For Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson deals, who will go first?

Baltimore Ravens v Buffalo Bills
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Three first-round quarterbacks from the class of 2018 approach their fourth NFL seasons, with long-term deals expected for each. So when it comes to the second contracts for Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, Bills quarterback Josh Allen, and Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who’s going first?

For the teams and the players, it’s an important consideration. The first deal done becomes the first deal to be leapfrogged by one of the others. That could cause the players to be patient. It should cause the teams to be urgent — unless, of course, the team that goes first ends up paying more than the others.

Last week, I asked Ravens G.M. Eric DeCosta whether this dynamic will create a problem for his team’s effort to get Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, signed.

“I don’t know,” DeCosta said. “We’ve been in situations like this. We were in a situation like this with [offensive tackes] Ronnie Stanley and [Laremy] Tunsil and [David] Bakhtiari and guys like that. Then we were in a similar situation with [cornerbacks] Marlon Humphrey and Tre’Davious White and Jalen Ramsey. What I always think to myself is we’re going to the best deal we can for the Ravens. Certainly, we’ll consider other deals and other ways of doing deals and different things. But we’re going to negotiate and do the best deal we can for the club that also makes sense for the player.”

There’s another potentially significant factor affecting Baltimore’s situation. Allen and Mayfield have agents. Jackson does not. How much does that complicate the process for DeCosta?

“I don’t know that it complicates things,” DeCosta said. “If it makes things easier, I’m not really sure. I think that the biggest thing is communication. For me and Lamar to communicate. We’ve already done a deal with Lamar. We did a rookie deal with Lamar. Obviously, it wasn’t the same, but we did. We understand some of the complications because we did that prior deal.

“This is a much different deal with a much different structure and things like that. I think that sometimes having the General Manager and the salary cap people talking to the player really does improve communication. What we see sometimes is that we will have conversations with an agent and in some cases a player’s not even aware of that. That won’t be the case here. I think the transparency will be pretty significant. That would be pretty good. I hope that if Lamar asks questions, he can get the answers. I know he has people that he trusts and respects that can help him and advise him because this is a big deal. We want to do it right. We want to do something he feels really good about and we want to do something that we feel really good about as well.”

DeCosta downplayed the reality that negotiating directly with the player can create awkward moments, because difficult things sometimes need to be said about the player’s potential weaknesses or other factors pointing to less favorable terms than the player is seeking. As DeCosta explained it, teams and players constantly have difficult conversations on a variety of topics.

Any conversations between Mayfield and the Browns, Allen and the Bills, and Jackson and the Ravens have yet to result in new contracts. It’s entirely possible if not likely that the agents for Mayfield and Allen want to see what the unrepresented player gets before proceeding; they likely won’t want to provide the baseline for Jackson.

Conversely, they won’t want Jackson to establish an unfavorable baseline that they would be used to hold down their clients’ deals. It’s nevertheless better to be in a position to try to surpass the deal that Jackson does without a traditional agent than to risk the embarrassment of Jackson getting a better deal than the players who are represented in the traditional way.

21 responses to “For Baker Mayfield, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson deals, who will go first?

  1. Players need to get past the notion that they deserve a raise because they’re next. It doesn’t matter who’s first second or last. They’re just making money for their agents next client.

  2. I think the Bills and Allen get theirs done 1st. The Bills need to do it more so for cap purposes, as well as wanting to get their guy locked up long term. None of the three will get Mahomes-type $$$. Josh is the best passer of the three. Lamar is the best athlete of the three. All three of them should come in around Dak’s AAV.

  3. Honestly, the way we know Andrew Berry and the way he got Myles contract done. Baker is probably going to go first. Andrew likes to get his players as the new highest contract before the next player gets the highest contract.

  4. Josh Allen goes first over $40 mill. Browns and Balt wont k now what to do..

  5. If the Browns were smart, they wouldn’t sign Mayfield. They win in spite of him not because of him

  6. If I was one of the 3 teams, the only one I’d feel comfortable being is the Bills. Josh Allen is a total stud. But Mayfield and Jackson both have very serious ???s and I’d seriously be wanting to see more from them before backing up the truck. I would NOT want to be the next guy who signs the next Goff.

