Luke Jones and Nestor tamper into the early NFL free agency period with Lamar Jackson and provide updates and observations about this busy time of the football offseason.
lamar jackson, ravens, teams, lamar, quarterback, guaranteed, deal, year, play, scenario, offer, ray lewis, cap, game, week, point, money, talking, tag, jimmy haslam
Luke Jones, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Looking back at W n s t tell us a little more and Baltimore positive we are positively into March Madness around here we’ve got bracketology everywhere we’re two weeks out on opening day we’ve got green beer I’ve got Maryland crabcake door dates coming courtesy, the Maryland lottery and our friends at weathernation. But this week we’re gonna be doing March Madness at Hollywood casino Perry Ville and of course that’s going to be at the Barstool Sports book restaurant. It is family friendly. Come by, get some wings, get some beer, get some burgers, has the pizza stay while hang out Terps play at noon on Thursday. I’ll be there all Thursday afternoon. And I would think Luke that at 1215 when the Terps tip off against West Virginia. We still won’t have any real thought about what’s happening with Lamar but you never know. I mean, these quarterbacks are coming off the deck pretty quickly. Even cornerbacks are have been involved in dealings. I guess that’s part of the tampering and non tampering period here as it leads up to the big day that anything’s possible at this point, right? And number one picks been Dell all sorts of things have happened. And you are like a mother hen sitting, you know, waiting for that the eggs to hatch here and figure out what’s going to happen because this has been one of the more intriguing episodes. And I say this not lightly, and I’m not hyperbole, it’s been 31 years of me doing this. The Ray Lewis trial, the Cal Ripken streak, the championships themselves and big playoff games and whatnot. I don’t know that we’ve seen Messina offseason drama with that, although we all thought that was a foregone conclusion, much in the way that Dennis and I think that this is unhappy, and that there should be a divorce if they’re unhappy because it feels like they’re unhappy. And but this is the here and now and this is not just the biggest story of boredom. It’s the biggest story in sports.
Luke Jones 01:57
Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s certainly right up there when you consider the NCAA tournament. And I mean, free agency in general, such a big period of time. But the thing I was going to say was, I think it’s interesting to see how much things change how rapidly things change this time of year. I mean, since the last time you and I talked, Carolina acquired the number one overall pick, as you mentioned, Jalen Ramsay is now going to the Miami Dolphins. I mean, you see things happen so quickly. And the next time you and I talk, things will have changed quite quickly. But I’m not so confident that that’s going to be the case with the large accid where this story stands. And it’s really one of those situations and do when you’re
Nestor Aparicio 02:37
more complicated than Jalen Ramsey. You’re complicated dog.
Luke Jones 02:42
I mean, there’s just there’s so much to this that I just don’t know. And it’s weird. And things are so quiet. And we’ve talked about that for two years now.
Nestor Aparicio 02:53
Play for the Indianapolis Colts or the Washington or whatever, the third name this, you know what I mean? Does he just want to get paid run around in an NFL jersey and be the savior? While say he really is? I don’t know, some of these places. I’m like, okay, okay, you know, for him, God bless him. He needs to get paid. But I don’t know. I don’t envision him just going somewhere and winning. And you and I have a big difference. I think we have a difference of opinion about how quickly your program changes when you give him the money, give away a couple draft picks. And then I mean, I see Atlanta with this $60 million, gaudy cap availability number, when that evaporates, and you got to go win. And I think it’s this is this is really complicated.
Luke Jones 03:40
As we’ve said before, I think I think it also changes when you don’t have them now. But I think what’s becoming very clear in what is a an anything but kind of situation is I think it’s becoming apparent that this doesn’t feel like it’s going to be a case where there’s six teams going after him. I’m also not of the thought as far as the initial reaction and leaks and all that when it was announced that the Ravens replacing the nonexclusive tag, we saw the different teams leak to their local beat reporters that we’re not going to be interested, we’re not going to be interested, we’re not going to be interested which keep in mind. All those teams have, for the most part an incumbent quarterback right? And you don’t want to be in a position like the Cleveland Browns were in a year ago where you’re in on a quarterback and then you’re out and oh, you’ve offended your incumbent. And then Jimmy Haslam at that point decided to give a fully guaranteed deal to the show.
