Separating facts from fiction: Lamar Jackson v. Ravens for the money has begun

Screen Shot 2022 10 23 at 4.16.57 PM
Screen Shot 2022 10 23 at 4.16.57 PM
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So much can happen in the coming weeks in regard to a franchise tag and trade – or a miracle signing of Number Eight. Luke Jones and Nestor assess the Ravens circumstances and all of their options with Lamar Jackson this offseason in this deep purple dive.


lamar, ravens, lamar jackson, talking, deal, quarterback, point, years, game, play, eric, idea, long term, week, thursday, john harbaugh, trade, playoffs, season, players

Nestor Aparicio  00:01

W and S T Towson Baltimore and Baltimore positive still broadcasting and high definition moto sound at am 1570 You know it’s gonna worry about with our nation hat I look kind of silly in it. I did have it on back during the beginning part of the year it does kind of getting ready for like baseball season a little bit so I’m gonna wear this. The Maryland crab cake tour is gonna be back out it’s State Fair in Kingsville. This week lesson, Maryland lottery holiday cash drops the giveaway, as well as our friends at wind donation. 866 90. Nation you buy two you get two free 0% financing. They didn’t even give me that deal back in August. But they will give you that deal. 866 90 days you go find them. And look, I’m gonna take the hat off because we’re trying to have a serious segment here and I don’t need you laughing at me. Although you don’t laugh when they were it was always floppy hats all summer at the ballpark. You know what I mean? You and I did our John Angelo’s turn last week. Spring Training pitchers and catchers. I don’t know you tell me how many days that’s more your thing at this point than it is my thing. But we get championship games to get a Super Bowl. I’m going to be breaking some information here pretty soon about radio row and Super Bowl coverage for us here at wn st and telling some stories and playing the Wayback Machine over 28 Super Bowls in a row. Well, not in a row because I miss Tampa two years ago but 26 in a row then a plague and then a cup you know that then the last couple years, but this ravens offseason. And if you and I were going to Glendale two weeks, and now we’re gonna sit together, we would sit in front of all these media people and people from out of town. I am blown away that on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday you and I got together and we talked about this like grownups. And then on Thursday, they had a press conference. And the coach and the general manager who have lied to me personally professionally, own integrity. Like I know they lie. I don’t think they lie. I know they lie. I have evidence in my phone. And my lacking press pass last week in Cincinnati would prove that, but how credible they are to people who want them to be credible. The press conference on Thursday. Do not eat my words. If on May 10. Lamar Jackson is signed to a $282 million with 212 million guaranteed and he’s there in their kumbaya yard. And they’ve drafted a wide receiver and they’ve made you happy on the back end. And they’ve like if that’s where they are Preakness weekend, I’ll eat my words, but I want to call that press conference. Because I saw my fair lady last week Luke, I’m gonna call it Poppy Kok.

Luke Jones  02:38

Well, there’s so a lot of hope and optimism, which is what you have to do when well, you’re knocked out in the first round of the playoffs and your franchise quarterback is unsigned. And now two years plus going into contract talks or lack thereof or unsuccessful negotiations at the very least. But I mean, look, I wasn’t remotely surprised by anything we heard on Thursday. And it’s not even that I’m gonna sit here and just say that they’re, you know, over the top liars or anything like that.

Nestor Aparicio  03:07

You and I wrote that press conference. So Dennis, we sat here wrote it on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, we said what they were gonna say. And they said, it’s just amazing how credible it comes to fans who want Maurice back. He’s coming back.

Luke Jones  03:19

Yeah, right. Right.

Nestor Aparicio  03:20

He wasn’t in Cincinnati last week.

Luke Jones  03:23

I mean, it really it really does come down to and this was what I mentioned in my 12 ravens thoughts at Baltimore. talking about the aftermath of the season ending press conference, it really comes down to everyone hears what they want to hear, right. If you want to be more optimistic about it, you point out all the flattering things they said about Lamar, you point out the fact that Eric Decosta said he had met with Lamar Jackson earlier in the day on Thursday, which, by the way, I actually think that was on the scale of meaningless and 100% meaningful, I’m not gonna say it’s this major development. But the fact that Lamar apparently didn’t bolt first thing Monday morning and was back in Florida and the fact that he’s been around a little bit to the point where to Koston. hardball. I’ve talked to him a little bit. I think that’s a good sign. Do I think that means that a an extension is imminent, and that everything is fine? No, of course not. So when you look at this thing, again, everyone kind of here’s what they want to hear. If you want to be optimistic about it. There was plenty of optimism being sold. As I wrote, If you felt markedly better about the state of the ravens and the Lamar Jackson ravens partnership. That just means Eric Koston. And John Harbaugh did a very good sell job on Thursday. And that’s that’s what they needed to do. By the way, let’s be very clear about this. It would not have behoove them, or served them any good purpose to just air all the dirty laundry, whatever it might be, whatever the frustration level might be, because, one, you’re trying to potentially work out a long term deal at some point to at the you are or at the very least going to be franchise tagging Lamar Jackson even, you know, even if you’re going to planning to keep them long term that looks all but inevitable barring something that hasn’t happened in two years, which is striking a long term deal. Or even if you have no intentions of Lamar Jackson being your quarterback privately and you do truly plan to trade him at some point, this offseason, you’re not going to advertise that, you’re not going to say that you’re disenchanted with his health or the contract or any of that, right. So everything you have to do is about putting on a happy face, no matter how real or how phony it might be. So again, this goes back to individual fans, you know, even media types, you’re going to kind of hear what you want to hear there. I mean, for all the positives. First thing right off the bat, Eric Acosta was asked about, you know, the chances of getting a deal done and what was the first thing he said, It takes two to tango, you know, how do you interpret that, as opposed to, I’m really confident we’re gonna get a deal done. So, you know, there wasn’t anything earth shattering about this. And I’m not even saying that in a critical way that they were blatant over the top lies either. It’s just it was what it is. It’s where they are right now in this process. And, look, I’ve said to you, I’m expecting anything this offseason, I would not be surprised if there was a trade, I would not be surprised, certainly with the tag, which I think is the most likely outcome, at least at this point in time, because you have to see, first of all, if you’re gonna get a deal that you like, you’re gonna have to see where Lamar is on this spectrum. Because any team that’s trading for him, he’s gonna want a long term deal. They’re not just gonna deal for him. And then they’re gonna be playing with the tag with him. So they’re also gonna poke his knee too, by the way. Well, I mean, I mean, that’s, that’s part of it. Right? I mean, you know, what, wherever you fell on that scale, as far as how hurt he was, you know, that whole thing? I mean, that’s part of that’s part of this. That’s why if the Ravens weren’t willing to give him a fully guaranteed deal back in August, him missing the end of a second straight season, he’s not going to suddenly say, Oh, well, we’ll give him a fully guaranteed deal. So there needs to be movement. Now on some front at some point here, right. I mean, they can’t have another offseason that is, like the last two and specifically last last year. So to me,

