Sammy Watkins hopes Lamar Jackson “decides to play”

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The decision of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to suddenly disclose details about his knee injury on Thursday night wasn’t spontaneous, accidental, or coincidental. At a time when the powers-that-be in the organization are becoming frustrated to the point of exasperated with Jackson’s inability (or unwillingness) to play, Jackson’s teammates are starting to wonder what’s going on.

And they’re starting to talk publicly.

“In this league, everybody is pretty much banged up, hurt,” receiver Sammy Watkins told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Wednesday. “I don’t want to speak for him and his situation and whatever he’s going through with the contracts. I don’t know what world he’s in. But for me, you got a chance to do something special. We all know with Lamar Jackson out there, this team is really freaking good, and special things can happen. He can will this team to a Super Bowl. I don’t think he’s thinking about it that way. . . .”

That’s a very strong comment, one that questions Jackson’s overall commitment to winning playoff games right now, with his current teammates.

“He’s got an opportunity to win a Super Bowl,” Watkins added. “I hope he hobbles back out there. . . . Put him out for the pass plays, and don’t run him at all. But you never know. That could be wrong. I’m being very selfish right now, just to want him to be out on the field. But, man, what a great thing it would be to see 8 touch the field this Sunday, and we go out there and blow them out. But that’s for Lamar and everybody else to figure out. Hope miraculously something happens, somebody reach out to him, whether it’s a coach or somebody, and he decides to play. But that’s a question if he’s healthy or he’s not. I don’t know. I haven’t been watching him.”

Still, Watkins seems to believe that, if Jackson had his long-term contract, he’d be playing.

“I think the world is ready to see Lamar back on the field, doing what he do best, and get all the stipulations and contract stuff behind him,” Watkins said. “I pray somebody talks to him like, ‘Man, just sign the deal.’ You know what I mean? And he get out there and hopefully, if . . .  he’s healthy, he can just come play this Sunday. We all know that’s up to Lamar and whatever goes on. Hopefully, they get something done. The world wants to see Lamar be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of his life. . . . [T]he world wants to watch Lamar Jackson. That’s a phenom talent, a talent that you rarely come by. Things that he do on the field and things that you see, to be quite honest when he’s out there, he makes everybody play better, just to have him in that huddle. I pray that somebody reach out to him or that he’s really truly getting healthy and can play, that he wake up Thursday and be like, ‘All right, forget it. I’m playing.’ I think that would change the whole trajectory of our season.”

Maybe Watkins is the only one on the team who thinks that. Or maybe he’s reflecting the mood of the locker room.

Regardless, it’s probably a good idea for Watkins not to sit next to Jackson on the team plane to Cincinnati.

109 responses to “Sammy Watkins hopes Lamar Jackson “decides to play”

  1. Man, he’s saying what millions of us are thinking. Crazy for a player to say it though. Kudos to him. Players putting the team first is so 1990. And I love it!

  2. LOL!

    This overpaid bum is such a dope. He just exposed Harbaugh’s wording of the situation.

  3. That would imply Jackson makes the trip. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t. And I doubt SW just pulled that montage out of thin air. Jackson is doing what he thinks is best for him and that’s perfectly acceptable. Just don’t be surprised when the team does what’s best for them.

  4. I sincerely doubt he is the only one that feels this way. The fact of the matter is that the Ravens probably botched things by not sorting things out with Lamar before the season started, one way or the other. But maybe they have realistically decided. Whatever the case, they cannot go in next season with him only on the franchise tag, or will be facing the same mess again…

  5. Interesting source, Sammy Watkins. How much time has he missed due to injury? Perhaps you should consider this is more about how Watkins views the game than Lamar.

  6. So Jackson is holding out with the playoffs on the line to get more leverage. What a great teammate.. I’d pull all offers immediately, transition tag, take his leverage away, and try to rally the team to focus on the playoffs.

  7. I think Lamar needs some sort of an adviser. He is the only reason he doesn’t have a $100+ million contract. If he is actually not injured anymore he is hurting himself because no team is gonna want that drama. After the Russell Wilson contract backfired on the Broncos I bet teams are gonna start to limit their spending on “franchise QB’s” in free agency or trades.

  8. Watkins is on a rental deal and likely knows he, and Jackson will not only not play together again, but seems likely both will be on different teams. Had someone closer to Lamar said this, it may have some validity. This doesn’t.

  9. Jackson is, if he is truly selfishly sitting out due to his contract, also costing his teammates the potential of tens of thousands in winnings for each playoff game won. Some day others will speak up and I guess we’ll find out.

