamar and so did at Harvard and, and Hertz Hertz. Yeah, those four guys got together and said we want guaranteed contracts. That I’m surprised that haven’t done it that would change the equation if this the players colluded because if I’m an agent, I’m talking to if I’m Herbert’s agent, I’m talking to birds as agent. And we’re both talking to hertz as agent. And we’re talking to Lamar lets all four of us collude and set this bar. But Lamar can’t do it by himself. Yeah.
Luke Jones 23:29
Oh, no question. No question about that. Another point I want to mention, because it’s along these lines, because you talked about other teams, and Lamar is asking price being a non starter. I think something that’s kind of been lost here. And I saw Kevin Cole, who’s a former pro football focus data scientist, and I know that sounds nerdy, but he did a piece I think was just his substack. I linked to it in my latest 12 ravens thoughts at Baltimore positive.com. But he offered a really nuanced look. And I think, what so many people have missed in this whole debate, and everyone has their own opinion, right? You’ve seen so many players. And look, I’ve said over and over, fundamentally speaking in a big picture, in a vacuum kind of sense. I fully support players trying to get fully guaranteed deals, they play a brutal game. This is a lucrative multibillion dollar industry, these owners could afford fully guaranteed deals if they want to do it. But understanding there’s a market and there’s supply and demand. And there’s all those circumstances. But the point the point I want to make though, Dennis, is he, Kevin Cole did a really nuanced look here. And what a lot of people forget, is just the vast difference in opinion among NFL talent evaluators collectively on Lamar Jackson, that goes back to the 2018 draft, right or wrong and very clearly, there were plenty of teams that were wrong that could have very much benefited Lamar Jackson being drafted there as opposed to 32nd overall to the Ravens. But that perception, whether it’s groupthink, whether it’s continuing to have an overwhelming focus on the pocket passing game, traditional quarterbacks, I’ll throw race and all those different elements you can do that can all be part of the pie. But the point is, all of those, collectively, the NFL talent evaluators told you how they felt about Lamar Jackson Five years ago. So there’s that. And then you couple, you know, but you couple that with everything else that we’ve talked about asking price, no age and all the injuries of the last couple years. And it’s just like, are we, we probably shouldn’t be that shocked by this. If we’re being honest, when again, you look at all of these factors. And there’s a phenomenon, I was reading a book by Keith law baseball writer, and he was kind of talking about anchoring bias. And what that is, is basically you tend to revert to your original idea, your original information that you have on someone, and what’s the original information that people have on Lamar, it’s gone back to the draft and how teams felt about him then? And yes, he was a unanimous MVP in 2019. And that, should I emphasize, should have changed people’s opinions. But that was still the peak, and he hasn’t played as well, in the three years since then. So people right or wrong? And again, I think a lot of it’s wrong, I think there are a lot of teams that should be after Lamar Jackson, if we’re just talking from a football standpoint, but that’s not what it’s only about. So I My point is Kevin Cole offered this nuanced look. And he looked at efficiency metrics and all kinds of different things. And, you know, his conclusion was that, yeah, there probably should be some long term concern about how Lamar is game ages. But he also had evidence that suggests that, you know, over the next four or five years, probably okay, but he also acknowledged what, Lamar is very unique. So there’s not a whole lot of data to go off of, as far as precedent and previous examples of players that you can look to, you know, Cam Newton, but Cam Newton, much more physical than more historic, much, much, much bigger, too. So. But his overall point seemed to align with where I’ve been on this all along, which is, I’d be totally comfortable offering Lamar Jackson, what the Ravens have offered him, which is top of the market in the traditional quarterback, contract stance. But I’m sorry, if you’re asking me to give a fully guaranteed deal to a quarterback, you know who I’d give it to Patrick mahomes. Right. But I’m not sure I’m giving it to anyone else. Yeah. And I will say Lamar is not the run of run heavy quarterback who has had some injuries the last couple years. And, and this might be as much the Ravens fault as Lamar has not necessarily shown that he’s going to play from the be able to play from the pocket more at the kind of high level that it’ll take as he gets older. That I’m sorry, that’s not the example of the guy that I’m going to say, I’m going to break through and give that fully guaranteed contract to I’m just not and that’s saying that as someone who loves watching Lamar Jackson play football, see, well,
Dennis Koulatsos 28:18
we’re about to send the owner, Luke, is that the impact that an injury on a guaranteed contract will have on your roster or a big contract? Well, you’ve seen that many times, not just in the NFL, but the Ravens were wanting Stanley even playing, you know, you got this big hit against your cap. And if it wasn’t for the cap, I would say you know what, I’d be all for guaranteed contract. But since every team does have a cap, you have to give yourself as a business person some injury protection. And that’s why I wouldn’t give Lamar Jackson, a guaranteed contract and I’m with you the only person I would give a guaranteed contract to when in fact, we would be Patrick mahomes, the Browns made a grave error in making Deshaun Watson, the first player to have a fully guaranteed contract. We know cars and stuff have gotten guaranteed contracts in the past as well, but not three years. Right. Yeah. So but but that’s to me is they have to play some defense in case of injury. Now if that if that money didn’t count against the cap space. I’m all for it. But since it doesn’t, it limits what your team can do that 2020 to 25%. Cap it. You just can’t compete with that with your quarterback in the tub.