Nestor Aparicio  07:16

the worst part of these last two seasons have been playoff disappointment, or not making the playoffs and not having a quarterback available to play in January, when I’m watching Patrick mahomes. Walk around on one limb, and I’m not even talking about toughness, I’m talking about just participation. If you’re not there in January, how are you going to tell me to give you $250 million? Well, that’s all well and good because the saints are the dog, somebody else out there salivating to have him? I don’t know, as a fan as a fan of the team right now. I don’t know that I’m salivating for my franchise to give him $250 million right now. And and I was gonna ask you, Luke, because you’re out there, and I’m not they’ve thrown me out. So well documented. Any temperature over the last month out there? Because it’s fascinating to me that the minute the season is over, the players all rushed to his defense, RG three, who was also less than honest and honorable, from what from all of the information I got out of Washington the last 12 years. You know that he was sick, he couldn’t get on the plane. He nobody at the press conference, ask them what happened tomorrow, since it was really sick. Like I guess it’s doesn’t even matter five days later when he’s not there. But it matters a lot that he didn’t play football in January. And it matters a lot to John and Eric and Steve and teammates, and everybody defended him out there. And that’s, that’s what they’re all supposed to do. Because they all coming back. And it would be in their best interest to have Lamar Jackson as their quarterback next year. There’s no, there’s no doubt about that. At what cost and at what cost in the future. And then really, is Lamar Jackson going to go into Buffalo and beat the bills in the snow? Sunday is Lamar Jackson gonna go out to Kansas City and beat Patrick mahomes. Once twice, three times in the next five years. Not to mention the kid out in LA and we haven’t talked about burr right like we have you know, like so is Lamar Jackson, that guy that’s going to beat these guys over the next spot not 2019 Marshall yonder, big trust all of that where he is right now where you are with him psychologically. And then how much money you have to give him and then whether the kids really happy or not. Whether this is really where he wants to be then sharper. OTAs holding signs up about money, money, money, money, money, money, internet internet, my feelings ego guy in Pennsylvania perform fellatio like all of this baked into this now. Is he gonna go beat Josh Allen and Patrick mahomes and Joe burrow back to back to back. Is he the guy? Is he the guy to do that in January after you’ve run them? 224 times at 2829 Is he the guy? I don’t know dude, I laid a lot I don’t want you. But I, it’s made me wonder watching these gains last two weeks? Well, but that’s gonna

Luke Jones  10:07

be the question with whoever your quarterbacks gonna be. I mean, you know, all right, hypothetically, you can make a trade with the Houston Texans, you could draft Bryce young second overall, you’re gonna be asking the same question about him. I mean, that’s just, that’s life in the AFC right now. So that part of the question I’m not quite as concerned about from it, even though that’s that’s part of it. It certainly is, especially when you’re talking about the financial commitment that’s going to be involved, if he’s ultimately going to be your quarterback long

Nestor Aparicio  10:33

and only the Ravens No, because he’s been in their building. So it’s part of it. There’s no

Luke Jones  10:37

question. You asked me what the temperature was in the building over the last month. There’s a lot of frustration. And look, how much of that frustration was any sentiments that maybe he could play? And, you know, the sentiment that okay, we know, he’s not under percent, but is he 90? No. And, you know, you and I joked about this a little bit when I made the comment to you in jest. Well, How bad would the limp be? You know, of course, no one is suggesting no one has suggested at any point that if Lamar Jackson’s knee was so bad that he could barely walk and, you know, you might famously remember, what was it week 16 Or week 17. Last year, he went out and logged a limited practice. My understanding was that was Lamar wanting to give give it a go. You know, the team? I don’t think had any, that was

Nestor Aparicio  11:23

the way you we use captured limping that was and that was him having the fire to want to win Super Bowl.

Luke Jones  11:31

I mean, it wasn’t even some I think it was, hey, is this even an option for me right now. And he got out there. And you could see he could barely walk, he could barely walk. That was truly a case of I thought it was stick. I mean, that’s how over the top the limp was and then we didn’t see him again, the rest of the year. So no, okay. That was last year, that was a bone bruise with the ankle. The idea of that could be played. Again, people are going to believe what they want to believe at this point, nothing I’m going to say or anything, you know, forget about me anything the team’s going to say. People are going to believe what they want to believe it’s very clear, based on reports that were, you know, information that was leaked out to an Ian Rapoport and Adam Schefter. I mean, Rich Eisen talked about this on his radio show. I mean, he had a production meeting, he called that Cleveland, Saturday afternoon game on NFL Network. And that was what week 16? I guess it was, at that point in time. You know, what, based on what Rich Eisen had said that John Harbaugh and others in the organization had said that, it sounded like they thought Lamar was close to being able to play at that point, let alone talk and three weeks later,


