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Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are up for extensions. Carson Wentz's implosion might hinder all of them.

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Yahoo Sports

Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen are up for extensions. Carson Wentz's implosion might hinder all of them.

Charles Robinson
Charles Robinson
·NFL columnist
Tue, December 8, 2020, 2:37 AM EST
 
 

When the 2020 season started for a refreshed Cleveland Browns regime, the coming design was fairly simple.

Establish a culture that doesn’t change every other year. Align the general manager, head coach and chief strategist. Draft smartly and be aggressive in free agency. Cut loose players who weren’t the right fits and get Odell Beckham Jr. to buy in. And of course, set up Baker Mayfield for his best possible success in his third season as the starting quarterback — then hammer out a contract extension in the summer of 2021.

The Browns are on track in all respects, but it’s now fair to wonder if the almost unbelievable implosion of the Philadelphia Eagles’ Carson Wentz is going to complicate the priority of that latter extension. And not just in Cleveland, either. The Browns are one of three franchises that will enter massive, future-altering contract talks with their quarterbacks this offseason. The other franchises are the Baltimore Ravens with Lamar Jackson and the Buffalo Bills with Josh Allen.

Mayfield, Jackson and Allen have all shown the most promise, albeit to varying degrees, while running the NFL gauntlet since the 2018 draft produced five first-round quarterbacks. As it stands this week, all three play for franchises that want to get new deals in the books this summer. It’s certainly more than the other two first-round quarterbacks — Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen — have going for them.

As much as the aforementioned trio has an argument for new deals, there has to be a creeping question in the coming talks. With high-end NFL quarterback extensions rocketing into unprecedented and potentially team-destroying territory if an evaluation is wrong, should franchises start pushing first-round quarterback extensions into the summer after Year 4, rather than the current standard of three seasons? Would waiting one more year make a difference and help a team avoid the next Wentz asteroid?

Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson deals have set market

“It’s a thought — I get it from an added evaluation standpoint — but with Carson, taking one more year would have made things worse [for the Eagles],” said an NFL source close to the Wentz negotiation. “His fourth season was good. [He] went to the postseason. Even though he got hurt in that [playoff] game, I think the contract after last season would have been the Deshaun Watson deal [four years and $160 million]. Imagine if what’s happening right now was happening in Year 1 of a Deshaun Watson deal.

“But if you’re not certain about the player, in that case, you wait and if they reinforce it with another season, you feel better about the money and guarantees.”

The source paused and then added: “But don’t forget that Carson was as good as certain when that deal got done. Nobody thought it was a bad deal. It still might not be in the long run, either. It’s not over yet.”

It’s a fair point that another year with Wentz might not have changed anything, but it also illustrates the quandary that teams face with massive QB extensions. In the cases where someone doesn’t live up to a deal — or in the worst-case scenario, falls apart after signing it — the new level of financial commitment and the guaranteed money can padlock a team into the tightest of spots. That’s what is happening with Wentz, who carries a dead-money commitment of $33.8 million next season if the Eagles were able to offload him on the trade market before another $15 million of his 2022 salary becomes guaranteed on the third day of the new league year (which still hasn’t been set in stone).

Essentially, the Eagles made one hell of a commitment to Wentz with the structure of his four-year, $128 million extension. Not just in dollars but in the triggers that guaranteed future salaries. And that’s why they’re paying the price now. That and Wentz nosediving this season with his poise and decision-making.

All of which turns the spotlight back to Mayfield, Jackson and Allen. Their teams better be absolutely certain of their evaluations before stepping into the steep extensions that all three could command.

 

Most comfortable to re-sign: Mayfield, Jackson or Allen?

Start with Jackson, who won the NFL’s MVP in 2019 and looked like a player whose overall dynamism might be worthy of grouping him into the Patrick Mahomes tier of quarterbacks. Heading into the final quarter of the 2020 season and with the Ravens limping with offensive line woes, Jackson’s peak from last season feels more distant than anyone expected. He’s still the Ravens’ unquestionable centerpiece, but he also has shown this season that the roster and maybe even scheme around him could use some tuning up to get the most out of him. That’s not the worst thing in the world for the franchise to grapple with, but Jackson’s next contract could command more than $40 million per year. If Baltimore is wrong about where he’s heading, a failure wouldn’t just be bad — it would be an extinction level event.