Luke Jones 29:23
Well, I mean, again, it comes back to all of its related, right. And again, that’s where that’s why I said fundamentally, I’m in support of that fight for the players. But that’s a fight that is not going to happen overnight. And to your point, maybe it’s going to take some four or five quarterbacks banding together. And but but here’s the thing, and this is where you kind of look at this. In the NFLPA. It’s not very powerful. It’s just not. You see that with you’ve seen that with with the CBAS. And like, you know, you hear that there hasn’t been that resolve in law. If you’re going to ask me how I’m going to route first of all, I’m not losing too much sleep for any of them because they’re all awake and making way more money than they are. But it on a very superficial level. Yeah, I’ll root for the millionaires against the billionaires. But at the same time, there’s got to be a plan. And to the point that we made earlier in our discussion, you know, I’m not going to continue to belabor it. But if Lamar truly wanted a fully guaranteed deal, the time was last year, to apply the pressure, I would hire an agent. And I think there probably was an agent, or three out there, that probably I’ll say this much, maybe wouldn’t have gotten the full guarantee from the ravens, but would have gotten a way bigger full guarantee than they were offering. Let’s put it that way. And, you know, this might be done at this point, but instead he kinda the only the only leverage he used was sitting out OTAs which look complete, not a big deal in the big picture. So yeah, here we are a year later and he doesn’t have that leverage anymore. So we’re here the
Dennis Koulatsos 31:00
deal if burrows, Herbert and Hertz were to try to collude with with Jackson, then brown Spanos, Larry and Bischoff. They’re the wrong four owners to try to put a bayonet to their throat and say, You know what? It’s guaranteed or else, all four of those cats would collude together and say, No, and burrows and Jackson and Lorena Hertz. And Herbert, they’d be out of a job, man, I’m serious. It’s not going to happen. The owners will suppress this. They will not give them a guaranteed contract. I do believe the watchman one was the last one. We may see it eventually down the road, maybe the when the salary cap goes up to 300 million or so but we’re not going to see it anytime soon. They’re fighting it and they have good reason to fight it.
Luke Jones 31:44
Let’s face it, Dennis built most billionaires I don’t want to say all but most do not become billionaires by being overly benevolent, right? The meaning are more benevolent than they need to be in instances like this. And look, I’m not saying
Dennis Koulatsos 31:59
some are some are cash poor. They have they may have may have landed this but I mean, Spanish family they had a move before they lost their franchise. No different than the modells. Laurie doesn’t have a ton of cash on hand. And neither does brown brown has been the cheapest owner in the NFL in the history of the NFL notoriously. So I’m curious to see how these three contract negotiation you go and they may help Lamar Jackson and the Ravens bridge that gap together. And look at this point, Lamar Jackson if I have to give him advice, you know, get yourself in the best shape your life Kanda can’t compete, win a Super Bowl, if you can, you’re going to come into a wide open offense and build your Barkat that even more, and God forbid you get hurt.
Luke Jones 32:39
And one other factor, please hire an agent. Even if even if you have no interest in playing for the Baltimore Ravens ever again, great for your own well being hire an agent stop being so stubborn about this. Look, there are lots of us out there. There’s no way I would try to do something like that on my own. I’m not nearly smart enough or have the savvy to try to negotiate something of that nature. Know what I don’t take let him take him or her or take care of your business.