Nestor Aparicio  12:38

so the question is, if he had $200 million in the bank when he played last week,

Luke Jones  12:42

well, but he didn’t so and look, that’s, that’s also let’s be clear. There’s, everyone always looks at this as one or the other, right? You’re either hurt or you know, you’re either you can play or you’re too hurt. You know, there’s a wide range in there. And Patrick mahomes is a great example here. And I’m not trying to compare and suggest that Patrick mahomes is tougher than Lamar Jackson, different injuries, different circumstances, all that, you know, I mean, we we’ve all seen individuals try to play with injuries, sometimes it works out really well. Other times, it doesn’t work out really well. So there’s always there are always decisions that have to be made. There’s always wiggle room, there’s always subjectivity that’s involved here. And that’s not me sitting here trying to be wishy washy. That’s the reality of it. I mean, it really is some players over the years, we’ll play with injuries a little more. And some players, whether they’re under contract or not, whether they’re highly paid, or they’re on the lower scale of the salary, the pecking order, they might make more of a business decision at

Nestor Aparicio  13:41

the NBA bring Steph Curry in the buildings, it says he’s got long load

Luke Jones  13:45

management, right? Sure, sure. So So there’s all of that. So the point, the overall point I’m trying to make here, and I’m kind of rambling, I get that, but there’s a lot of nuance here. And my goodness, the last place you’re gonna find nuance is where Twitter and Facebook, which is where so much of this is going God or maybe ESPN morning talk shows, you know, it’s just the

Nestor Aparicio  14:05

people that have never talked to Lamar Jackson or anybody around him. Sure. So the

Luke Jones  14:09

overall temperature was there was a lot of frustration. Now, that doesn’t mean even that everyone in the building necessarily thought that Lamar definitely could play. Was there some of that I’m sure there probably was based on everything that was leaked out via NFL Network and ESPN and everything over the last four weeks. How, how could there not be some sentiment even if it was only one person, which I’m not suggesting it was only one person? I’m sure there was plenty of that. So

Nestor Aparicio  14:35

but if you’re a player in that locker room, and you thought that Duke could play and he didn’t, I can’t. There’s there’s no lack of respect that you were like, literally, if you really believe that, and I saw Marlon Humphrey came to defense. And that’s great. I mean, there’s, you know, fine, good character, whatever. And if that’s if they can sleep on it, then I guess the fans can sleep on it. But if you are a player or You are a coach, and you’re like, how many chances do we get? We talked about this with buffalo, right? And we talked about this with Lamar 2019. How many times you’re gonna have a chance to go win a game in January and have a chance to go slay a giant maybe mahomes his ankles no good and make, you know, like, all along the way, right? I mean, we’re almost got hurt, right? So there’s, there’s moments where, if you can at all do it, this is the time to do it. And he couldn’t do it. He didn’t do it. Now, to your point. Just the fact that there is conjecture, leakage, whatever, it’s damaging it really, it’s damaging to the whole thing. Really, it is.

Luke Jones  15:41

I mean, it can be sure. And again, I’m not I’m not this isn’t me saying that was definitely there. There was frustration, though. And people on the outside had plenty of questions and wondered about it. How could there not be I mean, so often we treat these guys like the robots. They’re not. They’re human beings, just like anyone else. And by the way, if you’re in that locker room, and you’re making the league minimum, playing in the playoffs means more money, right? I mean, now, it’s not millions. But for that guy who’s only making 750 or 800k, this year, and he’s on his rookie contract. And who knows if he’s even going to be on the team next year, the idea of playing two or three playoff games or getting to the Super Bowl. That’s, that’s some real dough to that individual. So, again, do I know that there was frustration in terms of doubts whether he could actually play? I don’t know that. But there was frustration in general and some of it, a lot of it’s just that he just wasn’t out there because he’s hurt. And, and it might not even be that you have any thoughts that there’s any, I don’t even want to say shenanigans. You know, Lamar had to, you know, it’s his livelihood. At the end of the day, every one of these players ultimately, and we talked about this with Ronnie Stanley, at the beginning of the year in terms of was he gonna be ready? week two, week three, week four, I mean, things that hardball would say that would lead you to believe that maybe the team, maybe the team thought he might have been ready. And Ronnie says handy another week or two. Ultimately, a player knows his body best. I mean, that’s just the truth. So there’s so much at work there. However, the thing I will say, and this is where the players who spoke after the season ended. Look, Lamar is well liked in that locker room. Everyone likes everyone in the building likes him as a person, right? I mean, we could talk about, you know, the, the ill conceived, you know, the ill advised tweet, you know, poorly, you know, poor taste as far as postgame in Jacksonville. We could talk about some things like that. But by and large, he’s very well liked. That said, players are also going to be very careful in how they talk about other players from a business standpoint. Now, it’s one thing to talk about someone and express some disdain, if that individuals not particularly well liked either, right?

Nestor Aparicio  17:50

I mean, it’s five years from now, if you know much like John Ogden and and Brandon Stokely sat with us at Radio row a couple years ago talking about Brian Billick and Trent Dilfer. 15 years later, five years from now if there’s a player out there that says that do could play and and other players that do could have played shocked me, you know what I mean? Like, I’m not shocked by any of this, the business side of this, how Lamar is this agent thing or lack thereof, like all of all of the motto around this? I mean, you and I have talked about this for a couple of weeks, that if he had representation, maybe we wouldn’t be taught, he would have been on the front end of the injury early on and said, This is trouble. And someone would have been stepping up to refute to stand in front of all the media that John Harbaugh is aligned at NFL Network and Rich Eisen and whoever is bunkies war. And he maybe one day, I would have been one of his bunkies. And he would have said, Lamar could play or did this, you know, this isn’t the way it really is. Because that’s the way journalism works for 30 years covering this league. But the truth will come out in the wash and how they will feel will come out in the wash. And back to my original statement, which was I think Thursday was poppycock, which I looked at up it’s nonsense. So I, I think they’re doing business right now. And I think everything that Dennis and I talked about you and I talked about, in regard to how they’re managing this enormous asset that may be unmanageable for them. And maybe they’re done and and they don’t want anybody to know that they’re certainly not. But if the WASD text comes through on March the fifth, that they’ve made a move, you know, that wouldn’t shock me and I don’t expect him if I were betting right now on or against, and I guess I could do that get my 200 hours free. I would take the he will play somewhere else, because I just don’t think they’re gonna give him enough money. And that he hasn’t played here for two years. I think it’s really, I think it’s closer to over it. When people are asking me, I say, I think he’s gone. Now. I’m willing to chew my words again. Preakness weekend. He’s here, and everything’s good and he’s throwing the ball and he’s coming OTAs And ever wide was all of that. I just, that’s what my crystal ball sees. And I know they’ve had good fortune as a franchise all these years and getting these things done. This smells different, feels different tastes different. Not being in Cincinnati two weeks ago. It just it feels yucky to me.

