Luke Jones and Nestor interpret words of John Harbaugh and Eric DeCosta and what it all will mean once the doors to free agency open and the bidding for Lamar Jackson unfolds.
lamar, ravens, quarterback, lamar jackson, joe flacco, point, deal, people, talking, tag, play, joe, player, trade, year, draft, eric, terms, tickets, question
Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:00
Welcome back to wn s. T, Towson, Baltimore and Baltimore positive Yes. I’m wearing the 1954 drugs city shirt. No, I was not born in 1954 I’m not that damn old for crying out loud but we’re gonna be down through the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by the Maryland. I wish I had my new scratches I’ll have them in Dundalk on Friday when I get together with King Calvin stadium. My dear friend agricoles at Dr. Ingram Hallstatt I should be clear with that as well as our friends from drug city in Georgia foetus is going to be there. We’re going to be having some crabcakes having some milkshakes it’s all brought to you by our friends at window nation as well. I’m gonna get my floppy hat back on Hold on. I see that the lottery tickets are old the window nation hat is feels like the summer again. So I’m getting the when the nation hat out 866 90 nation you buy to get two free 24 months financing still still play play all of March until April get some new windows and meet me at drug city on Friday and then fade Lee’s on Wednesday. Loot Jones and I have spent a considerable amount of time in Indianapolis. I don’t we’re not bragging about that. The conditions were usually nice rooms though we’ve always had nice rooms and Anyway good meals and never had good weather in Indy. Right. We had good beer in Indy. Right. Sometimes we had good entertainment in Indy. We did crappy radio in Indy, though, right? I mean, it became a project that wasn’t great for radio. And now homogenized into your television screen, where we get to watch John Harbaugh and Eric Decosta, who once gave us taxi rides to downtown Indianapolis, we now get to watch them on the interwebs make up stories salute Jones of relative fact and fiction and it’s for experts and insiders. Well insider like you and an expert like me to get together try to figure all this out. I mean, it’s quite a show when you’re in this position, because they have to get up there and say what they’re saying no matter what they believe. Right?
Luke Jones 02:05
Yeah. And I mean, I don’t think they’re making up stories as much as just can’t say a whole lot. And this is where they are and what was ironic. What else you’re gonna say, you’re not gonna say, well, we’ve been at this for two years, and we’re no closer to a deal. And look, I’m not saying that. That’s factual information. It’s just the reality of it. But I what I did find to be ironic was and I realized this up on the morning of the Koston hardball talking so Wednesday morning, I realized that March 1, was the indeed the 10 year anniversary of the Joe Flacco contract story being broken Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, I believe, I’m 99% sure he was the first one who had that. It was a Friday evening, march 1, keep in mind, this was a little less than a month after Super Bowl 47. And I think over time, we’ve kind of thought that that aftermath of the Super Bowl was Kumbaya and the Ravens just gladly handed a check to Joe Joe into Joe Flacco and said, I’ll fill it out, even though that’s kind of sort of how it ended up playing out. But yeah, there was a little bit of tension for those few weeks where I don’t think anyone thought Joe Flacco was just gonna become a free agent, but there was talking about the tag and how feasible it was for the ravens to fit that in their cap and how is that going to work and who was going to stay and who was going to leave and, you know, we came to found out, it would cost them Anquan Boldin as far as the decision that they made, although I’ll never say that the that their hand was forced, or they could have kept down.
Nestor Aparicio 03:41
Somebody put his feet up on his desk or something like that in the postgame. But I was so close. I was in the moment, right? Like I was touching Joe’s chest with my phone, looked at all I could see was the art and his face. And the bewilderment, the look of bewilderment on Joe’s face. And I asked the first question, I think, but I think Joe referred to the contract in the app, because it was just a bizarre time. Right. And I guess we’re all happy, happy, happy. We got unhappy when Joe was, you know, a standing duck back there four years later in the contract look lopsided, right. Everybody hated the contract. It’s like the Lamar thing. Now a little bit like, our fan base, for the most part, to me feels like they want Lamar Jackson to be here. Right? Like they’re rooting for Lamar to get some money and don’t want a lame duck their car kind of quarterback, but this is different. Joe was doing this from the Superbowl podium 10 years ago, right. This is all different place.
Luke Jones 04:35
It really is. But the point I was trying to make was there was tension and there was I don’t know if I’d say pessimism, but there was certainly some uncertainty there from the standpoint of everyone had seen what Flacco had done and had had this historic run and the Ravens were going to have a Super Bowl ring and there had been a parade a few weeks earlier, but the same time, you still have to work out a deal. and jolenta, who was not Leigh Steinberg? Let’s at least put it in those terms. I don’t say that with any disrespect, but he certainly wasn’t someone who had this extraordinary list of clientele list. So it was a chance for him to really make a name for himself. And you had Joe Flacco, this guy who had been at Delaware five years earlier and couldn’t make it at Pitt and everything that we played
Nestor Aparicio 05:24
that way, Joe and Lamar are identical in that they were nobody’s favorite, you know, favorite kid on the block? When draft time came with draft on King? Yeah, yeah, I mean,
Luke Jones 05:34
you know, I mean, I clearly very different in certain ways, but you can draw some parallels there, but
Nestor Aparicio 05:41
couldn’t get drafted. Joe is a Delaware?