Dennis Koulatsos 33:13
Know what I’ve known seen what I’ve seen if I’m an NFL General Manager and Lamar Jackson calls me I tell him, You know what, have your agent call me. I started five, I’m not going to talk to you because you you’ve wasted two years of your life and the Ravens life. And you haven’t done it in two years. What makes you think that you are not? Oh, you want to 31? Definitely how you stop an agent? Click Yeah, yeah, there’s no, there’s no point in wasting time and breath and talking about it. Like the Ravens have beat your heads up against the wall for two years now. What makes anybody think that another GM can be savvy enough to convince Lamar Jackson to take whatever offer? If it’s not 231? Guaranteed?
Luke Jones 33:49
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it’s just, it really is. And look at the end of the day. You know, I there was a time where, you know, I kind of looked at this and like and he’s, you know, he’s really thrown you know, he’s costing himself money. You know, look, look at the fact that we’re, we’re the endorsements for him the last few years, he was unanimous MVP, but at some point in time, it’s like, look, he’s 26 years old, he’s a grown man. If he wants to mess up his life financially, then that’s
Dennis Koulatsos 34:16
rich. He’s still rich, though, right? He’ll get rich. And that’s where he’s right. He’s still frugal from what I can see. And you know, maybe he has one off already. He’s a different cat, which is why you have to be very careful how you negotiate them. He is that guy that I can see him walking away from football period. Just so you know what I figured out?
Luke Jones 34:34
I still I still find the irony of him wanting a fully guaranteed deal. Yet. He’s promoting the entire gym. It that’s what it’s called, right I keep my entire job.
Dennis Koulatsos 34:51
Because is that a parody? Or is that is that a real thing? Because I haven’t reached the real thing from what I have to be kidding me. Because I saw that I saw the video like and it’s got to be a parody. Like I guess Healthcare. This is not as they expect customers to pay 700 for that,
Luke Jones 35:04
I didn’t see I didn’t see the price of 609. Look, here’s the thing that’s crazy to me, you know, beyond the point I just made. If that were a product that name name a former ravens, Jarrett Johnson, let’s say and I’m just using double J’s name, I’ve always loved covering Double J. Good guy. That’s the kind of product that a former player who is just trying to make a few extra bucks at this point, because, you know, he doesn’t have, you know, he doesn’t have a cache that he’s making money off his name anymore, anything like that. But someone says, Hey, you know, you want you want to, you know, want to promote this. That’s something I would expect to see some middle of the road former player promoting. So it’s just crazy to me to think you’re seeing Lamar do that. Which Look, maybe can Francis is a dear family friend, whatever. But it kind of comes across as a little embarrassing compared to the kind of lucrative spot the lucrative endorsements he should have. So you have that yet, he’s insisting on a fully guaranteed deal or to under 30 plus million, fully guaranteed. He has that. But he wants to, you know, he wants to fully guarantee deal, but he doesn’t want to pay the few million dollars it would cost to get a cutthroat, you know, tough agent that’s going to
Dennis Koulatsos 36:27
I’m sorry, I’m blown away. I thought it was a parody. You tell him it’s a real it’s crazy. It’s a real joke.
Luke Jones 36:33
I think it’s real. Again, you never know. I saw
Dennis Koulatsos 36:36
it. I laughed so hard. I thought it was an SNL skit. I thought he I thought he was trolling everybody. Yeah, I’m thinking it cannot be real.
Luke Jones 36:42
It’s real. Okay, my understanding is that
Dennis Koulatsos 36:46
you and I have zero interest in buying it. So now, if in 2019, he signs up with Under Armour and he gets his own on his shoes. Oh my gosh, I used to buy a pair of new Jordans every year. I love Michael Jordan. I adored Michael Jordan. I still have my shoes from in the 90s. Yeah, by Lamar Jackson signed pair shoes absolutely would why wouldn’t I? I mean, I just saw him it’s not it’s not actually random. It’s not a remember, I used to buy shoes from Acme years ago, or ANP. To Fish heads, right? I go. This was a fish that’s commercial for for lack of a better term. You gotta be kidding me.