Luke Jones  20:19

I mean, it’s just for me, it comes out. And look, I don’t feel that strongly about it that I’m going to say that I think he’s not going to be here in 2023. But at the same time we’ve been at this, we’ve had different versions of this same conversation for going on two years now. What’s going to be different now? I mean, what truly what’s going to be different now? It’s either the ravens are going to say, All right, well, we’ll give them fully guaranteed money, on the heels of him missing the end of a second straight season, take it at face value, not even speculating about whether he was healthy enough that he could have tried to give it a go or not, like throw that out of it. Just the fact that he didn’t play right second straight season, unavailable at the end of the season. So you’re going to move off of your previous stance of not wanting to give them guaranteed money. Why? I mean, seriously, why would they do that at this point? Whether you agreed with their stance in August or not? Why would you suddenly say that they should change if that was their stance in August? On the flip side, if you’re Lamar Jackson, you’re now that much closer to the end of the line. And look, he’s not going to hit the open market. We all agree on that. Whether he’s gonna be a Baltimore Raven in 2023, he’s not just going to become a free agent. I think we all understand I see

Nestor Aparicio  21:28

the people on the internet, just, you know, the same people that stopped up every word they said Thursday, and they think it’s factual also writing that, you know, he’s on he’s a pending free agent. No, he’s not? Well, I

Luke Jones  21:40

mean, he is officially he’s scheduled to become a free, but we know he’s not gonna hit the open market, we know that the franchise tag window opens on I think it’s February 21, it runs for 15 days. And then you know, they will, it’ll be whether they placed the exclusive or non exclusive on and the exclusive will be upwards of 4344 45. It’s not set yet million dollars. The non exclusive which, by the way, I think is if you’re looking at this from a strategic standpoint, and you actually still have designs on wanting to sign your franchise quarterback long term, actually wonder if the non exclusive would actually force some action would be risky. Because if someone signs on to an offer sheet, and you decide not to match it, you only get two first round picks compared to whatever the hypothetical deal would be. However, if you’re at an impasse, and this goes back to what I was just saying, what’s different now, that wasn’t the case back in August, or last March or the year, but you know, I guess it gives him

Nestor Aparicio  22:34

a chance to feel to find fair market value. But the Ravens learned we don’t want a match. They didn’t want a match to the Shaun Watson deal.

Luke Jones  22:41

Well, but but the point at the same time, if three other teams are willing to give Lamar a fully guaranteed deal, maybe then at that point, you say, Well, this is going to be the cost of doing business, then because of Lamar is going to get a job or he’s going to get a fully guaranteed deal. And Justin Herbert is probably going to get a fully guaranteed deal. However, if Lamar, would it be able to negotiate with some other teams, and finds out no other team is going to give him a fully guaranteed deal. And I don’t know that for sure. Last August, I thought that would have been a yes. Now with him having missed the end of the second straight season, maybe maybe there isn’t another team, maybe Cleveland truly was that. I don’t want to say your unicorn because that that’s a positive coded connotation. But maybe Cleveland truly was the only team that would do that. And we’re gonna find that out with burrow, and Herbert and then at that point, the market would be pretty, pretty well set. So. But the way you look at this thing, no matter how you want to slice it, whether the Ravens right now still have genuine designs, I’m trying to keep them long term, whether they are more on the fence about it, which is kind of where I think they are right now, in terms of I think there’s still some ideas that if you can work something out, yeah, you’d love to have Lamar Jackson, because they won a lot of games with him the last five years as their quarterback, you know, on their terms they want it to be, you know, that doesn’t mean they’re giving in to him. But they’re still having those designs. But at the same time, there’s probably some thoughts of what I just said, if we couldn’t get it done last year, what’s going to make this any different now that he’s closer to free agency or closer to being on tag one and closer to being on tag two? And then at that point, you know, becoming a free agent. I mean, the longer you get down the road, it’s just what’s going to change what’s going to be different suddenly now, I mean, it’s Lamar gonna have a change of heart, or the Ravens going to have a change of heart or are both sides going to continue to be dug in. And at some point in time, you just, you come to the decision that we’re just we can’t get past this impasse, and something has to give here and rather than tagging him and having a a quarterback who’s unhappy and who knows if he’s going to be here the entire spring and summer and that’s going to complicate the idea that you have a brand new OC and you know, you’re hoping to bring in another wide receiver and there’s Lamar gonna be there for any of the spring and summer and the difference now compared to last year is OTAs are voluntary. This year, if we’re told Talking about a tax situation. Lamar has no obligation to be there whatsoever. If he hasn’t signed his tag yet, you know, he can show up in October if he wants to. Not saying that that’s the best move for him. But that would be on the table for him from a leverage standpoint. So I think they’re very much in a position. My thoughts and again, this contrast what they said on Thursday, and they were always going to say on Thursday that they still love Lamar, and they still want to keep them long term. And John Harbaugh just was going to say we’re 200% committed to Lamar B and our quarterback for 2023. And beyond. I mean, all those things were going to be said one way or the other. Why? Because it serves you no purpose does you a disservice. If you go out and air your dirty laundry, or you go out and say Yeah, well, we want to trade them. The moment you say you want to trade someone, their value, hypothetically, starts to go down a little bit. Now, it might not be a whole lot. But I mean, that’s where it is for them right now. They, their public, at least publicly going to be all in on keeping him I don’t think the ship is totally sailed or anything like that far from it. But I keep coming back, don’t

