Josh Allen: Lamar Jackson has bet on himself, and “I’m pretty sure it’s gonna pay off”

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When Bills quarterback Josh Allen signed his long-term contract with Buffalo, we said that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson should ask his team to change the names and give Lamar the exact same deal. That didn’t happen.

Then came the Deshaun Watson contract. Jackson basically asked the team to change the names and give him that deal. The Ravens continue to refuse to give Jackson a fully-guaranteed contract.

And so Jackson has played three games in the final year of his contract, with no deal in place beyond 2022. He has made a bet on himself. Through three weeks, so far so good.

“He’s won an MVP and he’s playing at an MVP level right now,” Bills quarterback Josh Allen told reporters on Thursday regarding Jackson, four days before Allen and Jackson square off in one of the best games for Week Four. “Given all the drama and details that are going on with all that contract situation he’s got going on, he’s just like, ‘You know, I’m gonna bet on myself.’ And I’m pretty sure it’s gonna pay off.”

The question isn’t if it will pay off, but when. The Ravens can squat on him for two more years beyond 2022, thanks to the franchise tag. He can’t force his way to the open market through the Kirk Cousins route until 2025. That’s 48 more regular-season games, plus any playoff contests for which the Ravens qualify.

Not only does this require Jackson to navigate nearly 50 games without major injury, but it also delays him getting what he deserves.

So here’s the real question for the 2023 offseason. Will he continue to accept a scenario in which the Ravens can keep him from getting from another team the kind of deal that the Ravens refuse to give him, or Will Jackson launch an effort to get out of Baltimore?

That’s what Watson did, and it was one of the ingredients in Watson getting the five-year, fully-guaranteed contract that he reportedly covets. Maybe, if Jackson eventually declares that he wants the Ravens to trade him, maybe the Ravens will wake up and give him the deal he wants. Maybe they won’t, and someone else will.

Much of the outcome depends on whether the Ravens become inclined to fully guarantee Jackson’s contract, or whether they become exasperated with his refusal to sign a new deal, take the best offer, and move on.

That would be a risky move for the Ravens, given that there’s no guarantee they’d find another quarterback who can do anything close to what Jackson does, in the draft or elsewhere.

So maybe owner Steve Bisciotti needs to just give Jackson the fully-guaranteed contract he wants. The sooner Bisciotti does it, the cheaper it will be. And, inevitably, the longer Biciotti waits, the more expensive it will become.

If the Ravens truly want to keep Bisciotti, at some point they just have to give him what he wants. Sure, it would be a lot easier if he had an agent. But he doesn’t. If you want to keep him, you have to accept this dynamic and find a way to work it out.

However it plays out, Jackson shouldn’t have to play two more years under the tag to get what he has already earned. So either the Ravens should bite the bullet and give him what he wants, or Jackson should pull the cord on an exit strategy from Baltimore.

17 responses to “Josh Allen: Lamar Jackson has bet on himself, and “I’m pretty sure it’s gonna pay off”

  1. Let’s just hope Lamar stays healthy.
    Darrell Revis made a small fortune betting on himself.

    But….Me? Football? Injuries at any second? I would have signed a deal and taken the sure millions. .

  2. If the ravens tag him, i hope he sits that season with a tightness in his ham or a spasm in his back, and calls their bluff; Lamar deserves to be the highest paid football player in history, its his turn and he’s an MVP candidate. Time for the ravens to step up to the table theyve set and do right by their leader.

  3. As i have said before NO ONE is worth the asinine contract that Watson got.. Just because one team did something really stupid doesnt mean all the others have to. I would tell him here is our best offer, you can take it or you will be franchised for the next two years until you do.

  4. Ravens are going to pay him don’t worry about that. They set the market with Flacco after the super bowl. They will set the market with Lamar

  5. I’m equally sure that this isn’t going to end well. It’s a long season with plenty of opportunity for injury at any point including in practice, and to put all of your eggs in that basket isn’t worth the risk…. We’ll see

  6. The franchise tag concept needs to be removed from the CBA. It’s an artifact from the 90’s when the owners were terrified of unrestricted free agency and it has arguably done nothing but drive up the price of marginal quality players like Kirk Cousins and created tension between players and teams on many occasions. All teams should adopt Mike Tomlin’s philosophy of wanting volunteers instead of hostages. Elimination of the franchise tag would be the best outcome for both parties.

  7. I agree with rokchewer and I’m a hug Lamar fan. But what is done is done. Cleveland screwed the rest of the league. Every QB with success from here on out will demand a guaranteed contract…and they’ll probably get it.

  8. Ravens are fine to squat on him for 2 years. They should keep negotiating and if nothing works out, franchise him. Lamar is fine to sign a contract to his liking OR sit out as “injured.” But sitting out doesn’t help his open market value. Playing well does.

  9. Players deserve guaranteed contracts. The union does a crap job for the players. They agree to the franchise tag. Barring injury Lamar will be tagged. It’s not fair, but hey negotiate better terms with owners for the cba.

  10. “If the Ravens truly want to keep Bisciotti, at some point they just have to give him what he wants.”

    I think the ravens should let Bisciotti go

  11. If LJ is so happy to bet on himself, why does he need a fully guaranteed contract? Sign the going rate deal with typical guarantees and bet on yourself you see the end of it…

  12. Lets remember it has been 3 games played in September. No bet has paid off yet. No one has shown any cards in fact you haven’t even seen the flop. The Ravens haven’t flinched yet either. You have beaten the Jets and Pats and lost to the only contender in the Miami. You haven’t played a top defense yet and the regular season was never the question with him, it is the big games vs top opponents.

  13. There is no way in hell the Ravens will give a full guarantee contract, owners don’t become billionaires by being idiots, Cleveland was an abomination and its not going to happen again.

  14. “However it plays out, Jackson shouldn’t have to play two more years under the tag to get what he has already earned. So either the Ravens should bite the bullet and give him what he wants, or Jackson should pull the cord on an exit strategy from Baltimore.”

    So, what any team is saying when they pay someone a fully guaranteed contract is “you’ve earned it”.

    Yeah, right!

    Had Deshawn earned it yet?

    The Ravens and 31 other teams don’t feel that way.

  15. steelersbandwagon says:
    September 29, 2022 at 1:30 pm
    Ravens are fine to squat on him for 2 years. They should keep negotiating and if nothing works out, franchise him. Lamar is fine to sign a contract to his liking OR sit out as “injured.” But sitting out doesn’t help his open market value. Playing well does————————
    —————————————–
    I think Lamar is fine with 2 franchise tags. He is making 23 million this year and any injury short of paralysis Baltimores current best off will still be on the table. Or franchising him twice he will make $100 million over next three years then hit unrestricted free agency with 25 teams bidding against each other. It’s a brilliant strategy that all star QB are going to start doing. The worst case scenario is making “only” like $60 million in your career.

  16. Whatever the Ravens don’t want to give him, the guy right down the road with the empty stadium will be more than happy to give up.

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