Luke Jones 05:44
Sure. But but the point I’m trying to make is, this always feels you know, when you’re in this position, regardless of how this is ultimately going to play out, this is why I’ve just expressed so much uncertainty. I know, you and Dennis have talked in much more confident terms about a trade. And look, I’m not saying that a trade is not going to happen. But I just think there’s still so many moving parts of this thing. But the point I’m trying to make is, whenever you are in this kind of a position, and you have a deadline looming, and the first deadline is right around the corner. Now we’re days away from the franchise tag deadline. And in terms of is it gonna be exclusive non exclusive? What’s that going to mean for the Ravens cap? What’s that going to mean? In terms of is Lamar going to be able to seek his value with other teams, is there going to be a trade is some team going to be willing to match both Lamar is asking price for a contract. And what the ravens are asking for in terms of compensation, there are a lot of unknowns there still, regardless of how you think this is ultimately going to end up. getting from point A to point B is still very murky, whether ultimately, Lamar Jackson stays put whether he plays on the tag for 2023. And we’re talking about the same exact stuff a year from now, or if he is ultimately traded, the all the details still have to be worked out there. And that’s where I do empathize, to a degree what Eric Acosta was talking about on Wednesday, and not saying very much, because there are a lot of moving parts involved in this. But even if you want to look through the most positive, optimistic lens at this point, and even if you’re still holding out hope, that they’re gonna get a long term deal done sooner rather than later, which I’m not saying is going to happen. These things tend to feel bleak, and very pessimistic. Until they’re not anymore. And again, what is that ultimately going to mean, for Lamar Jackson? What is it going to mean for the Ravens? Who knows, but one thing that did resonate with me, and it doesn’t change anything, but it’s just a reminder, because of what you just said, looking at this from a fan base perspective, and even the organization, you make decisions in March and April, and May, you’re not playing football for several more months, right? I mean, you’re still six months away from kicking off that even if you have come to a decision that there is no compromise to be made here. And we can’t continue to go down this road, and we are going to explore a trade. Eric Decosta said it being in that position where you don’t have a franchise quarterback. It’s not a fun position in which to be and it’s not a good feeling. And the Ravens have not found themselves in that position since the end of 2007. And you could probably talk and say, Well, okay, 2017 you know, Flacco at that point was breaking down, certainly hadn’t been the same player. They had missed the playoffs, three straight years. So it’s not as though the organization was feeling great about Joe Flacco in 2016 and 17. I mean, they drafted his replacement as a result, but the point Acosta was making was since 2008, they’ve had Joe Flacco. And they’ve had Lamar Jackson and going back to 2008 they’ve had a lot of success, you know, certain periods of time more successful than others but they haven’t had runs where they’re going forward for and 13 for
Nestor Aparicio 08:50
bed not wondering who their quarterback is until December the last two years Right. I mean, literally and and the year they lost Flacco which wasn’t, you know, they weren’t good that year anyway, but there, but there is a different thing when you don’t, when you’re out there playing with Ryan mallet, and that’s, and that’s the way or you’re out there playing with Tyler Huntley. Or you’re out there playing with name Annie, Chris Redmond, and you’re all the way back. If you’re playing with any of those guys, you’re not feeling real good about being Pat Patrick mahomes. This week, any more than you were feeling good about beaten Tom Brady back then, or Peyton Manning or any of those guys, because we know how this game is played? The parade was out in Kansas City for a reason.
Luke Jones 09:24
Yeah. And that and that’s where you look at this thing and say, to what degree can you afford to lose Lamar Jackson, but on the flip side, and this is where the Ravens have found themselves, because no one’s disputing the fact that he’s a franchise quarterback. He’s an excellent quarterback. Now it doesn’t look the same as everyone else. But the results have been there. He’s been very successful. And we know he was MVP of the league four years ago. And they’ve been they’ve won way more games than they’ve lost when he’s been on the field. But you mentioned the availability, and you do mention, how far can you go? And more specifically, are you willing to go to keep him and then what are the ramifications and consequences to do that. So, you know, the Ravens have been trying to thread that needle for two plus years. But really the last 11 months since the Deshaun Watson deal came to fruition and understanding what impact that was going to have on any negotiation, regardless of whether other quarterbacks are gonna get a fully guaranteed deal or not in the same way that right now, the general consensus among pundants and and people that follow contracts like Joe Cory, who is a former agent who writes for CBS sports.com, and I know he just put out a piece talking about contract structures for Lamar that wouldn’t be fully guaranteed that he thinks would be realistic. Joe burrow is up for an extension, but eligible for an extension at this point, Justin Herbert, same thing. Jalen hertz, who came very close to winning the Super Bowl, just nobody
Nestor Aparicio 10:52
wants to be first in that race. They all want to be best.
