The legendary NFL insider and NBC Sports and Football Morning in America writer joins Nestor Aparicio for a wide-ranging interview about all things Lamar Jackson and agents and the future of the Baltimore Ravens – with and without Number Eight.
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Peter King, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
W N st Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive. We’re taking the Maryland crabcake tour back out on the road. Oh presented by the Maryland lottery, my instant scratch offs, old school 50th anniversary, they are old school and our friends and window nation as well. 866 90 day should do what I do take advantage of the buy to get two free and two years 0% financing. It’s actually a better deal than what I got. This guy and I have been getting together for I don’t know, I’ve been on the air 31 years, probably 27 or 28 of them. Ever since the Baltimore Ravens were the Cleveland Browns. I was hoping to get my Warren Moon jersey that I bought on eBay. My white throwback number one that’s going to fit me. I was hoping to wear that but the mail didn’t come today. Peter King is here. He of football Morning in America and all things Sunday night football in America and all things Lamar Jackson over America. You know, Peter, there’s other stories. I mean, Carolina’s dealing into the one and you know, TJ Moore and other teams? Sure they’re 31 That’s your job to worry about the other 31 teams. What’s happening with Lamar, it’s like the biggest story ever, man.
Peter King 01:11
You know, I think this is a pretty simple case. No, it isn’t a simple case. I think it’s a simple case, mostly of the fact that there is a significant disagreement on value. And a significant disagreement on whether a team should have some protection when a player who’s been hurt a lot comes up for the biggest contract in franchise history. Now, I’m sure that it’s easy for everybody to to make this a you know, Lamar versus d’acosta. Okay, you know Lamar Jackson, the quarterback Eric caster, the general manager. I mean, my feeling about that is I would be shocked if if the owner of this franchise if the cost is Godfather Ozzie Newsome, you know, see Bushati obviously the owner? And if, if, if everybody thinks that it’s the best idea, to not guarantee not fully guarantee a four or five year contract at a huge rate of pay for Lamar Jackson. In other words, I don’t think there’s a lot of disagreement up top in the in the Baltimore regime. Now, I don’t know that. But I’m just guessing that my feeling very simple, very simply is that this is something that the Ravens just believe that is not a smart thing to do. And to fully guarantee a long term contract with a guy who has missed 34% of the snaps in the last two years. It’s not anything particularly controversial. And yet, I think most people out both in the media and I’m sure in the public are saying it’s nonsense. Pay the man’s cost to do in business. Everybody’s got to take some risks. I just I don’t buy it. I don’t see it. I don’t think it’s particularly smart. To give a guy who’s been hurt a lot a fully guaranteed contract over four or five years
Nestor Aparicio 03:47
theater. We got people here selling pale Mr. Ice cream and whatnot there by the way, they’re sold out even though there’s no deal yet. The no agent part of this. It’s big, it’s big. It’s big. Yeah. And I don’t know that Joe Sixpack understands why or could understand why I’ve tried to gain clarity by having Leigh Steinberg on by having Chad weaseling on by trying to bring people on. You’re at the top of the top of the reporter food chain and driving around was Super Bowl coaches and like all this all these years, this is so unprecedented because I think the Ravens brass, there’s no proper way to handle this. And now that he’s about to walk to the market to some degree, how does he get on the phone with Arthur Blank or Stephen Ross, or the Glazer boys to make a deal when there’s no intermediaries? There’s no lawyers, there’s no frontman, there’s no way to keep it quiet. There’s no way to get proper bidding, as well as just getting value on him. And he’s cost himself. He cost himself $20 million dollars by showing up to work last year, because he never should have played for $23 million last year and gotten hurt and where they they’ve now tagged him at 32 33 million. It’s he hasn’t No endorsement deals. This is a real cautionary tale about like, if his mother loved them, his mother would iron age and for him, Peter?