Now consider Mayfield, whose career has been a game-to-game roller coaster. He’s capable of being a highly effective passer who can pile up stats. But as this season has unfolded, it’s also clear that he’s at his best when the Browns have a dominant play-action run game working for them, not to mention one of the league’s best offensive line coaches in Bill Callahan setting the table in front of Mayfield. When parts of that line or run game have broken down, Mayfield has seen his play dip, much like the Los Angeles Rams have seen Jared Goff’s career mirror this same path.

The questions about Mayfield are pretty clear. Is he cutting the image of a $33 million to $35 million a year quarterback right now? And if he isn’t, is Cleveland willing to push off his extension for one more season to be sure about the track he’s on?

This, more than any other, feels like it could be a Carson Wentz situation waiting to happen. And it’s worth noting that Mayfield’s general manager, Andrew Berry, was inside the Eagles’ organization in 2019 and got to see Wentz firsthand. It would be absurd to believe Berry isn’t going to think long and hard about Mayfield and Wentz before a new deal gets done.

That leaves Allen, who has surprisingly surfaced as the quarterback from the 2018 class who has steadily and consistently made gains in each of his three seasons. In many ways, he looks like precisely what he was billed to be: a cannon-armed quarterback from a small college who had massive upside and could develop the most consistently under the best coaching of his football life. Not that Allen doesn’t come with some moments that showcase he’s still working to improve where he’s going. But if you’re looking for the quarterback who has pressed onward and upward without the rollback, it has been Allen, not Jackson or Mayfield.

Indeed, if it wasn’t Jackson’s absolute obliteration of the NFL in 2019, we’d be talking about Allen as the best quarterback from the 2018 class. That might make him the most easily extendable player this summer — although the Bills still have to be comfortable with Allen being at least a $35 million quarterback, which is what he will command.

The scariest part of all these deals remains the one that the Wentz source pointed out. Carson Wentz appeared to be worthy of the extension that he received. And one year later, it continued to look like the smart, cost-conscious move. Yet here we are in 2020, with Wentz facing the first healthy benching of his NFL career and a surefire contract extension morphing into an anchor. With quarterback salaries rising to new heights, extension timetables getting moved up and contract guarantees getting more burdensome by the year, the nightmare of miscalculation is staring into the face of every general manager, team president and franchise owner who sits down at the negotiation table.

Wentz has made that nightmare more real than ever. And for the teams that are about to sign the quarterbacks that they’re so certain about, it’s now impossible to ignore.

https://www.yahoo.com/sports/baker-mayfield-lamar-jackson-and-josh-allen-are-up-for-extensions-carson-wentzs-implosion-might-hinder-all-of-them-073750073.html

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Buyer Beware.

I'll worry about this after the season.

What do you think Mike?

th?id=OVFT.LKDjQFuv-81gQBIZi5v2Iy&pid=Ne "I'm so glad you asked. And thank you for having me on here!"

 

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The stage is set for Jackson. Coming out of Louisville, the knock on him was that he couldn’t win big games. In the postseason, Jackson is 0-2. If the Ravens do well, and Jackson carries this team into the playoffs and wins a game, that could earn him more time in Baltimore and a new, lucrative multi-year contract.

They key to greatness is consistency. If Jackson doesn’t step up, people will start to wonder again if he is truly a “one-trick pony.”

 

Edited by vmax
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1 hour ago, GrubberRaven said:

Lamar is going to be limited by Greg Roman, period.  

 

https://sports.yahoo.com/steve-smith-sr-greg-roman-235933641.html

A pointed quote and one worth thinking about. Is Lamar limited by Roman's play calling or is Roman's play calling limited by Lamar's abilities? Looking at history, it appears a Gregg Roman offense comes out smokin' the first year or two and then peters out. See his history in SFO, Buffalo, and here. Is he incapable of making adjustments? Or, is Lamar limiting what Roman calls offensively? What do you guys think?

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In every game Lamar is the best athlete and play maker of the field...except when they play KC. What he brings to this team, his energy and enthusiasm, focus and goals is solid gold.

You don't get rid of a player like that. Never.

 

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5 hours ago, vmax said:

In every game Lamar is the best athlete and play maker of the field...except when they play KC. What he brings to this team, his energy and enthusiasm, focus and goals is solid gold.

You don't get rid of a player like that. Never.

 

Nope,  you build around him. Enhance the talent. Arizona is doing it right with Murray - letting him learn the game and gain confidence while having two great targets. 

Hopefully the Ravens can get another weapon or two on offense. Soon.

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The receivers all run crossing routes or go routes, or posts/flags... Did you notice the only comeback route run was when Trace was qb?