Nestor Aparicio 04:39
Well, the owners have been doing that to head coaches every time they fly Jim Harbaugh somewhere, but you’re
Luke Jones 04:43
but you’re trying to avoid that kind of situation publicly. So that’s where, you know right off the bat or there are some teams that have leaked that they’re not interested that are interested or at least have been interested. And you know, go back to the combine and information gathering and all that goes on there. You know, even though we know that legal tampering doesn’t begin until this week, and obviously the signing period being on Wednesday, but you know, there, so that’s been going on. And there are certainly teams that have gathered information, there are certainly teams that, like Lamar Jackson and Lamar Jackson as a quarterback, but we’ve talked about all the different parameters that complicate this that muddy the waters, and so many of these factors that have muddied the waters for the Baltimore Ravens in their efforts to resign Lamar Jackson and to marry him, so to speak. So from that standpoint, you know, you understand that there are gonna be some some teams that just say, No, we’re not doing it. And some of it’s as simple as we think the Ravens will match what the best deal that we can offer, because they’re not going to really let them go for just two first round picks, at least, that’s the thinking that these teams will have. So but you just go down the list of teams, and you can start to eliminate some teams at the very least right? New Orleans assigned Derek Carr Carolina did not trade up to the number one overall pick to sign Lamar Jackson, right? So you just go down the list, and you kind of say, Okay, who needs a quarterback? Where are their draft picks? And where is their cap space? Because whether you’re of the mind that, like you were, you’re more inclined to think that the ravens are a little more eager to move on from Lamar Jackson than I think, you know, I’m not at all convinced that they’re looking to trade him at this point in time. Because I again, I think the non exclusive tag is evidence that would support the contrary, but I don’t know that for certain and we don’t know how much interest is going to be there. But you look at the teams that have the cap space, to do a fully guaranteed deal to do a deal that has a first year number that’s going to make it very difficult for the ravens to match. And you kind of come back to Falcons. I mean, the Raiders have cap space but now that the argument in Las Vegas has been that there’s no cash poor that it’s even fire a coach. So how’s that going to translate to put money in escrow to sign Lamar Jackson? So you just kind of go down the list of teams. And now you mentioned the command. They get the
Nestor Aparicio 07:13
guys to put the ice cream together to bring Lamar out to Vegas, you know, I’m saying like, Yeah, I think fans Listen, fans out on Twitter, this is all been easy peasy. And I think from the beginning, we all said it wasn’t going to be easy. The one thing that I think the internet did was and this is where you and I get sideways, but what is his real value and Carolina said, We’re smart guys here, we’ll go get our own quarterback, we’ll give a draft away. But when we get our quarterback, we’re going to have him under our control for five years and not at $50 million and running into linebackers, 5678 years into his career, and 29 and 30 and guaranteeing that money. I think a lot of other teams legitimately not collusion, although, believe me, I have no thoughts about the integrity of these men in any way that they would include, especially over the Players Association, which is still as I said, the original sin DataMan. Eve, you know, it’s like they’re going to add it’s from the beginning. And that is the wars suppressing salaries. That’s their business, that’s what they do. And for me, with Lamar, paying them all the money, guaranteeing them all the money, not really being guaranteed, you’re gonna have a quarterback in January, from a wear and tear standpoint, psychologically, just looking at a guy that runs in the runs 200 times a year. And thinking about where that’s going to be and giving a draft away. Teams are saying do I have another option? See the only option? And if he’s the only option and that’s where I have to go with guaranteed money and given things away? Do we have another option? Is there some do we have? Let’s sign Derek Carr, where we go given drafts away into what you know all this guaranteed money? Let let’s go do something else. And I think a lot of people really believe like if Peyton Manning were available in his prime or fame any Hall of Fame quarterback or any game change Joe burrow name any of these guys moans that if these guys were available, everybody would want him. Not everybody wanted to show on Watson last year just felt that way. I guess for a couple minutes. But the feeling was everybody would want who who without a quarterback wouldn’t want Lamar Jackson and we all say that. And now that the rubber meets the road and the money in the pics and the ownership General Manager coach to say and the style being different just in general, you’d have to change some things for in most programs you bring Lamar Jackson and just about how You wouldn’t want to tactically go with things with him that teams are to saying, I have another way to do this. I don’t know if the Ravens have another way to do this. The other way to do is train and get the seventh pick in the draft pick the fourth best score, I don’t know, it feels like the quarterbacks are gonna go one, two, you know, right off the top. So if you’re not at the top, you’re probably not gonna get a quarterback. I think right? We all think that right?