Nestor Aparicio  26:03

leave. But if I had $1 one, so I’m not saying he’s gone. I people are asking me what do you think will happen? Sure, I think he will, I think they will have to deal him because I do not think there will be a date on. And I do think that feelings have been hurt on the upper side of management. And over the last eight months, that frustration that you talk about, has moved beyond the boiling point of we’re gonna let he runs the franchise already. And we’ve been bounced out of the playoffs, like the last two years, how much longer and the style of play he plays. He’s never had anything catastrophic happen. Injury wise, right, like these have been to playoffs missed in the prime of his career. Some people may think this last one was by choice to some degree. And if there’s any conjecture about any of that, they have to move on. You know, if they have a theme, a moment of doubt, that he could have played last week. I would think there will be some feelings to say, we’re just going to quietly. We had other quarterbacks before. We’ll have other quarterbacks afterward. If you’re Steve, if you’re John, if you’re Eric, he’s not the first the last year everything. It’s unfortunate, but I I think to raise his value, they’re gonna get a king’s ransom for him. If they deal him. You’re gonna get a good deal on their end. Now never could do not have a franchise quarterback. I don’t have to go in games in September. That’s another story, literally, but they’re gonna $50 million a cap space and draft picks. And Eric thinks he’s a genius, right? Like Eric, they all do they believe they’re geniuses at creating a football team. And if they take a look this year, that’s is that any different than getting bounced out of the playoffs for them? And how they feel? Taking a look? I don’t know. I mean, like, they’re not winning Super Bowls right now. And that’s how John’s gonna make get his plaque made out in Canton. Right? I mean, they want to win a Super Bowl.

Luke Jones  28:01

You Yeah, yeah, sure. I mean, it’s been 10 years now. It’s been 10 years since I’ve been to an AFC Championship game even, which is, you know, that’s your two playoff wins in the last 10 years. I mean, that’s just the truth. Now, that covers a longer timeline than Lamar Jackson’s tenure. We understand that. But yeah, I mean, your points are well taken. And I mean, it’s, I just I think it’s the part about this, that that makes you take pause, if you’re talking about making a trade potentially. And look, you can get as many assets as you want to get the PR hit of trading, a guy who’s three years removed from being the unit unanimous MVP, very popular in this fan and as polarizing as polarizing as Lamar can be within the fan base, wildly popular. Also, you know, like,

Nestor Aparicio  28:53

outside of the fan base. He’s made people know, there are Lamar Jackson fans who are not Ravens fans. No, no, that’s and I talked about that all the time. Like we’re we care about the team Lamar will get his money, you know, and I’m not. It’s not they don’t care about Lamar, it’s just I care about Dean, I’m a raven.

Luke Jones  29:09

And you don’t have to separate those two, either. I mean, there’s there’s plenty of of, you know, if you look at the Venn diagram, there’s a massive middle portion there. But you’re right. I mean, there’s no question but the part about this that is so unsettling is they have won a heck of a lot of football games with Lamar Jackson is a quarterback when he’s been on the field. And of course, the last two, the ends of the last two seasons have made that problematic. Putting aside the, you know, the conjecture about how, how injured he was at the end of the just, again, the reality of it, how many games he’s missed, he’s missed roughly a third of their last two seasons. Look at the number of snaps he’s played relative to the total number. He’s missed a third of the last two seasons. I mean, that’s, that’s where we are right now. Again, that’s just factual information. So you look at that, but, boy, it’s great to say you want to trade for pics, but if you do draft the next Kyle bowler Oh, On the heels of trading Lamar Jackson,

Nestor Aparicio  30:02

John horrible be coaching the Jaguars for years. And you know, hardball is one thing. I mean,

Luke Jones  30:07

what does that mean for Eric to cost? What does that mean for selling tickets? What does I mean there’s there’s a lot

Nestor Aparicio  30:13

more and they have trouble selling tickets. So let’s let Well, that’s true.

Luke Jones  30:17

You’re saying having trouble selling tickets. Now you talk about if you trade Lamar, and then you draft an absolute dud is your next quarterback, this will be a walk, what you’re talking about now is a walk in the park compared to what it would be at that point the backlash would be would be monumental. So look, I’m not I’m not saying that to be gloom and doom. That’s just that’s where they are. These are. These are the conversations I’m sure the ravens and when they go and they have their annual the shotty summit in Florida, you know, here in the next couple of weeks. I don’t know exactly when it’s going to be but it’s always January, you know, when when they’re out of the playoffs?

