NFL officials protect quarterbacks. And quarterbacks know it. And quarterbacks take advantage of it.
Consider this exchange from Sunday’s Bengals-Ravens game, courtesy of the Week Five edition of Mic’d Up. Cincinnati defensive lineman Carlos Dunlap hits Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson near the sideline. Jackson falls, a flag comes out for unnecessary roughness, and the Ravens pick up 15 yards of field position.
Said Jackson after the play, “Man, he didn’t do sh-t. I tried to flop.”
Later in the clip, Jackson is seen and heard laughing as he says, “Ooooh, got a free play.”
It’s unlikely that this kind of admission will make officials less likely to throw a flag. It’s unknown whether it will make defenders more inclined to pull up and avoid all contact with quarterbacks. If they are going to fall down anyway, defenders may decide to give them a better reason to.
Regardless, flopping in football is real. As if anyone thought it wasn’t.