Luke Jones 10:24
Yeah, well, and that’s where I keep coming back to you. And I’ve talked about this for weeks and weeks. And you know, you’ve been more on the of the opinion that this was going towards a divorce. And I’m not going to say that it’s going towards a long term deal. But because of what you just posed is where I’m reluctant to say. So So what are the Ravens going to do here? Okay, you make you can figure out a deal. Or maybe there is a team that signs up to an offer sheet, where do you go from there? You know, going back to what
Nestor Aparicio 10:52
you just pay him 50 million a year to pay their quarterback right released. They were one point, maybe they’re just sort of like, something happened. And we talk about these calluses, that’s Dennis’s word, God bless him, or the bruised feelings, whatever you would say something. Come on, man, your reporter that smell, nothing smelled right out there. In December, you sat at these press conferences, seeing this coach that was a little beleaguered and bewildered and frustrated in the organization. And all of that texted, my injury was worth all of that. I don’t know whether they’re still like, we’re in on Lamar for three more years in a buck and a half, we always were, and we’re gonna guaranteed at 120. And Casey breaks his leg, and then we’re just going to be out. The insurance would be another 2025 30,000,020 years he can’t play not 150 million towards three years he can’t play.
Luke Jones 11:50
Yeah, I mean, I just, I just think where did the Ravens go from here? I mean, I think everything is setting up. And, again, this can change very quickly. And you and I could be talking two days from now. And a team has already signed them to an offer sheet, and we’re talking in much different terms as far as what that what that offer is, are the Ravens gonna match it? What’s that going to look like?
Nestor Aparicio 12:13
It only takes one, as we pointed out, right? Click, one team over cashed that can really pay him a lot early in the thing. And the Ravens could, at that point, could PR Wise, who push in and say, Hey, man, we you know, we just we couldn’t match that we weren’t comfortable with that deal. And and I think in the end, if that happens, the Ravens just leak out to their people wouldn’t really happy here. So we’re, he wasn’t happy here. Do you understand that? That’s like in a marriage and people get divorced, they weren’t happy. Okay, that’s all I need to know. I don’t need to know anymore. They weren’t happy. And I think there’s a point for the Ravens that if they want to get rid of him, and we’ve all and you’re like, why would they want to get rid of him? Like, because they don’t want to give him $225 million. And maybe they just don’t want it to be their quarterback anymore. Maybe they’re just they strategize this out 100 ways. Look, they have a plan for everything. But I don’t think they’re desperate to keep Lamar. And if they, they haven’t given any signal that they are. And I think this is their chance to say no one’s going to pay more than us if they really want to keep him and I I just won’t be so shocked if this can be happy again. And we can all come back together where he serve ice cream. And like I that would shock me. That’s all I’m saying. On behalf of the kid and the franchise, it would shock me. And this is the witching hour of to your point. What if nobody comes forward? For all the reasons we said all legitimate? And the Ravens have to figure this out? Does that mean they get a better deal on the Martha? He’s not gonna play for $32 million? Right?