Nestor Aparicio  30:50

My understanding is it involves ice tea and cigars. Oh, sure

Luke Jones  30:53

yet, but but they’re scrimmaging everything that you and I are talking about right now. And look, we’re not privy to nearly as much as what they know, and how they feel and what their initial plans are. And what whether they have designs of a long term deal or upping their offer. Or they’re all maybe they’ve already made up their mind that they’re going to trade. But they’re scrimmaging all these different scenarios, because this, this is the kind of decision that has massive, absolutely massive ramifications for your organization one way or the other. It To your point, if you sign him to a long term deal, let’s say Lamar, acquiesce is to some degree, and they come up with a compromise and they sign him long term. Well, if he does start to wear down because some of these lower body injuries are wearing on him, and I’m not at all suggesting the catastrophic scenario, just the idea that, you know, lower body injuries for someone who relies on his mobility, as he’s getting older and older. We saw this with Cam Newton, for example, you know, Cam never had a, it’s not like he snapped his leg in half or anything like that. No one’s suggesting that No, anyone suggesting that or rooting for that, like, you know, put that aside, and not that anyone’s word for it. But you get my point, that it’s just general wear and tear that if he, I’ve always said that this needs to be a sliding scale, right? It’s one thing to talk about him running as much as he ran his first couple years. I always thought and I wasn’t alone in this, lots of people talked about this, as he got older, it was going to have to trend a little more towards the passing side. And not that he would just stop running altogether. No one’s suggesting that, that that’s what makes Lamar Jackson, Lamar Jackson. But as he got older, it was going to be a case where he needed to be throwing the ball more the passing game becoming a greater emphasis. And then he scales back on the running, it’s always gonna be there, presumably, I mean, I don’t think Lamar is gonna play until he’s 45 Like Tom Brady, where he wouldn’t be able to move at all by then. But there was always an understanding that as time went on, the passing game would become more prominent for him and the running would be scaled back. Now. One thing we haven’t talked about a whole lot, Greg Roman ravens made the made the moves. I think that everyone anticipated, the early names that are out there. There has been a the list of guys that have been leaked, in teams or player are not players, coaches that the ravens are seeking permission to interview, there have been, it seems like it’s skewed towards passing game type guys, you know, guys that have been more? Well, you know, better versed than Greg Roman, certainly with the passing game. So maybe that’s a sign of where the ravens are trying to pivot here. But, you know, that was always going to be the case. So whether you sign Lamar Jackson, long term, inevitably, you’re going to have to be become a better passing offense. And you’re going to have to feature that more prominently, because it’s one thing to talk about Lamar at age 26. And let’s be clear, I’m not saying that next year, he’s going to cut his rushing attempts and half that’s not what I’m saying. This was always a sliding scale for me that as he gets older, more emphasis then on him as a passer, and then you’re gradually scaling back him as a rusher. I mean, I think that was a natural expectation to have. So that’s why I think you had to make the move with Greg Roman because your passing game was backsliding. If anything, it certainly wasn’t moving forward, wasn’t progressing. And that wasn’t just Greg roamans fault. I blame Eric to cast it for the wide receiver position and Lamar not being out there and Rashad Bateman getting hurt. And I mean, there’s there are always multiple variables on why things don’t work. But you know, I think if you’re the team and you’re talking about signing Lamar, long term, a big part of this does have to be progressing with the passing game because it’s just too important for them to have regressed in the way that they did over the last couple of years. And Lamar are a big part of that as progress is projecting what he’s going to look like as a passer. So, you know, again, there scrimmaging, all of this. You know whether you’re talking about a long term deal, whether you’re talking about the tag, and what that means for 2023 If he were to play on that, and what that means in terms of when he’s going to be there, if he’s going to be there, what that means for whoever you hire as your offensive coordinator, it’s an it’s not an easy sell to hire an outsider to come in if if they don’t know if Lamar is going to be here long term, I think that’s what

Nestor Aparicio  35:14

you guys have written about this at length. But I mean, then saying that Lamar was going to have input in the well, I mean, yeah, like, somebody was out on the internet. I have been privately with John many times, many times more than I could count over the years where John’s I hire my coaches. Jeff, Steve, Steve doesn’t are my coaches. Eric doesn’t are my coaches. Anchor doesn’t hire my coaches. No one hires Mike, I hire my coaches. Like and John is prickly about that. You know what I mean? Like, just and I know that from up close. I’ve seen the neck muscles get, I hire my coaches. Okay, okay, John, I got it. I got it, you know, and the perception that Steve called them on the bus coming back on 295 and fire cam Cameron. I mean, that was all poo pooed upon 10 years ago. Now, again, since then, they’ve been less than honorable with me. But Steve hires his coaches, or excuse me, John hires his coaches. And the notion that he’s gonna look across the table and say, Me, Lamar, Lamar, what do you think of cam? What do you think of Jim Zorn? What do you think of whomever that he care with Flacco thought? It’s like, go ahead, check.

Luke Jones  36:24

Right. And, and for me, what that actually means in reality is I think they’ll keep him in the loop in terms of like, who they’re talking to. If Lamar wants to be in the loop. I mean, that’s part of it, too. I mean,

Nestor Aparicio  36:35

Lamar doesn’t have to pick up the phone anymore. Right, literally.

Luke Jones  36:38

Well, and that’s the thing. I mean, we’re talking and I mean, this isn’t talking about a turn Eric to Costas flat outs said this. I mean, if Lamar wouldn’t take calls and wouldn’t engage with negotiating at different times over the last two years, I’m not saying straight through, but at different times. I mean, Eric, Eric talked about that two years ago. What makes you think that Lamar is even going to be all that engaged with the OSI now, maybe he will be maybe Lamar will do some homework. And maybe I’ll say, You know what, I actually think that guy because I’ve watched some film of that offense, and that passing game, and they emphasize this, and this is as far as their passing concepts. I think I could, I think that would be a good fit for me. Could Lamar give that kind of input here? Sure. Is Lamar going to be making the hire or being part of the actual interview? Where is he going to be sitting in No, I, he’s going to be in the loop as much as he wants to be in the loop. And, frankly, that might not be very much, or maybe Lamar will take an interest because maybe and again, this is where we Lamar is unique, right? We all talked about, he moves to the beat of his own drum. We’ve talked about that for five years now. And I don’t mean that as a knock on him. He’s a unique individual. That’s is what it is. That’s why so many of his teammates, and coaches love them. But at the same time, you kind of look at this thing and know, how much of it was Greg Rome? And how much of it was a scheme? Does the idea of a new offensive coordinator suddenly? I don’t, I’m not gonna say that makes them lower his asking price. But does it change things here? Does it reinvigorate him in a way that says, All right, let’s talk contract? I don’t know. I

Nestor Aparicio  38:10

know about offensive coordinators. Like he hadn’t been out to study Oh, I’m just saying like, well, what if you say Lamar, you bring in your OC what he has no expertise in any of that? Not go out and find the guys and then it’s going to be about him having to work with the person or not right. Person to Lamar has never met this person? Probably.

Luke Jones  38:29

I’m not. And that’s not that’s not what I’m suggesting, though. I’m not saying bars can give them. My my idea moreso of keeping him in the loop is Hey, Lamar. We’re talking to these guys. Now. Hey, here’s the here’s what so and so, Brian Johnson, the eagles who has, you know, their quarterbacks coach, you look at what Jalen hertz has done. You look at what that offense is done a run first offense, but it’s been wildly efficient. From a passing standpoint. It’s it’s what I what my vision would have been for what the Ravens were from 2019 to now like, it would look way more like it did for the Eagles this year. But that’s beside the point. And they have AJ Brown, and they have Devonte Smith and great receivers and the Ravenstone. So again, but the point is, you have someone like Brian Johnson or or any any number of names that have been talked about to this point, you know, the Zach Robinson, the pass game coordinator, the rant you tell them more, hey, we’re talking to this guy. You know, he’s one of our candidates. We’re interviewing him this week. Now, here’s some film on his passing game. What do you think? And Lamar because he’s been an MVP quarterback and he’s a far more adept passer than his harshest critics have ever given him credit for could watch it and say, hey, you know, those concepts are kind of cool. I actually think, you know, like they did this and this and I think we could, I think that would be something I could really do. Well, could could Lamar be involved in that way? Sure. No, he’s not conducting the interview or coming up with his own list of candidates or anything like that. And again, this comes back to How involved is he want to be? Joe Flacco? We talked about this with some of the offensive coordinators that they hired in the past. You know, there were times I’m sorry, they talked about Joe having important. I don’t know if Joe ever really took them up on that a whole lot, quite frankly, I think it was more a case to do what you want to do anyway. Yeah, exactly. And look, if that’s if that’s his stance, or if that’s Lamar stance, that’s fine. At the end of the day, you you’re the quarterback, that doesn’t mean you’re paid the height, you know, you’re, you’re not paid to me.