They can't run double moves because the line does not hold up long enough, AND, Lamar rarely throws a comeback route. So db's can sit on crossing routes, keep the safeties in the middle part of the field and single cover on the outside.

All of that limits the plays, the route combinations that can be run thus stunting Lamar's numbers and the momentum of the game; quick strikes.

Allen gets to throw those routes, which gives his receivers an advantage with the double move available. He is accurate enough so his numbers go up, especially with those routes he is able to move a safety playing on or outside the numbers, a step or two; big adavantage.

Until Lamar proves that he can throw outside the numbers consistently, he will limit this offense. Right now, Allen has made the biggest improvement and earned his money while Lamar has not to this point.

 

Baker is slowly coming around, but he has not been consistent enough to warrant the big pay day.

There is a reason no running first qb has ever won a super bowl, Kaep came close but he was helped by the NFL with that power outage.

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Well... both of your minds are made up.  One "knows" what Lamar can do from college the other one "knows" from college and the combine. One obviously dislikes running QBs......

Don't argue, these are just facts.....

I'd listen to objective fans/analysts more than those whose minds are made up. Hearing thoughts from someone watching objectively is often greatly different from people's whose minds are made up and waiting for someone to fail.

But hey, when bad things happen you guys can pat each other on the backs, commend each other, look around, then celebratory fellate each other. 

Enjoy!

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13 hours ago, tsylvester said:

The receivers all run crossing routes or go routes, or posts/flags... Did you notice the only comeback route run was when Trace was qb?

They can't run double moves because the line does not hold up long enough, AND, Lamar rarely throws a comeback route. So db's can sit on crossing routes, keep the safeties in the middle part of the field and single cover on the outside.

All of that limits the plays, the route combinations that can be run thus stunting Lamar's numbers and the momentum of the game; quick strikes.

Allen gets to throw those routes, which gives his receivers an advantage with the double move available. He is accurate enough so his numbers go up, especially with those routes he is able to move a safety playing on or outside the numbers, a step or two; big adavantage.

Until Lamar proves that he can throw outside the numbers consistently, he will limit this offense. Right now, Allen has made the biggest improvement and earned his money while Lamar has not to this point.

 

Baker is slowly coming around, but he has not been consistent enough to warrant the big pay day.

There is a reason no running first qb has ever won a super bowl, Kaep came close but he was helped by the NFL with that power outage.

Neat points. Allen looks like a great young qb, I think he'll be good for a long time. He may not run as well as Lamar, how exciting!, but he's good. 

Quick question,  if you had to compare the Bills and Raven's wide receivers how do you think they match up? 

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4 hours ago, Spen said:

Neat points. Allen looks like a great young qb, I think he'll be good for a long time. He may not run as well as Lamar, how exciting!, but he's good. 

Quick question,  if you had to compare the Bills and Raven's wide receivers how do you think they match up? 

Diggs is the best, Ravens have a better tight end, other than that I think it is pretty even. This may be an extreme example, but look what Brady did in NE with average at best receivers. This was largely because of his talent, but also becauee of how they used those receivers; route combinations, Brady's ability to make all of the throws.

 

Here, Lamar can't make all of the throws, he has the arm for sure, but his confidence or the time he has in the pocket keep him from even attempting some of those throws. Troy said it best the other night. Some patterns have to be thrown on time, before the receiver even makes his cut, his move. We rarely see Lamar make that type of throw..

Now, Allen was this way his first 2 years as well, and he made the move so far this year. Can Lamar?

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5 hours ago, Spen said:

Well... both of your minds are made up.  One "knows" what Lamar can do from college the other one "knows" from college and the combine. One obviously dislikes running QBs......

Don't argue, these are just facts.....

I'd listen to objective fans/analysts more than those whose minds are made up. Hearing thoughts from someone watching objectively is often greatly different from people's whose minds are made up and waiting for someone to fail.

But hey, when bad things happen you guys can pat each other on the backs, commend each other, look around, then celebratory fellate each other. 

Enjoy!

That's just it Spen, I have not made my mind up on Lamar. You claim to be objective, acuse others of not being, claim to use facts but when we do, you laugh them off.

Pot meet kettle sir. I have no issue with a running qb, my issue is not only the types of throws he makes but with the play design as well; coaching. What we, the fans, cannot know is why this team, the play calling, play designs, are so limited.