Luke Jones 13:56
I don’t know that. I mean, I think the the thing that we’re finding is the people that are the most sure of themselves, as far as what’s going to happen are finding over and over that they’re being proven wrong, right. I mean, everything along the way. It’s like a Piper’s pit episode. It’s unconventional, right? Every time you think you have the answers, I changed the questions. The late Rowdy Roddy Piper, but I don’t know that and I think you go back to even a year ago and I remember Ian Rapoport said this on NFL Network. This is probably it might have even been before the Deshaun Watson deal. And even throughout the, you know, the possibility and he he wasn’t reporting anything, it was more so just What if Lamar Jackson, if he is truly set and must have been post Watson because it obviously was can you know, contingent on him wanting a fully guaranteed deal or assuming he wants to fully guaranteed deal in terms of him going the Kirk Cousins route and playing on the tag for a year playing on it another year, and then he finally gets the free agency. If Lamar J accent is truly set on getting a fully guaranteed deal or at least fully guaranteed money that exceeds Deshaun Watson’s. He might be willing to play on the tag it, as opposed to saying you’re not going to play at all and trying to force the Ravens hand and trying to actually make something happen here, as we said all along, if he wanted to fully guarantee deal last year, probably the move was to not show up at training camp or to hold in or to threaten sitting out games, you know, he never really forced the Ravens hand in that way, other than skipping OTAs, which in the big picture is still not all that terribly consequential. So, you know, he hasn’t done that he doesn’t have an agent. We know all about that. So that’s where I look at the situation and say, If a team if an owner and again, if you’re talking about a fully guaranteed deal. That’s where you kind of look at these teams that GMs presumably GMs, or someone in the front office has leaked to these reporters in these various markets saying I’m not interested. This is an ownership decision. I mean, even the Browns thought they were out on Deshaun Watson until Jimmy Haslam fully guarantees a deal. Right. So I mean, that’s what we’re really talking about here. But I think if that doesn’t happen, and the money that the offer that Lamar Jackson is seeking does not present itself, does he just say all right, I’ll play on the tag. And I’ll do this again next offseason? I don’t think that’s an impossible scenario. I don’t think that’s ideal for the Ravens orlimar. Especially Lamar, because for the ravens, hey, you get a franchise quarterback who’s won a lot of games and played at a very high level for well below market
Nestor Aparicio 16:43
and quote unquote, has a lot to prove. Yeah, so trying to get 300,000,003 years from now, right? Whenever mom’s gets redone, and Burro wins a Super Bowl, and whenever all this happens two or three, or he wins a Super Bowl Right? Or just
Luke Jones 16:57
a matter of he actually becomes a free agent. You know what, whether it’s next offseason or he tries to do it tries to go the Kirk Cousins route. So again, I’m not saying that’s optimal for it’s certainly not optimal for him. It’s not optimal for the ravens, although I’m not gonna cry the blues for the Ravens either because Lamar Jackson playing on a below market value tag, you know, as opposed to paying him a fully guaranteed deal that you clearly aren’t willing to do. It’s not the worst thing in the world for them in a short term sense. But then we go back to how happy is he? You know, how, how good is the relationship between player and team? You make mention? I don’t think this is a situation where we’re you reuniting and singing Kumbaya and all that I don’t think it’s insurmountable. I mean, what’s happened that’s been so bad that you can’t come back from
Nestor Aparicio 17:46
nothing publicly, to the point. Right. So right, so
Luke Jones 17:50
that’s where I keep coming back to this and say, I mean, what you said, you maybe it’s as simple as Lamar Jackson sees that there was not another team out there at this point in time, that’s willing to give him a fully guaranteed deal. You know, whatever the specific number, you know, Deshaun Watson plus one, right. If that’s kind of the minimum that he’s looking for, if that team’s not out there, you know, maybe at that point, he does say, you know, what, the Ravens have made me a really good offer. Maybe he at that point, he’s willing to go back to the table and say, All right. It was already you know, Chris Mortensen reported last September, what you guys offer me? Can we sweeten the pot? Even if it’s kind of phony type dollars, you throw in there some extra incentives, whatever, to make it look a little bit better. And then you work out a deal. That’s, you know, Lamar staying on the Ravens terms. It’s possible. I don’t know if I’d say that’s the most likely outcome right now. I do. As I said to you last week, I do think from the moment that they placed the nonexclusive tag on him. I feel stronger about the likelihood of him staying as opposed to leaving, I think if I think if they were set on trading him, and they felt that there was a good chance that was going to happen, I think he would have gotten the exclusive tag, and you would have just seen them dealt then, you know, so what does that mean, in terms of
Nestor Aparicio 19:09
again, the market has not materialized the fact that they put that on him.