Luke Jones 10:54
Right? Exactly. Because you can say, and you can speculate all you want about whether any of those individuals are going to get fully guaranteed deals. And look, I don’t think they would if you’re going to ask me to predict that. But you know, right now, they’re all hoping they’re all secretly rooting for Lamar Jackson to get it done in the same way that if this franchise tag that feels inevitable at this point, at least in the short term, regardless of whether there’s gonna be a trade or not, or long term deal, at some point, there’s gonna be a tag, you know, barring something very strange over these last few days leading up to that deadline. But Lamar is hoping and as his inner circle, and the NFLPA is hoping that those other quarterbacks will be pushing for a fully guaranteed deal. So then you’re back into the same game of chicken or whatever you want to call it, just trying to wait this thing out, because it’s one thing to say Deshaun Watson is the outlier. And yeah, I get it. The couple of deal extensions that have been signed since then, have not been fully guaranteed. But if Lamar Jackson were to succeed in getting a fully guaranteed deal, then you’re talking about to in the last calendar year, then that does change the conversation for some of these guys. So, you know, we’re not, we didn’t uncover anything. We didn’t take away anything new from what Eric d’acosta and John Harbaugh said on Wednesday, and I didn’t expect to hear anything new, as you alluded to, and it’s just reality. They really have no choice but to play nice and what they say right now and what they might say behind closed doors, or if you’re having a cocktail on a late night into Indianapolis this week. Yeah. And you give them you know, the proverbial truth serum, I’m guessing they they’d have some not so flattering things to say about Lamar The Negotiator compared to Lamar the person but you know, it’s not as though you can just say, well, we’re not giving them a fully guaranteed deal. He’s being completely unreasonable. And while we’re gonna look to trade them, because the moment you
Nestor Aparicio 12:50
listen, I believe and, and, and honestly, these press conferences, I’ll say this, the one thing that I think that has happened, if I’m writing about it a columnist or I’m in my big wisdom, if people ask me, I’m like, There’s bruised feelings here. I know there are I have the head coach in my phone, right? I know, I know that there was some friction to some degree. And then my eyes telling me when he’s not in Cincinnati, the students stoop saying stupid stuff on Twitter that got me banned from Twitter correct strangely enough, that things that are anti anything that team would ever want him doing in that way. And then just for you know, my girlfriend told me to take it down. I’m thinking oh my god, there’s not even chat still didn’t get along who who’s in his ear? Where’s this? Where’s James urban? Where’s his quarterback? Who who’s the drone? And Where’s where’s Jameel McClain? Like, where? Where are the people that are supposed to be supportive and team at at that point, when he’s injured, it’s late and see, like, all these things are going wrong, that it feels to me like there’s bruised feelings, and they’re not going to be made better by the Ravens giving him more money, or him making them feel better because he doesn’t feel at all like he needs to. He feels like you can’t win without me. And I’ve shown you that now. So here’s the middle finger, either give me the money and I’ll come back. Or, you know, you could figure out what to do with me. Now that being said, look, the thing that keeps me awake at night, and if Eric the constant I had the relationship we once had or that we always had. We even had last February this time. Then if I was asking him about it in this the thing that keeps me awake at night, is I don’t know how this gets executed. Without professionals. I bought and sold the radio station land this that it cars all this in every case, a lawyer, helper, a middle person, a realtor, an accountant, things that Just I’m 55 He’s not that are just best left to perfect plumbing, electricity, my eye doctor, the people that make the glasses, I prefer professionals in every case. And there are in any case, what we’re talking about to your point, and I always, I don’t say this off enough about my appreciation for you, but my appreciation for you comes when you’re like, This is complicated. A bunch of you like, well, well, well, we all just taught him he’s gonna go there and get this and that. Who’s gonna execute this? Who’s going to get on the phone with the ownership of Miami, the ownership of Tampa, the owner, that pick the teams Atlanta and these places, because for the Deshaun Watson deal to have gotten done last year, aside from all of the legal and I’m sure that was a whole different layer, put in there. And Jimmy Haslam was on the bad phone and Cleveland eventually wrote the check, right. But there are people in Atlanta Carolina there money people, money managers, lawyers, football people, evaluators, doctors, doctors, when you’re giving somebody to it, let me see your knee. Lamar, last I checked, you couldn’t play you. You were so bad that your coach said you couldn’t even come to Cincinnati to watch your team lose. Right? So all of this being said, the thing that keeps me up at night that if I were asking if I had one question, a silver bullet question for Eric to cost it wouldn’t be do you love in the morning? Okay. I see what’s going on here. There’s bruised feelings. I’m