Luke Jones 37:18
I mean, it’s just good luck. It’s what and look, look, I would, I would even say, if you want to do that, fine. You want to help out someone that’s that. But just wow, that you better have Under Armour, or Nike or Gatorade or any of those that you’ve really made bank on. And that if you want to do that for, you know, down local down in the in South Florida, that’s just a low grade. And look, I was even talking to someone like Josh Allen does local commercials in Buffalo and up, you know, you know, some of them are better than others. We know how that goes. But at the end of the day, like, he just hasn’t maximized. He hasn’t made nearly the money he should have for his value. And look, if he doesn’t care, let’s be clear. I’m not I don’t lose
Dennis Koulatsos 38:01
sleep over than I care to have 66 million he would have earned his career at the end of the season. If he shows up. If not, he’ll Made What 3233 it because if he doesn’t show up, we don’t get paid. But that’s how it works. And sure questions if he showed up, I thought he made business decisions on the field last last season. What’s it gonna look like this year, if he’s disgruntled last year, he would play not to get hurt this year. Who knows what his mindset is gonna be he sets foot on the field first game, all of a sudden falls to the ground holding his back. You know, now you’re on the hook for that money, and he’s not playing.
Luke Jones 38:32
You can’t also, he also has a new offensive coordinator and look, and I say this as a compliment. You know, Todd Monken, from what I understand his players like him, but I’ve also heard he’s no nonsense, like, if you’re, if you need to be corrected, like, he’ll do it. And he’s that guy know, it? How will especially if a player who’s unhappy from a business standpoint, how does that play out? And look, that would be the case for Lamar or anyone, you know, JK Dobbins, will be on a contract here this year. So, you know, and that’s not to say it won’t work. Let’s be very clear about that. I’m just saying that. Yeah, that’s a new variable, you’re thrown into the mix at this point, because it’s not Greg Roman and James urban, you know, is, it’s T Martin. And it’s Todd. Monken. So, hey, the hope is the offense will be even better. But, you know, uh, how’s that all going to work? Especially if Lamar, if he doesn’t roll in there till August 25. I don’t know how this is gonna go for anyone, quite
Dennis Koulatsos 39:32
frankly, be really ugly at that point. At that point. You know what I it’s a hard sell, but I probably started it by starting with a bunch of for the year, we’ll pay them and we’ll go with whoever we got. I mean, honestly, I just don’t know how you as a quarterback as a leader. You either end the boat or you underwater. One of the other you can have one foot in a boat and the other foot in the water. You’re gonna swim in the water or you’re with a team and I don’t know how, as a leader of a team, you’re not all you’re not fully vested stuff and with the guys I just It’s tough.
Luke Jones 40:00
Especially, I mean, especially when you’ve been at it for two plus years. I
Dennis Koulatsos 40:03
remember who was Lou Holtz, he had three questions for his, for his team. The first one was, Can I trust you in that trust? And that’s the first I think that’s the first thing about a quarterback in the locker room and the guys trust, can I trust you? Ideally, you want them to run through a brick wall for you. That’s why we get through a brick wall. And they can say whatever publicly but like you said, the locker room where that?
Luke Jones 40:23
Yeah, I mean, at some point. And again, it’s not even. It’s not the sense that I got at the end of last year that people were at that players were mad with Lamar or anything like that. I think they still love them. But at some point, you know, there’s there’s also the thought that there’s a time for business. And there’s a time for play. And, you know, at some point in time, how can these not be interfering with one another. And that’s not to say Lamar was Jaken it last year that he wasn’t hurt, I think he was hurt. And I think there was a disconnect of perception, maybe as far as how the team what the team was saying. And maybe there was a he was a little more injured than they thought originally. But the point is, we’re already seeing that conflict. And it’s only getting worse. It’s getting better
Dennis Koulatsos 41:04
why you need to agent loop because although it’s all about the bag, you don’t want to make it be all about the bag to your teammates, you know, what about us? Right? So I mean, I think the idea that the quarterbacks have taken a team from a contract that we structured down a road is to a be able to track to a tee per team together. So that’s the other piece of it is that what’s this guy’s mood gonna be to restructure. If he in fact, gets his back Helston? You know, why should I restructure? You know, I’m burning my money, right? Well, you got to make the team better, not for me. He, yeah, you got to deal with him, you’re not dealing with an agent, even. So even if you sign him, the headaches not gonna ever go away. It’s just
Luke Jones 41:40
very what very well possible. And it’s interesting, you mentioned that because I you know, and I don’t want to belabor the point too long, because I know we’ve talked a long time already. But I can think back and I won’t name the player, but I’m aware of it. This was six, seven years ago, eight years ago, it wasn’t terribly recent, but you know, wasn’t 20 years ago, either, that it’s kind of an understanding with players that contracts are structured in ways that you can do simple restructures where, basically, it takes a player salary and turns it into a boat, most of it into a bonus, you get your lump sum, the team gets some cap space for that year, and some, you know, some prorated money sent out to future cap years. And, okay, if you’re a very cynical player, you can look at that and say, Well, that might make me a little less attractive down the line, my cap number would be a little more, although that’s dead money one way or the other. So the point is, it financially has no negative bearing on a player. But I remember this player balked and refused a simple restructure to help the team out from a cap standpoint, you know, again, they weren’t getting this wasn’t a pay cut. It was just,
Dennis Koulatsos 42:47
hey, the team a little bit record, you’re kicking that money down the road. Right, right, exactly. So it helps the player because you get the money up front at least. And I understand what the players mindset about down the road, but still, most players are living for today, not for down the road.