Peter King 05:10
I mean, I don’t really understand why in the business of football, mega contracts, why you don’t have somebody who’s a veteran in doing this? You know, to help you. Because to think that that veteran of doing business can’t get you 3% More than what you’ve been getting. I mean, look, here’s the fact about the Lamar situation. Over the last few years, I’ll be off a little bit on this, Nestor. But in the last two years, I think, you know, Lamar has made about 26 or $27 million total. Now, an agent would basically say to a team, we’re not going to let her I’m not going to let this quarterback play for basically, you know, after he wins the MVP, we’re not going to let this quarterback play for two years, for an average of 13 million, we have to start the ball rolling on making sure that he starts to get paid. And the bottom line in this is very, very simple. That if he had had an agent all this time, we wouldn’t be talking about this right now. Because he would have already been paid once, and he’d be on the way to getting paid a second time. So that is, I think the part of this, that it’s hard for people to comprehend, Lamar should have already gotten a piece of the pie already, instead of playing so long on his rookie contract, and on the fifth year option. So that’s one thing. I think the second thing that’s really interesting to me, anyway, is that okay, we’re all just at the scouting combine a week or so ago. And it’s at the scouting combine where every agent in the world is, and they’re all doing having sidebar discussions and dinner and six beers with general managers, coaches, Team presidents, and what are they talking about? They’re talking about their clients going to play for their teams. Okay. Lamar has nobody to help him with this. He has nobody to say, Okay. Terry font no in Atlanta. All right, we need to just like, go talk to Terry Faulkner, we’ve heard that Atlanta doesn’t want a quarterback, but you need somebody to represent your best interests. And at the scouting, combine, have a two hour dinner, off the record with Terry fontanelle. That’s what you This is how business is done in the NFL. You don’t sit back in South Florida, and wait for someone somehow to find your telephone number, then to call you starting this week, to call you and say I would like to set up a meeting and come down and talk to you and negotiate a contract with you. It’s awkward. It’s just not the way business is done. I’m not saying it can’t be done. It might actually work with some team. All I’m saying is that what Lamar Jackson is trying to do? I’ve just never heard of it being done that way ever in the NFL, and he’s already missed out on a lot of money. Already. He he’s missed out on a lot of money. And I would think that that would kind of sink in. And he would say okay, look, this hasn’t really gone great. I really should get an agent who should go and talk to people behind the scenes for for me, and just I don’t know, look, I like Lamar. I really like Lamar, he’s a nice guy, friendly guy. My dealings with him have been utterly fantastic. He’s extremely respectful, nice person. I don’t know why he got this in his in his head, but man it’s cost a lot of money so far, and it might cost him more now.
Nestor Aparicio 09:44
Peter King is here. You can find him at NBC and anywhere the NFL is not the real Peter King used to have all these underscores and this is Peter underscore king now very easy to find him out on Twitter. the NFLPA is role in this and I’ve referred to this from the beginning as the original No sin, right? Like I saw a shoddy Ole Miss last year down at the breakers before they threw me out. I saw the the whole Haslam Watson fiasco with these four teams and how it went with Matt Ryan and others through all of this. But at the end suppressing salaries is the original sin of all of this. It’s what all the owners seek to do is keep the salaries as low as they can keep guaranteed money low as they can keep all of that. And but shotty was particularly miffed at that one of his partners would do this, and then I would think others would get in line where are you on the NFL pa because it felt like they’re pretty active, right up until the point where he has been at least devalued for the time being, if he walks out of this with $220 million from God bless the raiders and they get a loan or however it happens. Here are the Atlanta Falcons are just lying in the weeds or Dan Snyder is gonna deliver a black rose to the league. I don’t know. I mean, I have no idea how this is gonna go. But it feels like the owners don’t want to be guaranteed they’re not stepping up on Deshaun Watson, it’s gonna be below that or else.
Peter King 11:08
Well, obviously, the owners don’t want to guaranteed this incredible amount of money because if, you know and let’s talk about Joe, particularly about Joe burrow and, and and Justin Herbert. I mean, if you think about it, really Nestor you know, those are two guys who, justifiably they haven’t missed the game in the last two years because of injury. Burro missed one this year, coach’s decision, he didn’t play in the last game of the season. But otherwise, these guys both play every week and a half played every week. But their owners don’t want to do a fully guaranteed contract and will fight it to high heaven. I don’t know whether they will end up doing it or not. And for people who don’t really understand why it isn’t just mean because look, to me, it’s not that big a deal. If Herbert’s contract is guaranteed or borrows contract is guaranteed, or even Jalen hertz, his contract is guaranteed because they don’t have a major injury history. Hertz has a little but not much. And so it really those guys are going to be quarterbacking their team’s well into the future. It isn’t just the guarantee and all that what it is, it’s putting when you sign a guy, if whoever signs one of those quarterbacks for, let’s just say, guaranteed $240 million, you know, next spring, they’re going to have to put about 170 $580 million in cash in an escrow account controlled by the NFL. Okay, and that escrow account guarantees that that money will be paid, regardless of what financial misfortune plagues the owner who signs the player to it. That’s a lot of money for Mike Brown. That’s a lot of money for the Spanos family on Dean’s famous phones, the Chargers. And I guess my overriding point about that is that it’s it’s it’s not just the fact that they don’t want to guarantee contracts. It’s the fact that there’s this archaic dumb rule that the NFL has in place to further dissuade teams from guaranteeing contracts for the long term. Because if they do they know that they have to put the money up now, even though they’re not paying it until 27 or 28. So that’s another part of this. That is a reason why teams don’t want to guarantee contracts.