just gonna leave it at that, whatever that means. They made a movie irreconcilable differences, right. Like, you know, okay, fine. So there’s going to be a change. Now how do we execute this change? Will you say to him, shall we deal with Hollywood last year, right, we kept it on the DL, I’m good. You’re good. Your values better that way. As a businessman, my our values better that way. We’re gonna keep your value up. We’re gonna go to Indianapolis gonna say great things about you. Right? We’re gonna say great things about you. And we’re going to, we’re not going to bruise any more feelings here. Like we’re in business. You’re a businessman, Lamar, we’re okay, great. Now, it’s all right. We’re not going to do this. We’re gonna figure this out. Lamar. The floor is yours. Right? Like, and I don’t know what happens when that happens. Right? Like sign sign the franchise tag and the floor is yours. Now, go make a deal and bring it like, and I don’t know who does that. And and I know in any case, if it’s team Rosenhaus team, least Cyber Team jolenta. He’d have three people in the office doing this and that and you’re like, I don’t know where that’s coming from. And there’s never been a perception. And again, Eric fed this again. hours ago. It’s just me and Lamar. There is no, there’s no there there. It’s just Lamar. And if that’s true, and again, they bend the truth around there a lot. I know this on a personal level. But if true is true. That’s the mystery to me. And I can’t feel Chris Sims talking about it the other day with Florian whatever, just about the economics of shoe deals, and like how these things happen behind the scenes. I, I think there’s got to be an incredible level of frustration to your point that all right, the Deshaun Watson thing got done. And it wasn’t easy. And there was bidding and there was this and that, but there were professionals at every level, orchestrating that trying to get it done. I just, that keeps me up at night that if I’m going to talk about anything, I would talk about that. Well, and
Luke Jones 18:32
I think what’s unfortunate about this, and look, I’ve said this for a while I’ve written this. I don’t know how many different times over the last 11 months. But I think what’s tough about this is because there’s such a natural reaction, especially on social media where nuance is lacking. To always paint one side is good and the other bad. I’ve said all along there, there’s a fair whether you agree with it or not whichever side wherever you fall on the spectrum, there’s a far a fair argument for Lamar Jackson, to ask for a fully guaranteed deal based on the fact of he’s a better player than Kyler Murray or Russell Wilson, a different stage of his career, and certainly a better player and a more highly respected individual off the field than Deshaun. Watson. So understanding that, on the flip side, the Ravens saying, well, just because we the Cleveland Browns did this and look at their track record, why are we going to take cues from what that organization does, in terms of considering that to be something that is remotely smart? We’re not going to do it? Those are both very fair positions from which to argue. Now, going back to what you just said, What’s unfortunate about this for Lamar Jackson, the football player, the the business man, is there absolutely agents. I mean, there have even been reports that agents would take you know that kinda typical Mo is around 3%. There have been reports I believe Mike Florio of pro football talk talked about the fact that there have been agents who said they take 1% to represent Lamar Jackson. And if he truly wanted to achieve a fully guaranteed deal, then he would have someone that’s a DEP to add Nicola negotiating and with 16
Nestor Aparicio 20:23
different teams, it’s hard to negotiate with one team.
Luke Jones 20:27
Or it’s as simple as Okay, okay, Baltimore. Well, Lamar is going to show up for training camp last August, but and he’s gonna be in the building, so you can’t find him, but he’s gonna hold in. Because we’ve seen other players do this very successfully. And he’s not going to take the practice field, he’ll be there. So you can’t find them and do that whole thing or threaten a holdout or whatever, something.
Nestor Aparicio 20:52
Looks for this organization for him. Right? That would stink, wouldn’t it? I don’t think that the Ravens would What about last scenario?
Luke Jones 21:01
No talking about last summer. Okay, but I’m talking. But I’m talking about last summer. And in terms of if he wanted to play this, to truly force the issue as much as he could to try to get a fully guaranteed deal. An agent sometimes is the individual to say, hey, you know, if you wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs. And to this point, other than Lamar skipping, voluntary OTAs, which, as we said, even at the time, and you and I scrimmaged and sparred about this a little bit, I thought it was a symptom of all things not being well. But I didn’t think it was that terribly consequential to the outcome of the 2022 season. And I still don’t even regardless of the fact that they went 10 and seven and Mark was hurt at the end of the year. And, you know, kind of, you know, the his production tailed off after a really hot start. But you keep coming back to this for either side to get what they want. And again, whatever that is at this point in time, and you and I’ve debated that, and people are wondering that right now what what exactly is going to constitute a win for anyone at this point for the race.