  10. Generally, acting as your own agent is like acting as your own lawyer during a trial. The results usually aren’t great. And Lamar probably isn’t going to do any better financially by leaving the Ravens than he will by staying there.

  11. If you don’t wanna pay him let him go Baltimore! A bunch of teams will pick him right up. The market is what it is. Pay or pound sand!

  12. Pretty safe to say that we can see this as another negotiation tool, when it’s money or a release.
    Problem is that Jackson is using the fans..

    Playoff football used as a hostage is a definite mortal sin in my mind.
    I would have no further use for Lamar Jackson in the NFL.

  13. Refreshing take by a player. Jackson wants a Watson deal.. he’s not getting that, not is anyone. That was an outlier contract and not smart by the browns. Lamar has missed 30% of snaps last two years. Lamar is completely delusional in regards to the market. Take your 40 mil per year…jeeze.

  14. LJ is done in Baltimore. The question is how desperate another franchise is to give up good picks for him. His ability to not be any better today at throwing than he was in his second year is unconscionable.

  15. Pretty safe to say that we can see this as another negotiation tool, whether it’s about money or a n outright release.
    Problem is that Jackson is using the fans..

    Playoff football used as a hostage is a definite mortal sin in my mind.
    I would have no further use for Lamar Jackson in the NFL.

  16. Jackson’s a great player and seemingly a good guy in most respects. But in his effort to maximize his own fortunes, he’s harming a lot of other people. His being so mysterious and noncommittal on a contract is keeping the team from planning its roster and spending effectively. That probably means less commitment to other players and less filling of needed positions. His absences last year and this year, through injury and illness, have reduced the prospects of all his fellow players, diminishing their stats and weakening their resumes.

    There’s no question that he could be in the middle of a secure Dak Prescott-sized contract had he simply been upfront and engaged with the process before last season. But instead he’s been completely disengaged, to the point where team execs seemingly have no idea what he ultimately wants and his own receivers don’t really know his condition, thoughts, or plans.

    There are some who seem to be making him into a hero for this narrow pursuit of maximum money. But there’s no getting away from the truth that in this kind of team sport, you can’t really isolate your own fortunes from those around you.

  17. I disagree. The Ravens clearly played a game with Lamar and didn’t want to offer him top 5 QB money and they lost. Lamar is hurt and can you blame him for not putting it all on the line? If he has further injury it would cost him tens of millions. Maybe hundreds. Watkins is the last person who should be questioning someone not playing due to injury.

  18. Lamar absolutely has to play on Saturday for the Ravens to have a chance. They are capable of beating the Bengals again, so he needs to rub some dirt on it and stick with passing from the pocket.

  19. Watkins makes a great point regarding Jackson’s contract status. But if he’s protecting his contract value at this point, you have to think not having an agent negotiating for him is a problem. If he doesn’t play, the Ravens can’t help but consider that when trying to sign him to a long-term deal. I expect he’s going to regret not going into 2022 with a new contract.

  20. Coming from Sammy Watkins lol who only is still in the NFL because of the Ravens incompetence. I bet one person Jackson is listening to is his former backup Robert Griffin who famously rushed back less than 100% for a playoff game. How did that work out for him?

    Fun Fact. Lamar Jackson QBR
    2019 1st 2020 7TH 2021 17th 2022 9th. 3rd Behind only Mahomes and Allen. Lamar Jackson is an elite QB Who Baltimore should have surrounded with talent. The Raven will be the worst franchise in the NFL over the next five years without Jackson.

  21. The only person responsible for Lamar Jackson not having a $50 million/year contract is Lamar Jackson! If he’s truly holding the team hostage because he doesn’t have a contract, it proves how stupid he is by being is own agent!

  22. Watkins isn’t wrong, he might be wrong about blabbing it to media, instead of going to Lamar’s house for a little heart to heart convo.

    If Jackson’s hoping for another long term, big dollar contract – he’s blowing it by not attempting to play anymore this year and watching his team field some third string QB with about 10% of Lamar’s talent.

    Make something special happen, Lamar – you’re an MVP just a few short years ago.

  23. Players generally don’t speak for other players regarding either injuries or contracts. Between roquan’s, humphrey’s, and now Sammy’s comments you can paint a picture of blame.

    No one has ever criticized Baltimore’s front office until Lamar. The recent comments from fellow players appear to put blame on Lamar. Our opinions are moot, his teammates have spoken.

  24. I don’t think that “Hammy” Watkins is someone to speak about availability. KC fan here – he stepped during our 2019 SB run, but spent as much time on IR as active.