  7. 1billsmafia says:
    May 11, 2021 at 9:56 am
    I think the Bills and Allen get theirs done 1st. The Bills need to do it more so for cap purposes, as well as wanting to get their guy locked up long term. None of the three will get Mahomes-type $$$. Josh is the best passer of the three. Lamar is the best athlete of the three. All three of them should come in around Dak’s AAV.

    ===========

    I’m not sure how anyone could disagree with this. This is spot on.

  8. My instincts tell me Lamar will go first and it can happen before the start of training camp. Again, my best guess. However, I’m convinced all 3 QBs will be signed to long term deals. The first two will be Lamar and Allen.

  9. Can you win playoff games with Lamar? A Super Bowl? Nope. Tying up $30-35mm a year for a running back who occasionally throws is not a winning recipe. It might work in the regular season but just look at Lamar’s 3 years of playoff debacles and be honest with yourself. Yes, he is an incredible athlete. Yes, he has put up great stats in the regular season. No, he cannot win in the playoffs because he makes poor reads, is inaccurate, and gets reduced to a one-trick pony that defenses have figured out when it counts. Stop all the “but he’s amazing in the regular season!” nonsense. Just look at his playoff performances.
    If the Ravens crush their cap paying Lamar, they’ll be forced to get rid of talent they need in order to make him successful: WRs, TEs, and O line. You’ve been making excuses for him and saying those are the pieces he needs to succeed, so what happens when you pay him and have to then jettison those exact pieces you declared he needed to be successful?

  10. @ howboutthemcowboys2020

    As PFT’s keyboard GM, you wouldn’t sign Mayfield? Okay, so who would you sign at qb and what’s the compensation? It would make your comment justifiable if you shared the name of the available qb that will be a long term upgrade compared to Mayfield.

  11. If I were Allen I wouldn’t even think about signing until Mayfield and Jackson signed, if he signs first there’s a chance the other two get better deal, remember in this day and age the last to sign get the best deal, not the best QB!

  12. Lamar is the best QB of his draft class and will be paid first.

  13. The Ravens won a SB with Trent Dilfer and Flacco, for that matter. I think Lamar is good enough and then some. Know your Ravens history. We get it done our way. Fitzpatrick, who you posters seem to love for some reason, hasn’t won a playoff game and will only win a SB holding someone’s jock. And what difference does it make? If Lamar wins one, you will credit the defense. Always moving the goal post for this dude. First he can’t pass, then he goes out and wins MVP with stellar passing stats. Oh he can win a playoff game, check that. Oh now it’s a SB. Be nice if all QBs were held to this standard. But don’t worry, he will get that done too.

  14. Daddy Batz says:
    May 11, 2021 at 12:32 pm
    1billsmafia says:
    May 11, 2021 at 9:56 am
    I think the Bills and Allen get theirs done 1st. The Bills need to do it more so for cap purposes, as well as wanting to get their guy locked up long term. None of the three will get Mahomes-type $$$. Josh is the best passer of the three. Lamar is the best athlete of the three. All three of them should come in around Dak’s AAV.

    ===========

    I’m not sure how anyone could disagree with this. This is spot on.

    ___________________________________

    I agree with it except I think they’re all coming in above Dak. Except maybe if Mayfield signs first.

  15. I believe Mr Regular Season, Jackson, will be signed first because, well, he impresses every Sept to Dec. However, Allen is the true QB & the Bills will get their moneys-worth out of that great arm and solid scramble skills. The Browns will win in spite of the little guy Mayfield, but they’ll sign him too. Overall, the Bills will be in SB soon with Allen leading the way, Jackson will continue his noodle-armed woes in the playoffs, and the Browns, well, we know they’ll never make it to the SB. They never have, and never will.

  16. Why would these guys sign now a year before all the new TV money comes in? They will get way about Dak AAV if they sign in 2022.

  17. All moot as Brady will be collecting his 8th ring at age 44 like candy from babies.

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