Nestor Aparicio 22:03
That’s how I I honestly think that that’s, that’s their only option if you won’t sign from what they want, right? I mean, oh, sure. That’s what because they’re not going to tag him and think he’s gonna be I think that was a missing question. I think if I had been in Indianapolis, I may have said to Eric, are you confident he’ll play if you tag him? I mean, I would have taken and Eric would have danced on that. I mean, fine, whatever he would have said he would have said, but that’s the question. They don’t they don’t they they don’t really think he’s going to show up and be a happy camper and play. I think there were some people around there that think he was an unhappy camper and might have could have should have made it weeks ago, right? Like that may, you know, there are some doubters. There’s not just in the fan base. There’s just some people think he didn’t try hard. He could have done more, as you said about the Orioles the other day, but I don’t think there’s any scenario where anybody thinks there’s a kumbaya under the franchise tagging him holding in and missing can’t like all the all the what you talked about last year, but on steroids this year, and at his whim. I don’t think the team can do that. I mean, that’s what I’m saying. I don’t think the team could do that. Yeah,
Luke Jones 23:12
I mean, look, I mean, there’s there’s major fallout from a cap standpoint, in terms of what you’re trying to do to Hey, you want to try to improve your roster, right? I mean, even if you’re gonna say Lamar is gonna play on the tag, great. Well, what are you doing a wide receiver? What are you doing about corner because Marcus Peters based on the way Eric the cost to talk that wasn’t overly optimistic, even though he said he’s had some conversations with with his agent, but you have other areas to address. So even if even if you find out Lamar is willing to play on the tag and look, at the same time, what what I would say in reply to what you just said is, he’d be if it’s the exclusive tag, he’s leaving $45 million on the table, then which is more than what well, more than what his career earnings are. So there’s, there’s some kind of middle road there, him potentially sitting out the entire season, and during the levy on bail thing, okay, that would be the one extreme. The other extreme would be that, you know, everything’s fine. And he signs the tag, and maybe he skips mini camp, but he’s there for training camp and signs the tag and, you know, you kind of run it back up with what you did last year. But even with that scenario, which would probably, that’s as good as you could expect, if you’re the Ravens in terms of a scenario where he plays on the tag. How are you improving your football team in the process? I mean, who are you cutting? Who are you bringing in who, how many deals? Are you gonna have to renegotiate? And then that’s what the thought of, well, if you had to tag them this year, then you’re gonna have to tag them next year. So I mean, it’s just, there’s so much to it. But again, I’ll keep coming back to two points. One, can they find the team that’s willing to meet the Mars contract? Ask and can they find the team that’s willing to meet that and also give the Ravens enough trade compensation where they feel feel good about moving on? Because that’s one part of it. And then the other part of it is still what the heck are you doing a quarterback then because I’m sorry if we’re gonna sit here and say you’re going to trade away Lamar Jackson with all the whatever concerns you want to throw out there in terms of durability the last couple years and all that you still got to replace them and
Nestor Aparicio 25:24
I would say that that makes this week really really important we’ve done a lot of Lamar Lamar Lamar, combine, combine, combine, they only had five picks. Let’s start with that. So if the five picks turns into eight because they do Lamar and if that’s what the it’s in the back of their mind to begin with, or if they have a player on the edge of their roster they think they can deal and get get it to or because they don’t want to sign them Patrick queen, I don’t know. You know, wherever, right? Like if there if that happens. Okay, they would draft one of these quarterbacks. I mean, I guess that makes the underwear Olympics that much more important this year, in that one of these cats might be the apple of their eye. In real terms when I’m writing Purple Reign three when they let me back in. That was funny. I mean, made you laugh. He pitched yourself with that when that this would be their sweepstakes to go find another court. Listen, man, one thing I’ll say about these arrogant SOPs that run this team that you’re keenly aware of, and why we’re not in Indianapolis eat big steaks this week. And drink a beer with Peter King. They’re arrogant, nasty. We were here first. We’ll be here forever. Big shoddy, you know, like John’s coach for life. Eric’s here for a long time. And you’re just a quarterback and we’ll find another one. And, you know, there were four others that came before you and we made you what you were, you know, we made a system that that allowed you to be you. No one else even wanted you dude. So that being said, meet your new owner in Detroit or Miami or wherever you’re gonna go. We’re going to do our thing. And we’re going to take that kid with the seventh pick because we like him. And we’re gonna live with whatever, rent a quarterback backup Ryan mallet I don’t make the names up, right, bring Ryan Fitzpatrick back off the city to have a great beard. I’m the dude with the funny mustache. lit it up in Jacksonville for three weeks. I don’t want a backup quarterback. I don’t want to five and 12 issue around here. But I do think if you draft the next golden boy Stetson you know I don’t know whatever whatever the project is they’ll shine it up and sell it up and say we took the second best quarterback in the draft it’s a project it’s slow it’s good. We got things going on we got a lot of players around here we get some cap flexibility now right when you know what I mean? Like what will bring some play and this guy’s the next Joe Flacco this guy’s the neck rub we’re smart. We took Lamar we took Joe are we I know y’all pistol this about wide receivers, but we know quarterbacks we were 2421 quarterbacks will be three for three. And that’s that I those guys think that way they do. They really do.
Luke Jones 28:07
But they’re not two for two. They you go back to the one before that it was kind of baller. I mean, I hear you. And look I’m not even saying that that wouldn’t be the the mentality if it if it’s come to that.
Nestor Aparicio 28:19
Brian and move.