Luke Jones 19:14
Yeah, I mean, to some degree. Yeah, I think there’s so many different ways to interpret this. And, look, I mean, going back to what you were talking about, several minutes ago, in terms of these teams, looking at all their different options. It’s not as simple as saying, I want Lamar Jackson or I don’t want Lamar Jackson. And that’s where a lot of these arguments that you see on Twitter, end up being disingenuous because there’s so much more to it. There are so many different layers to this. There’s so much that complicates this. That helps you understand now that doesn’t mean that going and signing Derek Carr is is smarter. It’s just what the New Orleans Saints ultimately went and did. What doesn’t Flexity
Nestor Aparicio 19:57
them. nonexclusive tagging him in keeping money so that they didn’t have to cut more. You know, Chuck Clark’s right like it just the general sense how complex the salary situation is, when you’re talking about a 30 to $50 million piece and moving that around in any franchise where the salary caps in the mid to hundreds, that it’s it’s extremely difficult to do.
Luke Jones 20:23
Yeah, I mean, it’s it definitely is, but I think it also reflects what they anticipate his market being which I think they anticipate it being white because, again, throw out the and I know Mike Florio has really been kind of pounding the table for this scenario. I don’t think he’s reporting it as much as speculating about it. But talking about Washington, right, you’re talking about the scenario of Dan Schneider, who we think is on his way out sooner rather than later, talking about what kind of middle finger that could potentially be, too all of his partners who don’t want them there anymore, to then sign a quarterback to a fully guaranteed deal, which would improve the value of the Washington commanders from a bells and whistles standpoint, having a franchise quarterback who’s been a former MVP. And well, that check, you know, the bulk of that wouldn’t be him paying that. That would be the next guy. So but under that scenario, Washington’s pick and 16th I mean, if you’re the ravens, and the Washington commanders come there, come with a fully guaranteed deal that structured in a way where you can’t match. And you’re only getting the 16th pick in the first round. That’s where I keep coming back to what’s the Ravens alternative here? That’s not an acceptable return for Lamar Jackson. It’s not it. That’s how it happens. And Eric Decosta in the Ravens really screwed this up. I mean, that’s not good enough for the asset that is Lamar Jackson, even if you are of the mind that you want to move on from him. So
Nestor Aparicio 21:49
that’s where I keep coming back to Steve thinking all the owners are gonna play nice.
Luke Jones 21:53
Well and right, sure. So and that’s where Florio’s mentioned that scenario of Dan Schneider doing such a thing, which, again, do I do? I think that’s going to happen? Probably not. But at the same time, as we’ve said, All it takes is one team, you know, all it takes is one Maverick, right? You know, someone to, to go get off the beaten path as far as what’s been acceptable in Jimmy Haslam was that guy a year ago, at this point, so but I just keep coming back to the Ravens is in terms of if it’s not Lamar, then what? I mean, Carolina’s already traded up, the bears have Justin fields, Atlanta, it could be Atlanta, it still could be Atlanta with all the cap space that they have. And, you know, as much as
Nestor Aparicio 22:34
well, the amazing thing is they took themselves out of the bidding right away. Maybe they’re saying we’re the only bidder?
