Lamar Jackson’s contract situation is unique in part because he is representing himself in the negotiation with the Ravens.
That creates a delicate dynamic between Jackson and General Manager Eric DeCosta that doesn’t usually exist because DeCosta is usually dealing with an agent.
“Well you have a lot of regard for the player, first and foremost,” DeCosta said in his Combine press conference. “I think when you deal with an agent, sometimes you’re able to speak very freely, position yourself a certain way. You have different arguments that you can use that maybe you wouldn’t say to a player. So, I think that’s part of it.”
As DeCosta mentioned, Baltimore has recent experience successfully executing a deal with a player who represents himself. The team signed linebacker Roquan Smith to an extension in January after acquiring him from Chicago in a midseason trade.
‘There’s a lot of respect, tremendous respect, because I’m with a player like Lamar, a player like Roquan Smith — who also represented himself — every day,” DeCosta said. “You see the commitment, you understand where they’re coming from. so, it’s definitely a different dynamic.
“It can be challenging but it’s doable, as we’ve proven. And we continue to be optimistic about it.”
DeCosta said talks between him and Jackson have been ongoing and both parties understand the urgency of the situation. While DeCosta said he’s hopeful the team and Jackson can get a deal done before the March 7 tagging deadline, it appears unlikely that will happen. DeCosta said the team hasn’t determined whether it would use the exclusive or non-exclusive franchise tag for Jackson.