  25. mikemnz says:
    January 13, 2023 at 1:55 pm
    Sammy the hammy knows all about playing with injuries

    Sammy knows a lot more about not playing than he does playing

  26. Don’t call any run plays for him? C’mon Sammy, have you watched him try to read defenses? His whole game is predicated on him being a running threat.

  27. Wow, when Hammy Watkins is saying that someone should play injured, that’s when things hit a whole new low. The ravens have known that this was coming for years now, they made their bed by not paying their QB what he wants to play, so it should be no surprise that he isnt playing; You dance with the one you brung, or you find another partner

  28. So Jackson may have some ‘splaining to do about his ‘injury’….it sounds like he could play if he wants to.

  29. jameshodges says:
    January 13, 2023 at 2:19 pm
    Lamar absolutely has to play on Saturday for the Ravens to have a chance. They are capable of beating the Bengals again, so he needs to rub some dirt on it and stick with passing from the pocket.
    What’s the point of putting Lamar in just to pass from the pocket? That’s not how he’s effective.

  30. He’s wrong. Not everybbody believes he’s worth the money, or really very good at all…..without his runnig/scrambling. He’s not a good pocket passer. Herbert, Burrow, Allen, Mahomes, even Minshew, and Ryan Fitzpatrick are all better as pocket passers than Jackson. I think without his legs, he’s Tyler Huntley with a bigger arm and without Huntley’s legs. Also, nobody cares if he’s a Baltimore Raven for the rest of his career (least of all, Jackson who clearly ONLY cares about getting the money HE wants the way HE wants it with no help from an agent) because they don’t put any emphasis on throwing the ball, and with an offense like that, it doesn’t matter. They could go with Huntley, Carr, that guy in SF, or any number of rookies and still win 10 games and lose in the first round of the playoffs with their weird run game and slightly better than average defense. Besides that, they have nobody to throw to! No WRs. Mark Andrews will have a much shorter career if he stays a Raven because he will get beat to death as the only really viable receiver in that offense. Ravens need a new OC, too. New philosiphy. And Jackson is not great at all. NOT worth the money! I repeat NOT worth the money! Ravens could fix the glaring holes in other places by moving on and getting a much cheaper QB in the draft, or one of the free agents/backups. Remember, using their boring, low scoring and run the ball philosiphy, they won a SB with Trent Dilfer and Joe Flacco. Neither one who could run, or throw all that well, really. But Lamar Jackson has won exactly ONE playoff game in his career. And he doesn’t run much anymore, which is his main skill set! One last thing where Sammy is wrong. Dude, it’s common knowledge and players all know this: you don’t ever talk about another man’s money! Watkins will not be a Raven much longer if Jackson stays. Lamar should go to the Jets or somewhere QB’s are valued, overpaid, and they are desperate for one. He’ll get overpaid like he wants and be happy. The Ravens should move on, save the $ and fix other issues on the team including getting some WRs, get a solid QB and fix ther running game and everybody will be happier.

  31. Toughing out a knee injury in the playoffs is exactly how Robert Griffin III ruined his very promising NFL career.

  32. bleedsteal says:
    January 13, 2023 at 2:06 pm
    I think Lamar needs some sort of an adviser. He is the only reason he doesn’t have a $100+ million contract.

    The debate can rage on regarding whether Lamar should have an agent. However, Lamar certainly has professional advisers. He has attorneys, accountants, and a PR firm.

  33. dspyank2k11 says:
    January 13, 2023 at 2:50 pm
    The Jets will overpay for Lamar to play 6-7 games a year… and Ill laugh… and laugh


    I cannot wait! Them scapegoating LaFleur was a hoot, too!

  34. I kinda think this is all theater and Jackson will play Sunday. And I don’t think the Bengals will be surprised at all.

  35. Strong comments, but would have had more impact if they came from a more reputable player like Andrews, Humphrey, or Smith. Watkins has missed over 30 games with soft tissue injuries. He is not in any position to be calling anyone out.

  36. I guess this proves that the Ravens are much smarter than the Arizona Cardinals, who paid their running QB, much to their regret.

  37. The lesson here is to never ever go into the season with your franchise QB on the last year of his deal. If you can’t come to an agreement in the pre-season, trade him for a boatload of picks and retool. I’d say that his knee is not 100%. I’d also say that 95% of quarterbacks would be playing this weekend with a brace on that knee. I’ve seen a lot of players play playoff games with significant injuries and in significant pain. Didn’t Philip Rivers hobble around an AFC championship game on a torn (or partially torn) ACL? I’ve seen Roethlisberger drag his injured leg around the field like a club foot and also not miss a play after breaking his nose. The top quarterbacks play in the big games unless it is impossible. I don’t think Brady, Manning, the other Manning, Roethlisberger, Brees, or Rodgers ever missed even one playoff game. Am I wrong about that? You think they all felt great after 17 weeks of getting pounded? Players at other positions do it even more often and with less fanfare.