Luke Jones 22:39
Well, and that’s the thing. I mean, and that’s where, again, you have to be careful. All none of these teams really want to say, especially at that point in time, which was minutes, right, right. And over a week away from when you can even talk to him, keep in mind, he’s not an unrestricted free agent. So even with, he’s not even subject to teams talking to him on Monday, you know, for the start of the tampering period, it’s Wednesday, for him. Now, again, through backchannels, you could talk if he had an agent, but again, that complicates things. But all these teams that have, whether you’re the Falcons, with Desmond Ritter, or one of these other teams that has some incumbent in place, you know, even if it’s not a high profile name, you want to try to keep that bottled up as long as you can. And, you know, you’re thinking, you want to try to do this, you know, you’re you’re kind of going rogue, right? It’s just like, you want to keep it quiet. And then boom, there’s, there’s the offer, if it’s common, because all these teams know what Lamar wants at this point. I think it’s obvious. So the teams that disqualify, you know, kind of took themselves out of the running, then they’re out of it, but teams that might be considering it, or might be prepared to make that fully guaranteed offer or whatever that lucrative number might be, then they’re trying to keep it as quiet as they can. And again, at that point, it was more than a week away from when the start of the new league year starts. We’ll see how it plays out. I mean, it’s it’s complicated. We’ve said that over and over and that that’s sounds like a cop out but it is and that’s why we’re still you know, on the eve of the the new league, you’re actually starting where teams can sign him to an offer sheet and you know, it’s still
Nestor Aparicio 24:20
had it seems get in touch with him. That’s where I’m right. I mean, that’s part of it. That’s very, very, like how you can’t take a phone call from anybody else saying they represent him legally, because they don’t only he represents himself the league as a system for this right. So this is Lamar on zoom right now with Arthur Blank. I mean, like it’s, it’s just totally bizarre and it’s outside. The boundaries of what the Ravens have been comfortable with are league to court. We like the way these things get done, especially the complexities of multiple franchises and trying to get them bid on you. It’s just It’s everything you wouldn’t want. I don’t know, well say that if you loved your child, you and you really were sophisticated enough to understand this, you would seek representation. And I think every professional I’ve met has said that and it’s nice, and it’s cute. And it’s bohemian. And it’s cool. And he’s his own guy. And it’s modern and it but it’s not, it’s not. He’s not maximizing his value. He’s already left 20 million on the table last year. So he’s already chasing bad money. And they franchised him now. And I guess legally, you’d have to play for 32 If nobody bids, right. So like, This is who this is how not to do it. This is the opposite of Darryl Rivas.
Luke Jones 25:42
Well, I think what’s so fascinating about this Nestor is if he wanted a conventional, and when I say conventional meaning a non Deshaun Watson deal, right, which that inherently, that’s what we come back to the Ravens view that as an outlier. As an outlier, he views it as hey, I’m better than Deshaun. Watson. And I’ve said on a very simplistic level, both teams are both sides are coming from a fair point of argument, right? I mean, we can at least make that argument. I mean, Andrew brand has spoken up in support of Lamar Jackson, and he kind of understands how this stuff works way better than you were me. But to go about getting that fully guaranteed deal, without an agent without a game plan, other than just, that’s my number, and I’m not signing are really negotiating until you come there. And that’s kind of where this thing has been from from that standpoint. If Lamar kind of wanted a more traditional, getting a little more than the next guy 60 or 70% of it, you know, whatever the percent would be guaranteed. You know, if he wanted that, then the state would have been done already. Because, you know, I think you look at the Ravens deal. You can say, all right, it wasn’t Deshaun Watson money, it’s not the fully guaranteed Deshaun Watson deal. But beyond that, if you’re viewing that as an outlier, it’s not as though the Ravens have made an offer that’s extraordinarily below the rest of market value or anything like that. So but but that’s the thing. Lamar identified, you know, from last March on, that he wanted, what Deshaun Watson got, or $1 More, or however many dollars more, but having a strategy to play hardball to go and get it. Now, it hasn’t been there, you know, again, his plan, and in terms of anything he’s done tactically, from a negotiating standpoint has been he skipped voluntary OTAs. Which, again, at the time, yeah, it made some made some buzz. But is that all that consequential in the big picture sense? No, not really, as we said at the time, that was a symptom, maybe of it not being a kumbaya negotiation, as people were. Fans were hoping it was gonna stop him from winning games in September. Right. Exactly, exactly. And that was the thing. It was more a symptom of okay, maybe all isn’t well here in the way that fans wanted to say that this wasn’t. And I’m not beating up fans. I’m saying they’re hoping that this was,
