Roquan Smith’s contract shows Ravens can successfully negotiate with player who represents himself

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Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has insisted on representing himself in contract negotiations with the team. The inability of Jackson and the team to do a deal has created, at times, a sense that the Ravens were being unreasonable.

Another player who represents himself managed to get a long-term contract from the team, only weeks after joining it. Linebacker Roquan Smith landed his contract after the conclusion of his rookie deal — but without having to play a playoff game.

It wasn’t an easy process, but I have the utmost respect for [G.M.] Eric DeCosta,” Smith told reporters regarding his new deal. “I think he’s a very fair, honest guy. A lot of times people say, ‘Oh gosh, players can’t negotiate without agents, and things like that.’ And that’s not something I truly believe in. Because like talking with Eric throughout the process, like I said, he was honest, you know, kept his word. And man, I’ve got a lot of respect for him, and I can’t thank him enough for actually being fair and, you know, seeing the value in me and making this happen and making Baltimore home for me.”

Smith, who arrived via trade from Chicago midway through the season but nevertheless became the team’s MVP, said that the negotiations began in mid-December. He said he worked on doing the deal during his off days, mainly on Tuesdays.

Other players are paying attention to the fact that the Ravens can indeed do a fair deal with a key player who chooses not to use an agent. And that the player can get the deal done, too.

“Negotiating his own contract while still leading our defense,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said on Twitter, “and [shout out] to [G.M. Eric DeCosta] and front office for never letting him leave Baltimore!! Much deserved.”

Players are smart. Players pay attention. Players may be starting to think that Lamar has been too stubborn, too unreasonable, too insistent on a five-year, fully-guaranteed contract — instead of taking the best offer that a “fair” and “honest” negotiator would make.

With Jackson not practicing or playing more than a month after suffering a knee injury, players have to be wondering what’s going on. They have to be wondering whether Jackson would be playing if he had his deal. And they have to be wondering whether Jackson now deserves more of the blame than the team for not getting that deal done.

26 responses to “Roquan Smith’s contract shows Ravens can successfully negotiate with player who represents himself

  1. No, it only shows that $100,000,000 was enough for Roquan to sign for; seems like a pretty straight forward for him, and about what he asked for in chi

  2. Roquan is the highest paid player for his position. It works as long as you set the standard. Ready to do it again for Lamar?

  3. Lamar not having an agent to advise him opened a hole for the NFLPA to enter and use him as their puppet to set a standard for fully guaranteed contracts.

    No doubt they are convincing him not to accept anything less than a fully guaranteed contract at or above Watson’s contract, not because it is best for Lamar, which his agent would represent, but because it is best for the union, precedent, future contracts.

    Lamar needs to get someone who has his interests, and his interests only, in his camp ASAP.

  4. lol!!

    Baltimore was working from a weakened position. They lost Judon who has like 30 sacks the last 2 years and plays a good all round game and they whiffed on Patrick Queen.

    If you then trade for a linebacker, you have no leverage. Smith took DeCosta to the cleaners.

  5. Running Backs aren’t worth 50 mill a year fully guaranteed. That’s what it boils down to.

  6. Duh. The guys at the top of the market do not need agents. All they is take 3% and leak info to the media. Lamar Jackson doesn’t need an agent either. Everyone knew that he is getting franchised he is obviously comfortable with the risk. The Ravens seem to be the only one surprised that he will not risk his future on team with no weapons that’s not going anywhere. Baker Mayfield has an agent, bet on himself by turn down a huge contract and lost. He is now a journeyman. People that say players needs an agent can’t actually explain why or give examples most of the time.

  7. rockpiler says:
    January 11, 2023 at 8:59 pm
    No, it only shows that $100,000,000 was enough for Roquan to sign for; seems like a pretty straight forward for him, and about what he asked for in chi

    ——————————————————————————————-

    Clearly the Ravens felt like that was a reasonable offer. On the contrary, Lamar is trying to get all this guaranteed money but can’t stay healthy. The Ravens aren’t stupid.

  8. I think the problem is LJ thinks he is worth way more than the rest of the world thinks he is. As soon as he realizes that the sooner he can get a deal done. The Ravens I assume can just franchise tag him if need be. Heck they may prefer that for at least another year.

  9. Maybe Lamar just doesn’t want to be in Baltimore – franchise tag be damned, he’s getting out of town.

  10. Lamar wanted to be highest paid QB but he’s only a top 5-10 guy until he can prove he can carry the team in the playoffs. Ravens would have paid him like a top 5 guy which he should have taken and played on Sunday if he wanted to stay a Raven. However Lamar is right if a team is willing to trade for him he will get ridiculous $$$ like Deshaun Watson but will probably end up in a dysfunctional organization.

  11. Oh Marlon…Bru I know exactly what you’re saying. Taking a shot at Jackson without really saying it..brilliant!!

  12. Ed Reed represented himself also. That turned out pretty well.

    The problem is Lamar.

  13. Unfortunately, the Ravens are going to have to trade Lamar. The drama surrounding his deal is too distracting, and he’s not worth what it takes to sign him, which is to make him the highest paid player in the game.

  14. Good for Roquan for getting what he believed he deserved. Also don’t blame the Bears for not paying an off the ball middle linebacker 20 million a year, especially when an undrafted rookie (Jack Sanborn) came in and played as well, if not better that Roquan.

  15. Without knowing all the T&Cs, i have to say the real story here is Roquan proved thar highly intelligent players that are willing to put in the work can represent themselves and save a few million in the process.

  16. No team can have longterm success using the Browns, Watson contract model. Jackson has missed multiple games to end the last 2 seasons. It is in his best interest to play with a substantial guarantee and the teams interest to contain exposure from a career ending injury or rapid decline in performance.

  17. Of course this mess is on Jackson and his Mom. You can’t just point to Cleveland and say “now you have to be just as stupid”. There’s always some fool being taken. That doesn’t make it the norm.

  18. They wanted to keep Smith enough that they paid him as much as he’d get on the open market. They do not want to pay Lamar as much as he can get on the open market. Because they do not believe he’s worth it.

  19. basketcase says:
    January 12, 2023 at 12:28 am
    Good for Roquan for getting what he believed he deserved. Also don’t blame the Bears for not paying an off the ball middle linebacker 20 million a year, especially when an undrafted rookie (Jack Sanborn) came in and played as well, if not better that Roquan.

    ________________________________________________________________________

    It is a lot for him but lets not get stupid here. Sanborn played nothing near as well which helped lead to being the worst team in the NFL. No need to say ridiculous things to prove a point.

  20. It is a lot for him but lets not get stupid here. Sanborn played nothing near as well which helped lead to being the worst team in the NFL. No need to say ridiculous things to prove a point.

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    It’s not as ridiculous as you may think if you look at the stats when both were on the bears. Sanborn averaged slightly more tackles per game and had 2 sacks in 4 games while Roquan had 2.5 sacks in 8 games. Sanborn’s 2022 salary was $705,000. The numbers don’t lie.

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