Nestor Aparicio 13:54
Peter, you’ve been doing this so long. I think people in football were naturally honest with you in the 80s. And certainly in demand in the 90s. I felt like if I had a source, I had somebody in the league and I had a lot of people in the league as you well know. I can go back and I think about I can combine Brian Billick Marvin Lewis, David Modell, any of those people and think about how many times they ever lied to me 30 years later, and it’s almost zero in every case. And then I think about the game now of agents, players, who do you like Who don’t you like what the truth is? This is what I know about Lamar. If you you know back in the day, you would call me once in a while. So what do you know about this? I know last spring, how miffed the head coach was that he wasn’t there for OTAs. I know that personally. So it was before I got thrown out. And then I think about the line that happened after that, where it felt like he was making business decisions in the game. It felt like by the time he got injured, there was some hard feelings. He had held a sign up on the road pay me he had paid me on the front of his Twitter. He doesn’t Have an agent’s. So there’s no softening this he gets injured. The team tells Rich Eisen and everybody he’s coming back, he’s coming back, they go on a national broadcast for four hours, five hours of the pregame show, saying he’ll be back for Christmas, he never appears again. Then he puts out his own injury report from the outside, and I’ve been on the outside for the first time in 27 years. I look at this and say, I don’t know that there’s going to be a kumbaya. And I don’t know that the Ravens aren’t open, somebody just doesn’t come and make an overwhelming offer. And they get picks. I’m wondering how upset the Ravens will really be if they lose Lamar, even if they have to play a year with whatever time around key or day.
Peter King 15:38
I think that’s a really, really interesting point. I think it’s a fascinating point. I wonder exactly the same thing. Because if you’re not going to be all in, and if you’re not going to come to the offseason for why are the Green Bay Packers, basically putting a 3000 mile green carpet out the door for Aaron Rodgers to walk on and leave this team? Why are they doing that? It’s because everything with Aaron Rodgers is is a is an effort. Everything is a chore. Everything is a little bit of a fight and all that. And he doesn’t come to all the offseason stuff. Look, if you’re the quarterback of an NFL team, I’ll tell you a little story. So last year, I go cover last season I go cover the Jaguars and the Eagles. Okay. And at the time, the Jaguars were an interesting team and eagles were hot. So I just went to the game. Eagles win the game and afterwards, I spent time with both Jalen Hertz. And Nick Sirianni. And Nick Sirianni told me that he said hey, you know, this this quarterback? He’s like nobody I’ve met in this business. He this week. I mean, keep keep in mind, this is for the Jacksonville Jaguars. This week, it’s nine o’clock on Tuesday night. And I got to say, What the hell are you doing here? Come on, go home, go home. And and so but for people that don’t quite understand why somebody would be telling your quarterback to go home instead of working and burning the midnight oil and scouting this team he’s going to play in five days. Tuesday is the player’s day off. So he’s not supposed to be working. So what he did, he came in early, got a workout in was there the entire day, working with the coaches on the game plan finding out what they were going to do all this and he’s still there at nine o’clock at night and the day is going to start at 730 The next morning. Coach says Get the hell out of here. That is what coaches want in their quarterbacks. I have no idea what what Lamar is, you know, work ethic is in the you know, during the week in the offseason, anything like that. But if you were going to start to not participate in the offseason program as the starting quarterback of the team, and I don’t know whether Lamar would be doing it going forward or not. But I can tell you in 2008 That’s the reason why the Green Bay Packers said to Brett Farve Hooper get off the pot here, you got to come to the offseason program or we got to move on he retired Well, if you’re a leader
Nestor Aparicio 18:40
you lead leaders out there period that is
Peter King 18:44
and so now you know if Jordan love is going to be there starting whatever day it is April 12 or whatever day that the offseason program can officially start and players can be in there. They know that whatever day that is at 730 in the morning, Jordan love will be sitting there in his quarterback coach’s office. That is the point. If you’re going to be in as you say, you got to be in and if you’re not if you’re going to be unhappy and all that stuff, then you know we might have to look elsewhere.