Nestor Aparicio 28:09
as a reporter I knew all wasn’t well, because I had insights. Actually, they told me things weren’t Well,
Luke Jones 28:15
exactly exactly that day. But again, that wasn’t the PowerPoint, that’s going to get you that fully guaranteed deal, right, clearly, because it didn’t happen. So from that, I think
Nestor Aparicio 28:29
it was. And it was the exact opposite of what he was trying to do, was saying, let me show you how much value I have by not being here. I think Steve shoddy, and these egotistical, wealthy men push back upon that, I don’t think that I know that. And I think that that has been the last six months of the power play of, oh, you’re gonna hold out, oh, you’re not going to show up and say, Oh, you’re, oh, you’re really injured, oh, you’re gonna put out your own press release? Well, then you just you’re just, you’re not going to be our quarterback. And I would think that that’s the way they would play this with anyone else. Or they’re gonna give him a more special treatment, cuz he’s the quarterback. And he’s special. And he is special. He’s one of one. He’s all that in the bag of doughnuts. Let’s see what the open market gives you now. So it was very humbling for Ray Lewis, right. It was very profitable for Deshaun Watson, although we never really hit the open market. But right now, the way Lamar has gone about this without an agent with all of this, it doesn’t appear to have benefited him, dude, a week from now, if he’s got 219 million of guaranteed money on team right now. Right? And they load this thing up and they play coy and they’re like, Oh my God, he’s all that and a bag of though He’s everything we’ve ever wanted. For our organization. Lamar, here’s the eight put it on. Me Maybe maybe they feel that way. If they have they played a good bluffing game, which is what all this is about, right? Like that piece I shared out on Yahoo last week that Charles Robinson was was so good. It started With just the quote the all these guys are liars. It’s a con man’s game right now. Yeah,
Luke Jones 30:05
it is. And that’s why again, I didn’t put too much stock into the initial reports of team saying they’re not expecting to be in on Lamar Jackson. And we know, we know some word. I mean, the Carolina Panthers acquired the first overall pick, they’re clearly not in on Lamar Jackson anymore, right? If they ever were, you know, if there was ever a thought that they were going to. So it’s complicated. And again, that sounds like such a cop out. Because we’ve been saying that for the better part of two years. Well, we do
Nestor Aparicio 30:34
it on a cocktail napkin reel. And it’s different for real well,
Luke Jones 30:39
well, and that’s the thing and everything we’ve laid out from not having an agent to what the price is to what the draft capital is that you have to give up all of that, it still comes back to, for these other teams to say, are we going to expend the effort to negotiate and try to get an offer sheet done and do not go down the road? Go down the road with this scenario. And we not know if the, and not know if the ravens are just going to match it. I mean, that’s another layer to this. That’s why you see some so few restricted free agents assigned to an offer sheet by another team, because more often than not, when it happens, it ends up getting matched. Now, there are certainly scenarios where we’re, you know, that doesn’t happen. And you’ll see a tee up see a restricted free agent change teams, but that’s opportunity cost, right? You know, if you’re going to negotiate with Lamar Jackson and signed to an offer sheet, and then that’s going to count against your cap for up to five days until the Ravens say, yea or nay on matching that. You know, that’s, that’s, that could be a lot of missed opportunities that the Ravens ultimately match it, and then you’re left with nothing other than saying, Well, we tried to get Lamar Jackson. So and that’s even on the scenario that’s on the side of, you know, you’re able to negotiate with Lamar, and you know, you talk and you have good dialogue and all that. That’s still the Ravens being involved there. And that’s still where I come back to. What’s the Ravens play here? If Lamar Jackson is not their quarterback in 2023, and it’s where I still struggle with it. Okay, Atlanta, it’s the number eight pick, but as I mentioned, Humor me with the Washington commander scenario, they’re picking 16 You’re probably not getting your franchise quarterback of the future with that pick. So what do you do in then, you know, you’re gonna go sign Baker Mayfield for a year. I mean, really, that’s gonna be your play. So that’s where I keep coming back to I’m, I’m more convinced than I was two or three weeks ago that Lamar is going to be their quarterback in 2023. I don’t know if that’s going to be on a compromise of a long term deal, or is that going to be he tries to wait this thing out? And he tries to wait this thing out? He tries to wait it out some more. And then we’re talking about him playing on the tag. And the same way. We talked about him playing on his fifth year option. You know, I think that’s absolutely a scenario that could be what happens. It’s not ideal. Certainly, I mean, it’s far from ideal for him, because he’s playing below market, missing out on more money, taking on more risk potential