Luke Jones 43:00
Well, and again, that that that those prorate, those prorated amounts, you can’t do anything about those, that’s either gonna be money, that’s part of your cap number, or that’s gonna be dead money on the team’s cap if they caught you. So it really doesn’t make a difference in that way. But, but the point is, you know, and I can tell you, that player was not there a whole lot longer. I think maybe one more year after
Dennis Koulatsos 43:22
he made his day. Yeah, but but there
Luke Jones 43:25
was a case of, you know, they’ve had all these problems trying to work out a deal to your point, if you’re gonna have to restructure and look, the Browns have already restructured Watson’s deal. They did it earlier this offseason. But
Dennis Koulatsos 43:36
again, watching has an agent, how are you going to? You can’t even structure a deal with this guy. How are you going to restructure deal with them down the road? Next to me as an outsider looking as the General Manager of of, of of a Ford store? It’s the same it’s the same luckily, Math has similar conversations, not with the same amount of money, of course, but it’s the same thing. It’s so different. How am I supposed to negotiate with you after I got you?
Luke Jones 43:57
I think back to Eric Acosta at the season ending press conference back in January. He said there’s Lamar the player and Lamar the agent. I love Lamar, the player he never told you how he felt about Lamar, the agent I thought that was very telling.
Dennis Koulatsos 44:09
I think I think he didn’t tell us without telling us Luke as always, I appreciate your thank you for the extra time today. We get to segments the privilege of having two segments with you. Please tell our listeners all the great stuff you do for Baltimore positive WSD 1570, your blog and everything else that you do.
Luke Jones 44:24
Absolutely. I encourage everyone to follow us on Twitter at wn S T. You can follow me personally at Baltimore Luke I’ll be live from Oriole Park at Camden Yards Orioles first homestand of the 2023 season. I’ll be on the scene. Check out my blog at Baltimore positive.com latest on the Orioles latest on the Ravens liars luncheon season our home opener for the Orioles. You want to be on the wn st Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for to Baltimore if you are you heard first about the Orioles pushing back their home opener a day. You’ll hear first if there is any significant news on the Lamar Jackson front or the Ravens signing another player adding another player. Certainly as we get closer to draft weekend, we’ll send out the draft picks as well via the wn St. Baltimore positive tech service sponsored by coons for to Baltimore. And of course anything throughout the week on AM 15 Seven eat with Nestor sound from the ballpark players and Brandon Hyde and coaches, ravens liars luncheon you can hear that in its entirety. And of course, as we get closer to the draft, we’ll have conference calls, interviews with the Ravens new draft picks all of that at Baltimore. positive.com.
Dennis Koulatsos 45:30
All right, my friend. Always a pleasure. Have fun at opening day. I’ll look forward to your coverage during the game.
Luke Jones 45:36
You as well Dennis be well and we’ll talk next week and I’m guessing we’ll mention Lamar Jackson once or twice,
Dennis Koulatsos 45:42
once, once or twice. It’s a story that never ends, like we’re tuning in here. 1570 am WSD Thank you Luke Jones. We’ll take a quick break and come back right after this.