  38. Wide receiver not paying attention to his starting QBs injury? The fact he’s talking proves otherwise. Jackson has made bad decision after bad decision regarding his contract. And he is proving to be injury-prone. Ravens will trade him.

  39. Coming from Sammy Watkins, and speaking as a Bills fan here, I can’t be the only one that felt like Sammy has some ulterior motives in saying all this stuff, right? I mean the irony of Sammy Watkins being the first player to come out and put a teammates injury into question is just…. You can’t make this stuff up!!

  40. mainewoodchopper says:
    January 13, 2023 at 3:13 pm
    Never pay a QB who has never won anything


    The most recent superbowl winning QB had never one a playoff game in 14 seasons at this time last year. When you have an elite QB you pay them. If not you end up like the Ravens who go from the 12th Ranked scoring offense with Jackson to the worst in 15 years without him. Your comment is ridiculous sir.

  41. I disagree. The Ravens clearly played a game with Lamar and didn’t want to offer him top 5 QB money and they lost.

    Catch up- Ravens offered Lamar a top 5 contract and he turned it down.

  42. Dennis Dixon and RG III decided to play and both lost their careers with unstable knee ligaments that brutal snapped non contact.

  43. Lamar QBR ranks: 1, 9, 17, 7 plus multiple missed games. He had one outlier season and has trended downward since plus multiple missed games. He’s a borderline top 10 QB. You don’t pay $45M for that type of output and reliability. This is the beginning of the end of paying QBs outrageous money unless they are truly and consistently elite.

  44. This is Sammy “TheHammy” Watkins talking this smack? The guy has missed more games he could have played in than Lamar could ever come close to, and that was after he’d already gotten paid several times.

    Sammy may have a point, but he’s the last guy who should be taking shots at Lamar.

  45. Everyone lay off Sammy. After all these years in the NFL, he wasn’t good at reading defenses but he’s learned….to read x-rays. A lot of his own were negative but he knows where to find the “R” and “L” on them. He also learned you can’t prove a soft tissue injury exists or not.
    He’s thinking of becoming a doctor.

  46. Maybe someone should remind Mr. Watkins that Lamar Jackson has won exactly ONE playoff game. Seems to me they may do better without him.

  47. Baltimore needs to cut ties with Jackson. If he missed these games yet again due to injury, it doesn’t get better moving forward. If he missed these games because of his contract situation, that’s even worse since the team is paying him over $1.3 million for ea Sunday game, played or not. Regardless of which it is, any team that pays him what he wants will regret it as much as Phoenix is with Murray.

  48. Interesting Sammy would say something about Jackson who has contributed heavily this season. Sammy did next to nothing playing for the Packers. He couldn’t figure out the routes to run. The Packers cut him mid-season and replaced him with a rookie.

  49. Everyone saw what happened to RGIII. He’s just trying to guarantee his future at the expense of the team. Not saying anything about the situation is right, but it’s as plane as day to see.

  50. First, I forgot Watkins was even on the Ravens and that’s my team!!. Second, its funny how people point to Lamar recent stats to put him down, but when he was MVP, they had other things to stay. He can’t win. Bottom line, did he get the W or not? Each of his exits the last 2 seasons, the team was in first place. I can roll with that. Haters be gone.

  51. Bills fans hoped that Watkins would decide to play when he was in Buffalo instead of selfishly worrying about his ability to walk later in life.

  52. This is crazy. Lamar is sitting out a playoff game even though he’s healthy enough to play. 5 weeks for a PCL sprain, c’mon man.

  53. Lamar is doing what’s best for him. His game changing ability is his legs and the threat of him running. He is a mediocre pocket passer who doesn’t have the accuracy or ability to read defenses. Lamar on one leg is probably not as good as most of the QB’s in the league. He knows that. Why would he go out there and play less than he is capable of in a contract year and put that on tape? Everything he does or doesn’t do will be used against him. He also knows that there are plenty of teams that are willing to pony up the bags of cash for his services. Sorry Baltimore you created this situation. You pay Franchise QB’s before their final year. Just like the Bengals will do with Burrow as soon as they are done bouncing the Ravens from the playoffs.