of a soso season, especially be holds out, you know, Mrs. Training Camp, whatever. But if you’re the ravens, no, it doesn’t give you that long term stability that I’m sure you’d like, you know, whether it’s him or whoever your quarterback is going to be. But you’re getting a very good quarterback, a former MVP, someone who’s familiar with you, and has won a lot of games. That’s, I’ll keep reminding you of that. Every time we try to poke holes and or expressed concerns about Lamar, they want a ton of games with him as their quarterback for $32 million. Now, there are worse scenarios out there for this season. But at the same time, what does that mean, from a fallout standpoint? What does that mean, in terms of working relationship? What does that mean in terms of when he’s going to show up? Because until he signs attack, he’s under no obligation to be there for OTAs or training camp even. So, you know, it’s, it’s messy. We keep coming back to these same ways of describing it. But at the same time, we’ll see how it plays out Wednesday, the newly years officially open teams can officially legally talk to him. We’ll see if there are teams interested in him. I’m sure that there are teams interested in him. But are they going to pursue that? Are they going to exercise that interest and try to actually get something done? That’s where it’s, it’s very quiet, but at the same time, you could say, maybe a little too quiet on that front. So is there a team looming? Or the Atlanta Falcons playing Paul possum by leaking out that they’re not interested in then? Well, Arthur Blank is interested. We’ll see. So at the very least, it’s going to be it’s going to be fascinating to see how this plays out. And in the meantime, and we haven’t even talked about this. Now the ravens, you’d like to be able to make some moves, but But at the same time, they’re right up against the cap, you know, they’ve already worked out a trade to, to the jets for Chuck Clark. You know, I think all along, we expected he wasn’t going to be back based on what they did last year at the safety position. You know, they’ve redone some deals, you know, with Gus Edwards and Michael Pearce. And, you know, there’s more of that, that they can do. But you do that just to get under the cap, right? If you want to make some moves, and like, for example, Marcus Peters is going to become a free agent now. And I’m just using him as one example. Well, you need cap space. So what else? What else that entails for Eric, the cost and the Ravens? So we don’t sit
Nestor Aparicio 35:35
around, you’re saying which wide receivers? Are they signing? Who are they signing? were more like, who are they cutting? If they sign Lamar?
Luke Jones 35:42
Yeah, what? Well, no, I mean, if they sign them are, you’re gonna create a little bit of space, if you’re getting him at your price, right? If you’re not, if we’re not talking about matching the fully guaranteed 32 million a year, he sounds like a bargain. Right? Right. But but if you’re, you know, whatever their whatever their present offer is, you probably create a little more space, his cap number might be $24 million, this year, $20 million this year, then you would create some space. But if you are in this scenario, where you’re bracing for him to sign an offer sheet, you want as much cap space as possible, because you’d like to have the option at least right to match even if even if he signs an offer sheet. That’s not maybe the full guarantee, maybe it’s he gets a ton of guaranteed money, but it’s for, you know, a seven year deal, but it’s not fully guaranteed. You know, you want to keep yourself in position that you can make a decision, right? You don’t want to you don’t want to be in a position where you can’t match an offer whatsoever. That’s it’s just it really muddies the waters and just makes it feel so complicated in terms of what exactly they’re going to try to get done this week, other than just trying to have as much cap space as they can have. So it’s, it’s very strange. And you said it at the beginning of our conversation and I wholeheartedly agree. Beyond talking about Ray Lewis in the off field, Ray Rice, Jamal Lewis, those scenarios, from a business standpoint, from a contract standpoint, this is unlike anything the Ravens have ever encountered. I mean, Ray Lewis and oh nine. He was a scene a seasoned vet at that point he was, you know, his best days were behind him at that point. It’s not the case with Lamar Jackson at age 26. So buckle up because it could be a very interesting week or it could be a whole lot of waiting around and still talking to the same old talking points.
Nestor Aparicio 37:37
I got brackets I’m headed to Hollywood casino on the Barstool Sports book and the restaurant bring the kids up bring the family up giving away some proper rain ones and twos just come on up. Say hello on Thursday for the Terps game. I have Maryland lottery scratch offs will be given these way on the Maryland crab cake to our friends at window nation as well. 8669 you nation you buy two and you get two free 24 months financing three, during the month of March. Make sure you’re taking advantage of that. I’m taking advantage of crabcakes springtime Springsteen, getting them healthy. Get my brackets healthy, getting the Oreos healthy. And certainly Lamar Lamar, Lamar Lamar, I am Nestor we are wn st am 1570, Towson Baltimore. We never stopped talking. Lamar Jackson.