Luke Jones 28:21
Sure. Sure. Sure. Yeah. Or what? Who wasn’t who didn’t answer the phone laughing somewhere that on a golf course right now because the Vikings didn’t answer the phone for Biron left, which the trade but
Nestor Aparicio 28:35
I made you laugh me laughing this segment. I mean,
Luke Jones 28:38
again, everything you just said and it’s great to feel that way. And you can feel emboldened saying those such things in March and April until that quarterback shows up and can’t play that again. That’s where I keep coming back to there are no win for the Ravens. I’m not sure there’s a winning scenario here. Because you’re the winning
Nestor Aparicio 29:02
scenario comes when the ball snapped in September they win games right? I mean, that that’s the business of it. Right? I mean, really,
Luke Jones 29:08
but my but my point is you have a franchise quarterback who’s done impressive things. Look, has he won a Super Bowl yet? No. But the same can be said about a lot of other great quarterbacks that are that are playing today and played yesteryear. But the point is not being able to work something out. That’s a failure. I mean, look, and that’s not to say that it’s the ravens are to blame. But that overall the overarching message here is that’s a failure. Right? It’s only a failure if you still want him re Lewiston walk out the door in 2001 and walk out the door in 2006 Joe Flacco stay put, you know and won a Super Bowl and great you know, regardless of the fact that that deal didn’t aged terribly well. So yeah, but you lose a talent like Lamar Jackson. There’s no winning scenario. Now again, you Mike get a boatload of picks. And maybe you will draft the next Patrick mahomes. Mate, maybe that does happen. You know, I’m not sure any of these guys in this year’s draft class, or next year are going to be that guy because that guy looked like you could be the next Tom Brady, the way things are going and I don’t say that lightly. I tell highly, I think of Patrick mahomes At this point, but, you know, it’s a lot. It’s a lot of things have to go well, in order for that to happen. So and that’s not to say that the Ravens just give him whatever he wants, right? It’s not to say you just give them a blank check, either. But whatever you ultimately decide here, boy, you’re treading carefully because there’s a lot of fallout involved. And we’ve talked about this and you know, it again, it’s great to say, All right, we couldn’t come to an agreement. We’ve traded them to the Atlanta Falcons for pics A, B, C, D and E this year next, we feel confident that we’re going to get our guy they can draft that guy. What impact does that have on your fan base? What impact does that have?
Nestor Aparicio 31:02
Immediately Dennis and I talking about this the last three months in real terms. There plenty of people that are prepared for the wn st text to come. I just want you to like you’re gonna be the one typing neck brought to you by Coons, Baltimore Ford, he still for three picks into the land wherever it is, right? You’re gonna be the one doing that. They’re not gonna be any shock in your fingers. When that happens. Like, and there’s not going to be any shock when I receive it, Luke, you know what I mean? Like, I am fully prepared for that. As a lifer fan media member, I’ve been reporting on it, I’ve read the tea leaves, you know, I have some insider information even though I ain’t an insider, no more. I just feel it. This feels like there’s bruised feelings in that just to your point it it is what it is. Right. Like it’s one of those things and so when that comes, it’s not a shock. I don’t think and I think the fans will be like, what are you gonna do? Alright, we’re gonna come on the radio say what are you gonna do? And they’re gonna go into the draft and pick somebody. I think that’s what they’re gonna do. I really do.
Luke Jones 32:04
I’m not saying that’s not what’s gonna happen but good luck selling tickets in the meantime, for I mean,
Nestor Aparicio 32:12
they will tell you privately Martin sell tickets even though he sold excitement sizzle, but and I would tell you privately, it’s because they got bad people working in their building. But that’s and they haven’t done a good job, really with the community and selling tickets and connecting the way they once did. And turn off. You know, I would have said that. People would have said that about the Colts. Right, like so that’s it Get off my lawn statement. And that’s fine. And it is what it is. But, you know, to your point, they can’t sign their quarterback that’s not good. Throwing people like me. Yeah, that’s not You’re not letting stand white in the President’s night. They told you they’re not the family, you know, local business and hugging everybody and everything and every fan. They’re not. They’re really not so to some degree, the selling tickets thing. It’s like the Orioles man, dude, you and I go back and forth. I don’t go to the games. Why? Well, I don’t like the city. Well, I’ve met that guy. I’m afraid of the city. I’ve met that guy. I don’t like the team. I don’t like Peter Angelos. I don’t I watched the games on TV. It’s, you know, cost you much. I mean, we can go through all of that. But I’ll just stop you and just say Lamar has been here winning and blue. And you’re down there. I haven’t been dead. I’m online see tickets for $5 Every week, and I had tickets I couldn’t give away in the beginning of the law where I gave up my PSL. So I would just say like selling tickets, Lamar didn’t sell tickets. I don’t. I don’t know why I would just say that’s something for them to figure out in the building, that they it never bothered them as much as it bothered me, because I was the one eat the tickets. Right. So I just would say, how are they going to sell tickets? Lamar didn’t sell tickets? And that’s sad. I mean, it really is, but
Luke Jones 33:52
he did. It can get way worse. No doubt, I’ve traveled so. So from that standpoint, I would hesitate in saying he didn’t sell tickets. He sells tickets now. Is it to the degree that you are I or someone who really understands ticket markets and live sporting events in 2023? To the degree that he should have that? I want to bring something up? I know we’re running long here, but Right, that’s what we do. We’re so you know, and you’ve been much more bullish on the idea that there that there’s gonna be a trade? I still don’t know. But certainly I find that far more likely now than I did six months ago or a year ago or certainly two years ago. But okay, the Ravens tag, let’s say it is for argument’s sake, it’s the exclusive tag because then the Ravens have full control over where he’s gonna go. What happens if there’s not a team that’s willing to meet his asking price for a contract or provide the necessary trade compensation? What happens then? That’s why I’ve said All along to us that he
Nestor Aparicio 35:00
doesn’t have a team of people to even make that deal like that. I would say finance that that that. I mean, the one thing
Luke Jones 35:08
I would say about that not completely fair point, the Ravens would be involved in this process, they would have to be heirs from that standpoint X.