Do you not think it odd that the only time we had a comback route, thrown on time, accurately, was when Trace was in? And no, he is not a better qb than Lamar, he too cannot make all of the throws but that is because he lacks the arm strength needed.

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2 hours ago, tsylvester said:

That's just it Spen, I have not made my mind up on Lamar. You claim to be objective, acuse others of not being, claim to use facts but when we do, you laugh them off.

Pot meet kettle sir. I have no issue with a running qb, my issue is not only the types of throws he makes but with the play design as well; coaching. What we, the fans, cannot know is why this team, the play calling, play designs, are so limited.

Do you not think it odd that the only time we had a comback route, thrown on time, accurately, was when Trace was in? And no, he is not a better qb than Lamar, he too cannot make all of the throws but that is because he lacks the arm strength needed.

I don't believe you about the running QB. Not sure why you'd care,  but I don't. I've seen too many comments.....

I see two people every week expecting a player to fail and needing proven wrong. That's not objective. I also see a person who often complains about a harmless incomplete passes after a win sometimes when the qb has completed 60% or more of his passes. That's not objective.  Or when he completes a 10 yard pass and you would have preferred a 12 yard pass to a different spot on the field. That's my favorite. 

How exciting! 

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7 hours ago, papasmurfbell said:

Lamar can prove me wrong.  

I know. He won't. Your motif has always been to keep predicting bad things then want praise and credit when they finally happen. Little lonely kid stuff.

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3 hours ago, tsylvester said:

Diggs is the best, Ravens have a better tight end, other than that I think it is pretty even. This may be an extreme example, but look what Brady did in NE with average at best receivers. This was largely because of his talent, but also becauee of how they used those receivers; route combinations, Brady's ability to make all of the throws.

 

Here, Lamar can't make all of the throws, he has the arm for sure, but his confidence or the time he has in the pocket keep him from even attempting some of those throws. Troy said it best the other night. Some patterns have to be thrown on time, before the receiver even makes his cut, his move. We rarely see Lamar make that type of throw..

Now, Allen was this way his first 2 years as well, and he made the move so far this year. Can Lamar?

He's not Tom Brady. Brady did have a pretty good WR tandem when he took over as the starter in NE. And while eventually Brady was great with very little.... well he's Tom Brady and having targets while young and learning certainly helped his development. 

I agree about Andrews, he's great but I didn't ask about TEs because they don't run the type of patterns you complain about the Ravens not doing/being able to do as often. 

Diggs is clearly the best, Beasley is probably better than any of our WRs. Maybe Davis too, but he's a rookie. Hell, even having the one legit #1 playmaker makes a huge difference. The talent around the two players is not similar. 

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2 hours ago, papasmurfbell said:

I see one person who catches feelings bc he cant look without getting emotional about it.  

Remember last week when you stated accuracy never improves. And also said the main stat that shows accuracy is not a valid one.  Good stuff.

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56 minutes ago, Spen said:

I don't believe you about the running QB. Not sure why you'd care,  but I don't. I've seen too many comments.....

I see two people every week expecting a player to fail and needing proven wrong. That's not objective. I also see a person who often complains about a harmless incomplete passes after a win sometimes when the qb has completed 60% or more of his passes. That's not objective.  Or when he completes a 10 yard pass and you would have preferred a 12 yard pass to a different spot on the field. That's my favorite. 

How exciting! 

We have made evaluations and stated them.  At that Lamar would prove us wrong.  That is how that works.  It is not unlike a Tom Brady proving 31 other teams wrong for not taking him.  That is how that works.  Again nobody but you is catching feelings.  Heres something to help with that.

It reduces people to zombies': UK readers on Xanax misuse | Drugs | The  Guardian

 

53 minutes ago, Spen said:

I know. He won't. Your motif has always been to keep predicting bad things then want praise and credit when they finally happen. Little lonely kid stuff.

 

Many times I predict good things.  But again you have mental issues and ignore them.

 

32 minutes ago, Spen said:

Remember last week when you stated accuracy never improves. And also said the main stat that shows accuracy is not a valid one.  Good stuff.

Joe was "accurate" by your standard.  But again that dinking and dunking made him easy to defend eventually.  Also there is a reason why they keep track of completion percentage at different places on the field.  It shows how accurate you are.  

If you really believe someone can make themselves go from being inaccurate to accurate tell me who did it.  You should be able to show 5 examples if this is a regular thing.  Im waiting.

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53 minutes ago, Spen said:

He's not Tom Brady. Brady did have a pretty good WR tandem when he took over as the starter in NE. And while eventually Brady was great with very little.... well he's Tom Brady and having targets while young and learning certainly helped his development. 