Nestor Aparicio 19:21
As Mike Tomlin once said, and my favorite quote of all time we want volunteers not hostages. Peter King is here. He has volunteered to come on this year program as he’s done for many many years. Just last thing spin the wheel on this what were what happens here it only takes one but this is complicated for the money reasons that you brought out as to whether Mark Davis could come up with this money New Orleans out of Carolina out all of a sudden we start to see the crystal ball a little bit more clearly that teams are out on Lamar, what who’s in what what are the possibilities here, Peter?
Peter King 19:55
Well, you know the Raiders are gonna go with Jimmy Garoppolo as we’ve been speaking, you know, as we are recording this obviously free agent is free agencies in progress. Garoppolo now in look, Josh McDaniels was not going to do Lamar Jackson. He was not going to do Aaron Rodgers. But But all that Be that as it may, how, what happens to Lamar Jackson? I think it is a great question. I still think that if Aaron Rodgers somehow spurns the Jets, even though Joe Douglas has his roots in the Ravens organization, I still think that the owner of the Jets, Woody Johnson, is going to tell Joe Douglas, you better go get Lamar Jackson. But again, number one on their list right now is Aaron Rodgers. So we’ll see what happens there. I’ve tried to think about this time and time and time and time again. And I don’t know what the answer is. Could it be somebody absolutely upsetting the applecart and some teams saying, Okay, we’ll do it. Could it be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers who don’t have an answer? at quarterback? I, you know, I don’t know the answer to that. Could it be eventually Atlanta, you know, softening and saying, Okay, we’ll do it. Maybe could it be Washington, in the middle of this weird ownership pod to to where they’re going to have a new owner in a few months? I mean, all of these things. It’s highly highly. I can’t find anybody right now. But if Lamar Jackson refuses to sign the tender, refused to sign a one year deal, then I think we’re going to find out that the ravens are basically going to, they’re going to have to make alternative plans. I doubt it will be totally with Tyler Huntley. But you know, we’ll see.
Nestor Aparicio 22:08
Peter, you slipped in the Washington football team’s gonna have new ownership like, like that. You’re convinced of that? Oh, man, everybody in DC. So I’m not
Peter King 22:17
convinced of it. You know, Nestor, I’m not convinced of it. But I don’t see how Daniel Snyder can continue to own this team. He’s a pariah. Roger Goodell has done him about 15 solids in not booting them out on the sidewalk already. I mean, isn’t it interesting that it’s been now 13 months? Since Mary Jo White has been doing a report, come on, come on, let’s be real about this 13 months to do a search, not a maybe not a simple report. These reports don’t take 13 months. Stop it. You know, these reports should have been done already. So why are they not done? You know, everybody in the NFL thinks that Roger Goodell is giving Daniel Snyder all the time, he needs to sell this team so they don’t have to publicly shame him and embarrass him. Period. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it isn’t true. But I can tell you that’s what people around the NFL think and talk about. So I can’t imagine that Daniel Snyder, you know, on, you know, July 1, makes an announcement says Well, I’m not selling the team. You can give me whatever discipline you want but I’m not selling and then I think all heck will break loose and that’s why I think that this team is going to be sold here in the next few months.
Nestor Aparicio 23:47
Well, we do something tomorrow and all heck breaks loose. Maybe we’ll get you in here for Gunnar Henderson and Adley rutschman in the Grayson Rodriguez con show down at Camden Yards Peter.
Peter King 23:57
I hope so. Man I love Camden Yards. It’s such a nice nice neat little train trip to come down and to see the Orioles and you know I’m really glad that they’re not in the in the basement anymore. I think that the team on the on the other end of the of the Amtrak you know from Washington to Boston, I think the the team on the other end might be in the basement this year. They could be late Alene here for the Sox but we’ll see. Well,
Nestor Aparicio 24:32
we can only hope. Did you feel a little bit of the pain? Either way man Springsteen playing Camden Yards, come on down and I got beer for you.
Peter King 24:40
We’ve seen actually playing Camden Yards
Nestor Aparicio 24:43
is absolutely the weekend the football season opens he’s playing Camden Yards September 9 I believe it is wow. Yeah, that’s all downs. That’s a man got a wife and kids in Baltimore Jack. I got Peter King memories here long. I miss you, Peter. It’s great having you on I always love reading your column. We’ll be following New and this saga with Lamar never ends man appreciate you all right Nestor you take care Okay, make sure you watch a Peter King out on all things NBC following his work out on Twitter no one does it better in the football Morning in America now I am Nestor we are wn SDA and 5070, Towson Baltimore. We never stop talking Baltimore positive