One week into the NFL’s free agent signing interval, the Baltimore Ravens have acquired zero gives for Lamar Jackson. The Ravens slapped the non-exclusive franchise tag on the previous league MVP, which permits different groups to make him a suggestion that Baltimore can match. Up to now, all is quiet on the house entrance, which feels odd.
With all these groups that have to improve the quarterback place, having nobody step up but is solely astonishing. The ‘C’ phrase will get thrown round, however the best way this has performed out to date looks like collusion is within the air. Some will assume that’s far-fetched, however we already know some NFL homeowners weren’t joyful when the Cleveland Browns traded for and signed DeShaun Watson to a assured $230 million contract that’s totally assured.
In an article by NFLPA Government Director DeMaurice Smith, launched final week, he said the next about assured contract construction concerning franchised players:
“For instance, the totally assured construction for franchised gamers within the NFL CBA was created exactly as a result of we as a union know that homeowners have colluded up to now – and may do it once more, as they’re doubtlessly doing proper now— in relation to extremely sought-after gamers. So for these individuals on the market who chant the facility of a legendary NFL “free market” — the market that may supposedly work to safe the best and finest contracts with no draft as a result of all of the homeowners need to win simply the identical — get up and have a look at a market that’s presupposed to be however isn’t, and groups that must be doing every part to win however don’t.”
It’s been reported that Jackson is in search of a large deal that rivals or exceeds that of Watson’s in Cleveland. NFL homeowners desperately need to keep away from this changing into the norm. Had it been nearly another QB in Watson’s place, it could not have been as stunning to see that sort of cash handed over. However this time a 12 months in the past, Watson was within the midst of coping with greater than 20 sexual assault/harassment civil lawsuits and hadn’t taken a snap because the 2020 marketing campaign. Whereas Watson has all the time denied any wrongdoing, the Browns leaping on the market and providing up every part was not a very good look.
One other big, guaranteed deal for a QB will not be what NFL homeowners need. Nevertheless, Watson wasn’t the primary QB to snag a totally assured deal from an NFL group. He might have been the primary to interrupt the financial institution in such a fashion, however Kirk Cousins was properly ahead of the curve when he signed with Minnesota in 2018 on a three-year, $84 million totally assured contract. That’s nonetheless some huge cash, but it surely isn’t $200 million plus in assured funds. And talking of the Vikings, it’s been reported by Jeremy Fowler of ESPN that Minnesota may emerge as a darkish horse to land Jackson.
It looks like Jackson will accept nothing lower than what he feels he’s value. And since he’s representing himself, this contract negotiation may drag on for much longer than anybody anticipated. NFL homeowners will do no matter it takes to make sure assured contracts value properly over $200 million totally assured aren’t given out back-to-back offseasons.
Inserting the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson was a strategic transfer by the Ravens. Since they’ll match any supply, one other group would possible want to supply way more than they’d really need to pay to make sure Baltimore doesn’t counter. The entire thought of this non-exclusive tag has collusion seemingly constructed into the deal. These homeowners are enterprise companions and can take drastic measures to look out for one another’s pursuits. Look no additional than Colin Kaepernick. And the identical goes for Daniel Snyder’s scenario. Most, if not all, owners want him out however don’t essentially need it to be on them to make that call.
With regards to participant contracts, nonetheless, everyone is on the identical web page. They all the time have been. QB contracts have already blown up over the previous decade, and guaranteeing them completely at such a steep price ticket will not be a bridge most homeowners are prepared to cross proper now.