Nestor Aparicio  40:18

I just found that I just found the whole thing Thursday to just be I mean, hilarious, almost like, here’s my

Luke Jones  40:25

I had no problem with John saying that. I think it was the reaction to it, you know, for fans kind of getting overly excited about that.

Nestor Aparicio  40:33

You could have said Lamar is gonna be as involved as Lamar wants to be and then and then that would have just pushed in that foot side. Right. And that’s what the reality is that no question.

Luke Jones  40:43

I mean, they’d be foolish not to keep Lamar in the loop about it. You know? Yeah. You want to we want some feedback. Sure. Does that mean he’s making the decision? No. Does that mean he’s asking questions and part of the interview process? Probably not, you know, but do you want it does it serve you well, to keep them in the loop? If you have plans on keeping them long term EPS all

Nestor Aparicio  41:04

the way this whole thing’s crazy, because like when Eric says to his agent, which is him, go shop yourself, go get your best deal, just Lamar then as a quarterback, pick up the phone and call the GM and the ownership of the Miami Dolphins and try to force and he has no idea what he’s doing. Because this is a pretty complex maneuvering and contracts and things like, like I don’t these are the things I’d be talking about the Super Bowl two weeks from now with really smart people and saying, like, I know how this worked for Deshaun Watson who had an agent and there are people behind the scenes but who’s going to do this when he’s out running wind sprint with kids and throwing footballs in March, trying to be a $50 million a year quarterback like all of this is really really tricky. Dicky to me. It really

Luke Jones  41:50

it is. I mean, that’s why and this is where Dennis and I talked about this a good bit last week, you know, this is where I kind of present the idea of using the non exclusive franchise tag. Why to force action one way or the other, right? Ravens are dug in, don’t wanna give Lamar full the guarantee deal, everything we even though he’s never said it directly, publicly, that every understanding is Lamar wants to fully guaranteed deal or a deal that’s nearly fully guaranteed at the very least, right? I mean, that’s not talking out of turn, I think that’s obvious. That’s evident after how the last 10 months have played out. So for me, you look at the non exclusive tag, you know, what does that mean? You know, it’s it’s a higher cap number. No, he can’t negotiate with anyone else. But what’s going to change if you’ve been at the same impasse, for this long, what’s going to change at this point, unless Lamar has a change of heart, or the Ravens have had a change of heart, you’re, you’re still at the same spot. Even if you use the non exclusive tag, it just means no one else can negotiate. I

Nestor Aparicio  42:46

think they’re further dug in, if I’m anywhere, because Lamar is you can’t win without me. And I’m unhealthy. And I’ll get a deal. And the ravens are you weren’t here in January, we don’t like your agent. You know, like, I like all of that. We don’t like the uncertainty, we like certainty around here. And this is too much dust and smoke around this for us. And there’s too and it’s too rich for our blood, we’re out, you know, and I can see Steve saying, I got a $5 billion company, a little some hurt feelings amongst some fans in media, fine, we’ll be fine. Take the draft picks, Eric, you know, like,

Luke Jones  43:24

but then on the on the flip side, if you’re truly sincerely still wanting to get a long term deal done, but you just, you have no idea how to go about doing it. It’s where I’ve thought, do you and this would be risky, because you run the risk of another team signs into an offer sheet that you kind of want to say can’t you won’t match, and then he’s gone. And you get to first round picks, which is on the underwhelming end of the return. However, if you’re truly wanting to get something worked out long term, something has to give right? Someone has to realize that they’re wrong here. So you let Lamar negotiate with other teams. And this goes back to what you just said a couple minutes ago. How does that process go for him? By the way, Lamar is not wrong,

Nestor Aparicio  44:05

he’s gonna get more money from somebody else than him. That’s what he thinks. Well, he’s right. He’s right.

Luke Jones  44:11

I mean, are we so you think someone will give them a fully guaranteed deal?

Nestor Aparicio  44:15

I think somebody will give him more money than the Ravens will give him and I think that fair enough that under that would make them the prettier girl two year old kid. Fair enough. What they’ve done is not good enough to get him on the field two weeks ago, to get him at a press to get him doing what they want him to do. To your point. He walks through his own. He’s his own guy right there. And I think they need a $50 million a year guy to be their guy, not his own guy. I that’s where I that’s Steve’s management to me. And I just had bad bad juju about all that. I think I bet he’s gone. And I think assessing it from the outside and watching everyone’s reaction to all this and watching the last eight months and knowing how horrible I felt about him not showing up at OTAs last year. Well, I don’t think there’s a kissing makeup. That’s my opinion on it. So then it’s to your point,

