Maybe Lamar Jackson has finally figured out he needs an agent to conduct contract negotiations.

The star quarterback has been negotiating on his own behalf with the Ravens but has been outmaneuvered throughout the nearly 2 1/2-year process. The team outplayed him when it applied the nonexclusive franchise tag on him Tuesday.

While some have said it was risky business for the Ravens to allow Jackson an opportunity to sign with another team, I thought the decision was superb and showed that the team’s front office had thoroughly studied the landscape and his value throughout the league.

The emotion over at The Castle might be a little subdued, but there surely has been some high-fiving.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta could have used the exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, 26, which would cost about $45 million, but instead chose the nonexclusive, which is about $32.4 million.

Jackson is free to start negotiations with other teams Monday and the Ravens would have five days to match that offer or allow the former Louisville star to move on and get two first-round draft picks from that team in return.

So, in essence, the Ravens are willing to allow Jackson to test the open market to determine his value. But since the Ravens applied the tag, quarterback-needy teams such as Atlanta, Carolina, Washington and Las Vegas have reportedly said they have no interest in him.

Has there been collusion among the teams to reset the market for quarterbacks after Cleveland signed Deshaun Watson to a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract last season?


A better question is when hasn’t there been some form of collusion when a top talent is involved in negotiations or seeking a trade?

That’s why Jackson needs an agent. They know and have relationships with various general managers throughout the league. They have a better feel for executives and are more in tune than those who were offering Jackson advice in the NFL Players Association. Agents are buffers who can filter through personal complaints and accusations.

Jackson has no one to blame but himself.

The team to watch now is the New York Jets. If their negotiations with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers fail, they’ll make a push for Jackson because coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas know they will probably be fired if New York doesn’t get into the postseason. They think they’re a quarterback away from being a contender.

That’s when the Jackson situation …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Mike Preston: Lamar Jackson has only himself to blame for breakdown in negotiations with Ravens | COMMENTARY

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