I agree about Andrews, he's great but I didn't ask about TEs because they don't run the type of patterns you complain about the Ravens not doing/being able to do as often. 

Diggs is clearly the best, Beasley is probably better than any of our WRs. Maybe Davis too, but he's a rookie. Hell, even having the one legit #1 playmaker makes a huge difference. The talent around the two players is not similar. 

I say this with all due respect Spen, I am not attacking you, just differing on our opinions.

No, Lamar is not Brady, I was not mentioning Brady to compare him to Lamar. I do not expect Lamar to throw the way Brady does, my point was about the quality of receivers and the route combinations used. If NE had bottled up Brady by using only crossing routes, only plays designed to run between the numbers they would not have won so many championships nor would Brady be a top tier qb in NFL history.

So they question remains; why do the Ravens only use route combinations that go over the middle? There are no out routes, no comback routes which means there can be no double moves.

 

Year one, okay, good running game, solid defense, bring the rookie along slowly, limit turnovers. Year 2, start adding them in. Year 3, here we are, still none of those routes, yet we have the turnovers. Why?

Because as the Pit defenders said; they knew the route combinations so they jumped the routes= pick 6.

Defenses this year are keying on the middle of the field, playing zone to one side, man to the other. This requires timing routes, for the ball to be thrown one step back after the snap in shotgun. How many times has Lamar done that? How many times have we heard with fast guys; if he is even he is leaving? Brown is that type of fast. Why do you think Brown was so upset this year?! Man coverage, no safety help, Lamar will not throw him the ball down the sidelines.. That speaks volumes.

 

Time will tell, I honestly want and do expect Lamar to improve. The nock, and you can google it, on Lamar coming out of college was that he couldn't read defenses, couldn't throw with anticipation because of it. Those can be taught-learned, but he has yet to show he has learned it....

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2 minutes ago, tsylvester said:

I say this with all due respect Spen, I am not attacking you, just differing on our opinions.

No, Lamar is not Brady, I was not mentioning Brady to compare him to Lamar. I do not expect Lamar to throw the way Brady does, my point was about the quality of receivers and the route combinations used. If NE had bottled up Brady by using only crossing routes, only plays designed to run between the numbers they would not have won so many championships nor would Brady be a top tier qb in NFL history.

So they question remains; why do the Ravens only use route combinations that go over the middle? There are no out routes, no comback routes which means there can be no double moves.

 

Year one, okay, good running game, solid defense, bring the rookie along slowly, limit turnovers. Year 2, start adding them in. Year 3, here we are, still none of those routes, yet we have the turnovers. Why?

Because as the Pit defenders said; they knew the route combinations so they jumped the routes= pick 6.

Defenses this year are keying on the middle of the field, playing zone to one side, man to the other. This requires timing routes, for the ball to be thrown one step back after the snap in shotgun. How many times has Lamar done that? How many times have we heard with fast guys; if he is even he is leaving? Brown is that type of fast. Why do you think Brown was so upset this year?! Man coverage, no safety help, Lamar will not throw him the ball down the sidelines.. That speaks volumes.

 

Time will tell, I honestly want and do expect Lamar to improve. The nock, and you can google it, on Lamar coming out of college was that he couldn't read defenses, couldn't throw with anticipation because of it. Those can be taught-learned, but he has yet to show he has learned it....

Why is Brown upset? Aren't receivers usually upset? 😉

Brown is super fast. He is also 5'6" and covered by someone who is often 6" or more taller. And according to some announcers, since we all like to quote announcers who say things that support our thought, Brown's defenders are often running the routes better than he is. Im not sure I'd throw him the ball. Another columnist earlier in the year wondered how many of the WRs on the Ravens would even make the rosters of other teams.

Lamar obviously trusts Andrews and looks for him first. And he seemed to trust Hurst too and losing him probably hurt more than anyone would have thought. 

Does Lamar need to improve? Of course, it would certainly help. Do I think the offensive woes are his fault? No way,  he's the best player on offense. By far.

Anyone who has objectively watched Lamar his three years has seen improvement. From year one to year two it was huge. Accuracy too.

Anyone who has objectively watched Lamar his three years has seen he can read defenses. Is he perfect at it,  or even great,  maybe not - but he can. You can't have the year he did last year and not be able to. And you can watch and see he can. But then again I'm not bitching when he throws somewhere when I think he should throw somewhere else.

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