Nestor Aparicio 35:18
He look, he wants to 32 If you’re not going to give him that to get on the phone. Right, right. So like so from that standpoint, what he wants, right, but yep, Sprite,
Luke Jones 35:27
so the ravens, you know, they would be involved there and they could broker an agreement if it’s there. But my question is, what if it’s not those Lamar come? Does Lamar come back to the table with the ravens, and now he’s more willing to take their offer, whatever it might be. Or, and this this was speculated about going back a year or two ago, does Lamar dig in his heels and say, You know what, I’ll play on the tag. I’ll play on the tag next year, because I think I can get my fully guaranteed deal by going to Kirk Cousins route now. Whether that’s smart or not, is that a viable option that he could do that? Because here’s the thing, the Ravens can’t trade them without him signing the tag. So he just says you’re not trading me I’m not gonna sign the tag. So you know, there’s still a lot of room here for impasse stalemate, whatever you want to call this thing,
Nestor Aparicio 36:26
the kumbaya happens by not pissing him off and finding a good exit. And I think that’s getting back to the press conference being thankful a circle, you know, that they they did what we expected them to do, which is keep them ours value. Hi. Talk about him being here. And our guy, Lamar, how many times John loves Lamar, Lamar Lamar on a John level, Mr. Murrell wins in the Morris mom loves tomorrow, Wednesday. So like, and all of this is predictable. But I think in the end that you will be sending a text about a trade, because I think they’ll figure out a way to get it done. But all of this is very unorthodox. And and the larger picture of all of this Luke, and it’s taken me a little time to I’ve been traveling a little bit back and forth doing other things kind of off the record a little bit off the reservation, I should say a little bit. This is the biggest story in sports. Right? This is the biggest story in Indianapolis. It’s the biggest story on ESPN. It’s a bigger story in NFL Network. It’s the bigger it’s bigger in the NBA. It’s bigger than LeBrons injury. It’s bigger than anything stupid spring training. It’s bigger than the innings Festival. It’s bigger and Barry trots become the general manager, the national press. It’s it’s it’s bigger March Madness. It’s it’s the biggest story in sports. So we haven’t had a lot of those around here that, uh, you know, really we haven’t in, in the 31 years, I’ve been doing radio. So there is this Epicenter part. You could sense how many people around the cost and hardball trying to ask the Lamar question in Indianapolis. Right.
Luke Jones 37:57
No doubt, no doubt. And I mean, it’s it’s a massive story, I think back to two years ago, when you and I would be talking about the contract. And you’d have so many different fans and even media types say that it’s a non story, because there was just that strong of an assumption that something was gonna get done. I mean, and why wouldn’t you think that I mean, at that point, he was only a year removed from the an MVP, and it was all Kumbaya. The Ravens love Lamar and Lamar loves the ravens, and they’ve just never gotten. I mean, I’m not gonna say they haven’t gotten closer. But, you know, since
Nestor Aparicio 38:31
he hasn’t been well enough to play to win big games, like literally, that.
Luke Jones 38:37
And, you know, I’m glad you brought that up, because it’s just, you know, again, I don’t want to belabor the point, but I my most recent 12 ravens thoughts at Baltimore positive.com. You know, I made the point that, you know, if, if Lamar had won the MVP in 2022, or if the Ravens had had, if he had had the Joe Flacco run, and had won the Super Bowl, he’d be getting a fully guaranteed deal. I mean, that’s just how it would be right. I mean, what else you got to do? I mean, some people think they should give that to him. Now, even with him having missed the end of the last couple seasons, but if he had that kind of leverage, I don’t think there’d be any debate in the same way that Joe Flacco was never truly the best quarterback in the NFL. Right. He was historically great for those four weeks in the 2012, postseason, he was a franchise quarterback, but no one ever thought he was truly the best quarterback in the NFL, other than maybe for those two or three weeks. However, that’s not the point was he had extraordinary leverage and jolenta did what you do when you have extraordinary leverage he did to the Ravens what everyone’s thinking right now. I mean, that’s what it was. So, but the reality is 2019 was four years ago. Lamar is peak performance was four years ago. He’s missed, what 13 games where he’s either been in inactive or injured over the last two seasons, almost, you know all of those except for what one being in December or January
Nestor Aparicio 40:08
and the perception of him not being at a game they lost in the playoffs. I mean that that’s big for me. First question I’d ask is, why does the kid not Cincinnati with you if you love Him, and He loves you? And yeah, otherwise you’re not there? Like, I mean, that’s not as big premiere question.