Luke Jones  45:06

what are we going to do about it? What would maximize it? And we’ll be maximizing his say, your agent calls around and you go get your best deal, and we’ll get our best deal. And we’ll make it. He doesn’t have that. That’s the I didn’t even have that. I don’t even know how they’re gonna get their best deal, right? Well, you’re going to get the two number ones. Well, and that’s see what you lay out to me. That’s the argument for just doing the exclusive right? You know, because you don’t want to you don’t want this to be a case where someone signs into an offer sheet and you just say, Alright, that’s it. And you only get your two first round picks. To me. That would be the argument for the exclusive even though it’s a higher cap number, but then it’s it’s completely controlled by the Ravens other than just Lamar, what teams do you want to go to? And you work out the compensation. And then Lamar talks to that team and works out a contract. Right. Again, easier said than done based on how this process has worked. Based on your point. My my argument for the nonexclusive was much more to be okay. Let Lamar see what his value is. We’ve said over and over that we’re not giving them a fully guaranteed deal. We’ve said over and over steep a shot. He said this publicly at the owners meetings down in Florida last spring that know that what the Browns did and what Jimmy Haslam did was so off the mark of how the rest of the league does business and he wasn’t wrong at the time. But if you feel that much conviction about it, then that means you don’t think any other team is going to give them are a fully guaranteed deal. So what you do is Lamar go out and see what you’re worth. And, and you still

Nestor Aparicio  46:29

I don’t know truly guaranteed I think it’s more money, just more guaranteed money not fully guaranteed. I mean, maybe nobody will do that. But they’ll guarantee 85% of it and get him to 198 million guaranteed rate which are waving 130. And that sounds like 60 million. And that sounds like if I break my leg, I get $60 million more. And by the way, last few years almost broke my leg. So like, I would think Lamar is looking out for Lamar. I mean, as he should. And sure the ravens are looking out for the Ravens. And I don’t think that’s if that were kumbaya we know by now he’d have a deal, right?

Luke Jones  47:03

Oh, sure. I mean, yeah, I mean, people that want to continue to say that all you know, they’re committed to each other, you heard, I mean, they would have had a deal 18 months ago,

Nestor Aparicio  47:11

if that was like every other franchise does with its franchise. So

Luke Jones  47:15

but again, just to finish my thought, and again, I’m not saying I expect this to happen. This is just me spitballing This is scrimmaging it if you’re in a position where you’re at an impasse, but you still want to work something out long term. That would be a way of letting him go see, and you know what, maybe he gets his feelings hurt. Maybe he realized what the ravens are offering is very much in line with what other teams would offer and maybe it happened to a Louis, I was just gonna say, now a different point in his career, and inside linebacker compared to a quarterback, I mean, it’s apples to oranges. But if you truly still want to get a long term deal done, Something’s gotta give. So is that the way to go about doing it where it gives him a chance to go out? And, and, and maybe part of it is also Hey, this negotiating thing and trying to talk with other teams? And, you know, Eric’s actually, maybe not, maybe he hasn’t given me as much money as I thought, but it’s been fairly, you know, direct in how we’ve talked about it compared to dealing with six other teams that I mean, I don’t know, again, I I’m not saying that. That’s what happens. I’m not saying that that’s the best thing, necessarily, but you’re just you’ve been at the same impasse and what’s going to be different now. I mean, to your point, there’s a very strong argument that both sides are, are dug in even harder than they were before. Because Lamar saw how bad the offense stunk without him at the end of the season. And the ravens are saying, well, we didn’t want to give him a fully guaranteed deal after he missed the first season at the end of the season in 21. Now, it’s happened two years in a row. So we’re certainly not going to do it now. So it’s tough, it’s messy. You know, I feel like you and I were kind of talking in circles here. That’s what they’re doing, because it’s messy. And this is tough. And you have this unbelievable talent. And let’s be clear about that. This is a this is a heck of a quarterback. And they’ve won a lot of games. But when you’re at this impasse, and you’re talking about where he’s been, you look at where he’s been health wise, the last couple years, talking about everything we were talking about in our previous segment with Josh Allen and the bills and you know, Joe burrow in the Bengals happened to pay him sooner rather than later, when you’re talking about a monster contract. It makes things that much more difficult moving forward, you have far less room to make mistakes. And if you’re talking about availability of your quarterback be in a question. That doesn’t mean I’m saying that that means I’m not signing him. But you’ve got to at least have that part of the conversation. Right? I mean, it’s, you know, that’s part of it. So, just, it’s messy. It’s messy, and I’ll go back to what we were talking about at the end of the season, as it pertained to how hurt was Lamar in reality, compared to reports that were being leaked out presumably from the team because Lamar doesn’t have an agent to leak to the media. So we assumed every time Shefter or Ian Rapoport or You know, Rich Eisen, talking about a production meeting even every time they were talking about Lamar being that close to plane that was coming from the team now. Maybe that was all gamesmanship. Maybe that was all competitive advantage that you were trying to play against your next opponent. Maybe that’s all it was. Maybe they told the MAR that deep, you know, behind closed doors, but Lamar is tweet him talking about his up, you know, updating his medical status, his injury status and the specifics of it after talking HIPAA, HIPAA, HIPAA HIPAA. That did not suggest that the Ravens behind closed doors were telling Lamar that hey, we’re just doing this to to give the

Nestor Aparicio  50:36

industry very aggressive from the outside I’m not on the inside I’m not in the know it but I don’t feel like I even need to be in the know on this one. I smell it. I saw it at the press conference last week. I think winds of change are blowing at the quarterback position in Owings Mills. That’s That’s my opinion. I’m not going to argue with you. And the Ravens have done a lot of things they’ve never dealt a franchise quarterback away. They’ve had so many happy players here. In recent years. They’ve had a lot of unhappy players, including Hayden Hurst he’s much happier playing this week in Kansas City than he would be here saying why is Lamar not playing so Luke we’ll get after it. We’re gonna get after John Angelo’s the Orioles the playoffs the championship game. We haven’t even gotten after the Philadelphia Eagles because we may be stuck talking about them for two weeks. That’s couple weeks if if they win much to the to the enjoyment and pleasure of your brother in law but Luke can be found at Baltimore Luke, we will continue to monitor all this news. Any breaking news you’ll get it first on the wn S T tech service. That’s all brought to you by coons Baltimore for Dennis we’ll be here on Thursday from three in the five driving home get you ready on Sunday for two championship games. Eagles 40 Niners. See how that turns out and of course the Cincinnati Bengals going back out to Kansas City take on Patrick mahomes and his ankle is the there’s your $50 million a year question right there. How’s Patrick mahomes ankle this week? I am Nestor we are wn st am 5070, Towson, Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive

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