  54. Just sit tight Lamar. That MVP will get you paid somewhere else and the Ravens will be stuck in Jets, Commanders, Texans, and now Dolphins land. Not a fun place to be.

  55. I think NFL players SHOULD have guaranteed contracts across the board, given the violence of the sport. However doing that would require salaries being cut 50 to 60 percent. Would be good for all but NFLPA would never agree.

  56. Pretty odd that a teammate is calling out the franchise QB and bringing up his contract as well. If Jackson is doing this to try and get a contract now what does that show other potential teams?

  57. Preach it, Sammy!
    If anyone knows about the fine line between being really injured and playing through pain, it’s gotta be this guy.
    How many times could Sammy have played but chose to “give it a few more weeks “?

  58. 2nd straight year Llamar gets hurt mid season and the team just fades away…disturbing trend to say the least.

  59. Bye Lamar, I agree with you that you deserve to be paid well for what you do on the field, but holding out because you are not getting a 100% fully guaranteed contract is unexceptable and selfish. The Ravens are willing to pay YOU more money than you are worth on the field, but YOU say no because it isn’t exactly what YOU want. Sorry dude, but you are screwing around with the other 52 players on the rosters employment lives and that won’t be happening much longer. If you don’t show up this weekend and the Ravens get bounced out of the playoffs, consider yourself not a Raven anymore. Business is business, everyone is replaceable.

  60. chue says:
    January 13, 2023 at 5:06 pm
    Maybe someone should remind Mr. Watkins that Lamar Jackson has won exactly ONE playoff game. Seems to me they may do better without him.
    I’m sure you thought the same thing about Barry Sanders, since he only won one playoff game. The Lions may have been a better team without him. Right? All his rushing titles, being a league MVP and offensive MVP. Would the Browns have been a better team without Joe Thomas? 10 pro bowls is nothing since he never made the playoffs. Right? Why don’t you look up HoF Dick Buckus. He never made the playoffs. Khalil Mack was terrible with the Raiders. Right? How many playoff appearances does he have?

  61. Trade Lamar to Green Bay for Rodgers. Baltimore would be in the thick of it and Green Bay could set up the first heated sideline room for lamar.

  62. I’d let him walk if I was the Ravens. Guy essentially quits on your team before the playoffs. Not honoring his current contract, but using it as a ploy for a future one. Pass

  63. It’s funny how fans take the side of the team ownership when players are trying to get a big contract. Particularly a player like Lamar Jackson who makes a living with his legs. He was amazing in 2019, hard to stop even when you knew he was coming. For me, I go back to the Earl Thomas contract situation when Seattle wouldn’t give him the contract he was looking for. He was 29 years old, and looking for one last big contract. Fans eventually turned on him, and he gave in. Showed up to play a few days before training camp and sure enough, he tragically broke his knee.

    Earl wrote this just before he showed up to play: “I’m really grateful to the players and fans who have offered their support — because without that, this process, it leaves you feeling alone. Honestly, I think one of the reasons that teams treat players like they do is because they can get away with it. They’re good at placing blame on the player who’s sitting out, by making the entire process become very public and very negative toward their reputation. It’s like — I have no way of even knowing what they might be telling the press or my teammates about me. And for someone like myself, who doesn’t usually talk … that makes you feel kind of helpless.”

  64. Let us be real. Nobody thinks Jackson is skipping this game because of his contract situation. Watkins is a fool. Jackson will be paid by someone. The only person I know who will not be a Raven next year is Watkins. It also appears that the doctors have not cleared him to play. If he has doubts about the knee absorbing all the hits and allowing him to play, then he is not ready. This Ravens team is not going to the Super Bowl with Jackson. He is more valuable for the next 5 years to the franchise than this single game. I am not a huge fan of Jackson because I think he has topped out with his talent and potential but I certainly believe that Watkins does not speak for his current teammates, especially when you read statements made by actual leaders from that locker room.

  65. If the super long shot of a Ravens win occurs, the fanbase may not want Lamar back next week… or next year.

    Heck, The Baltimore fan base is right to be mad. So the same may be true if the Ravens lose too.

  66. steelersbandwagon says:
    January 14, 2023 at 1:07 pm
    If the super long shot of a Ravens win occurs, the fanbase may not want Lamar back next week… or next year.

    Heck, The Baltimore fan base is right to be mad. So the same may be true if the Ravens lose too.


    As a member of Baltimore fanbase I don’t think Jackson wants to be back and I don’t blame him. Look at 9ers with their 2nd/3rd string QB then look at the Ravens. I don’t want Eric Decosta back.

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