Luke Jones 40:22
Fair enough? I’m not saying it’s not a fair question. To me, that’s more comes back to a symptom of there not being a lot of trust. And I don’t I mean, that being a two way street at this point in time, I call it bruised feelings. And I think even from the standpoint of somebody in the organization was leaking the fact that Lamar was only gonna miss two or three weeks now, whether that was full blown gamesmanship or whether there was a very strong belief amongst some in the organization that he could have played and returned. And, and been right by I don’t know, week 17, or whatever it would have been, but comes back to trust. But, you know, go back to what I just, you know, the point I was trying to make durability concerns are understandable, at this point, his performance while it’s still very good. And you know, I don’t want to diminish the player at all, because he’s a fantastic football player, but he hasn’t played at the level he was in in 2019. That his best performance over the last couple years has been a little more fleeting, he tailed off midway through the 2021 season. And again, other reasons for that no question, including an offensive coordinator is no longer here. Last Last season, we talked about it first three weeks of the year looked like 2019, MVP, Lamar, and then, you know, kind of went away. And again, there were other reasons for that beyond him. But if you’re talking in terms of performance, in terms of his durability, which some concern, doesn’t mean, I think that he’s going to break down this coming season. But are there durability concerns for someone who’s athletic athleticism is absolutely vital to his performance, more so than any other quarterback in the league? Those are not realities. For me that disqualify giving him a top of the market, conventional kind of deal that we’ve seen, quarterbacks get now for going back to all the way to before Joe Flacco, you know that I’m not at all reserved in wanting to do that. However, those realities those factors, they don’t leave me inclined to want to follow what the Cleveland Browns did last year. And that’s where we find ourselves at this point where Lamar is asking for that. The ravens are not willing to do that. So they haven’t been able to bridge the gap. So if you cannot bridge the gap, what’s next, and that’s what we’re all kind of waiting for the other shoe to drop, we’ll get a little bit of clarity now and finding out non exclusive or exclusive, that’ll be the next step. And we’ll kind of see how that works. But there’s still there’s a lot that still has to be done here, even if you are of the mindset that that you have that he’s going to be traded this offseason. So it’s a lot, a lot, a lot of eyes to dot and T’s to cross until we get to that point, because there’s still that has to be facilitated. And again, coming back to a player not having an agent, it complicates things. And again, it’s not making one sided the good guy on the other side, the bad guy. I’ve said that all along. Both sides have a very fair stance here. It’s unfortunate that they haven’t they haven’t been able to bridge the gap. And as I said, even if it ends up in Lamar Jackson no longer being a Baltimore Raven. And even if they get a boatload of picks, that’s still going to qualify as a loss for me in short, in terms of just a disappointment that you haven’t been able to work something out with this player, but that that is the cost of doing business. And one thing I will say, for anyone who’s been really deflated by this, from a fan standpoint really have found this off putting and disappointing and everything. I’ll say this much. This is how things kind of work in the NBA on the regular. I mean, talk about Kevin Durant, you know, get right up play for the suit up for the Phoenix Suns. No, it was
Nestor Aparicio 43:57
in an alternative universe here with not just Cal Ripken and Brooks Robinson and those memories of all that, but the Ravens had been really adept at keeping their the players that they want to keep rare,
Luke Jones 44:09
very rare. I mean, we’re not talking Ed Reed in his lap on his last legs going to Houston, you know, CJ Mosley was an inside linebacker a good one. But not Lamar Jackson, right? No, certainly not Ray Lewis or Ed Reed in their prime. The Ravens have never been in this kind of position where it’s trending on the surface and probably deeper than that trending in such a bad direction with a player who see what you want about where Lamar ranks historically, amongst the greatest players in history. He had the unquestionably the greatest single season in franchise history in what he did in 2019. And to be talking about three four years later, him no longer being with the team. You’re right I mean, that’s that is uncharted territory for
Nestor Aparicio 44:59
anyone only One playoff game.
Luke Jones 45:02
One playoff went. Yeah, it’s a team result. But again, I’ll go back to no one in the history of this organization has had a season like he had in 2019. You know, we can talk about the playoff part of this. Sure, that’s part of it. But at the same time, you know, Ed Reed had never won a Super Bowl until his final year when he was a shell of the player. He was in his prime. So, you know, it’s part of it. It is but at the same time, it’s hard not to feel like that the end result would be a failure for the Ravens if Lamar is no longer playing here, because replacing him is easier said than done. Not impossible, not saying that they’re going to be doomed forever, but the idea that you’re going to train them and you’re going to be fine, just like that. That’s asking a lot and that’s asking a lot of good fortune to fall their way.
Nestor Aparicio 45:52
Is that a reel to reel on your shirt?
Luke Jones 45:53
What is that? So Foo Fighters?
Nestor Aparicio 45:55
T shirt? T shirt? Yeah. Because I was gonna say I have some of those real reels, laying around a radio station and I found one recently had Charlie Ekman stuff on it’s a Jr. Got Charlie Ekman last Charlie Ekman tape on on real real so these to sell those in Columbia House too, but I never bought those I did do the eight tracks a little bit. I will be drug city on Friday. I will be celebrating my father’s birthday all weekend. March 5. Anybody knows me longterm. Those March 5 Is my dad’s birthday Pisces. And we will be on the eighth next Wednesday at fadeless in the morning. Celebrating maybe the final time and the old Mark it’s all brought to you by the Maryland lottery. As well as our friends to win their nation I’ll have some new scratch offs to give away. The new old the wishbone its 50th anniversary at Maryland lottery. So watch the throwback stuff and when their nation 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free and then you have two years 0% financing it’s a pretty good deal. And it saved me a lot of money this this winter really has. Windows are great. Now what to do about the spiders in the books he is Luke I am Esther the ravens are being completely honest in Indianapolis it’s combine time we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore and we never stop talking Baltimore positive