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Lamar Jackson and the Ravens


oldno82
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I tried to just post the link but couldn't get it to work. I agree with most but not all of it. Anyway this is Tony Lombardi's take on a subject of interest to us all:

"

Irreconcilable Differences?

 
Lamar Jackson wins in Tampa Photo Credit: Jason Behnken, Associated Press
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Who is to blame for this standoff between Lamar Jackson and his employer, the Baltimore Ravens?

That’s easy – both sides!

Back in 2019 when Lamar Jackson electrified the country on his way to becoming the league’s second unanimous MVP in NFL HISTORY, we all thought it was the start of something magical here in Charm City – magic that we expected to last for quite a while.

 

Sure, the Tennessee Titans did a number on the Ravens in that Divisional Playoff game back in January of 2020. In many ways, the Titans did the same thing to Greg Roman’s offense that the Chargers did to Marty Mornhinweg’s offense the season before in the playoffs. Simply put, they forced the Ravens to do something that they struggle to do consistently. Throw. The. Football.

But with an offseason to fix things, the Ravens would adjust, right? They would complement Lamar’s generational talents with the appropriate skill sets to lift the passing game, making the offense even more dangerous. Well, that didn’t happen. Despite the COVID setbacks, the Ravens rallied during the 2020 season, even got Lamar’s first playoff win, but the dream died along frigid Lake Erie when the Bills slammed the vaunted Ravens offense which put up a grand total of three points.

Fast forward to 2021 and another offseason to fix things. But before they could start fixing, more holes appeared. Orlando Brown, Jr. wanted out while Ronnie Stanley’s ankle surgery was botched, leaving him unavailable and struggling through the opener in Las Vegas. He would never play another down in 2021. Add in major injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Marcus Peters, and despite a heroic effort by Jackson to keep hopes alive through the first 11 games and a conference leading (8-3) record, the season soon began to circle the drain. And then Lamar, often running for his life, joined the ranks of the injured Ravens.

The Ravens vowed not to leave themselves so vulnerable across the offensive front again but as the 2022 NFL Draft approached, another Brown, another former Oklahoma Sooner, wanted out – Marquise Brown. So they traded Marquise and that made an unimpressive receiving corps even less impressive. The personnel mistakes made in 2021 at O-Line were repeated in 2022 only this time at wide receiver. And clearly Greg Roman’s passing scheme could not overcome the deficiencies in talent. If anything, Roman’s limitations served to exacerbate the problems.

Now, the Ravens are left with arguably the most pivotal decision to make in franchise history – what to do with Lamar Jackson?

Lamar Jackson, Eric DeCosta

The Ravens, organizationally, failed Lamar, and they failed themselves. Everyone knew, everyone knows that Lamar couldn’t keep up the pace he’s set as a running quarterback. The league has adjusted to his talents. Sure, he can still be an extremely effective runner, but to pay him the kind of money he thinks he’s worth, he has to develop as a passer. But the team has done next to nothing to help move the needle forward.

 

In 2021, it was the offensive line. In 2022, it’s a lack of talent at wide receiver and an offensive coordinator who is anything but coordinated when it comes to the passing game. They haven’t removed the question marks that contributed to Lamar’s slow development as a passer. Following the 2020 season they should have replaced Roman to see if he’s the problem. Following the 2021 season they should have added talent to the wide receiver room like the Eagles did for Jalen Hurts when they traded for A.J. Brown.

The Ravens did neither.

So here we are, 2 seasons later, wondering what Lamar’s worth is. Can he be a top 10 passer in the league? We still don’t know, but we do know that he wants to be the highest paid quarterback in league history. So what if the Ravens concede and they do make Lamar the highest paid QB of all time, despite the unanswered questions that scream, “You better not!”? How will they then afford to give him the surrounding talents he obviously needs? The team wasted the benefits of his rookie contract.

Paying him top tier coin now is like flirting with disaster for years. Why? Because we just aren’t sure if Lamar can play to that level of pay and that’s on the conscience of the Ravens brass. We can’t project Lamar’s future as a passer because the team has wasted the last two years crossing their collective fingers while hoping for the best. Meanwhile, I hope to hit the Mega Millions, but I digress.

The best just hasn’t happened. It might not ever happen for Lamar in Baltimore. Perhaps that ship hasn’t sailed yet, but the first-mate is about to shout, “All aboard!”

And it’s not as if Lamar isn’t complicit in this debacle. Despite Roman’s limited system, or should I say puny vault, Jackson doesn’t do the things great quarterbacks do. He struggles with the play clock (note that Tyler Huntley hasn’t had the same issues); he’s wildly inaccurate on deep passes; he doesn’t use the back-shoulder throw like big league quarterbacks do; he doesn’t throw receivers open – he just throws to open receivers (a big difference) and given Roman’s choreography, such receivers are about as common as John Harbaugh speaking the truth about injuries.

Now, off-the-field drama is rearing its ugly head, perhaps in part because the Ravens have been so secretive about what Lamar does on his own time. Rumors about his work ethic and alleged poor habits as they relate to film study, eating and sleeping have crept their way into the world of social media. Maybe they’re true, maybe they aren’t. But with the Ravens zipping their lips and with Lamar sans representation, we just don’t know.

What we do know is that this entire situation is fraught with unorthodox behavior that leaves us not knowing who or what to believe. So we connect the dots of speculation and make it our own truth, because no one else is telling it to us.

Today, Wednesday, Lamar missed another practice, his 13th consecutive session. This was an injury that was supposed to last 1-3 weeks. John Harbaugh back on December 7, when asked about Lamar’s status for the Week 14 game in Pittsburgh, said:

“He’s been through the MRIs, and I would say it’s kind of week-to-week. It’s going to be a weekly thing, so as the week goes on, we’ll see for this week. It’s probably less likely for this week, but it’s not impossible. Then after that, it will become more and more likely.”

A month later we still don’t know anything. A month later, Harbaugh now chooses to simply dodge the questions about Lamar’s availability.

 

Prior to the NFL Network’s presentation of the Ravens game in Cleveland on Saturday night, December 17, Rich Eisen who was handling play-by-play for the broadcast, sat with the Ravens brass before the game, as the announcers normally do to prepare. Eisen, as he explains in the video below, was told that Lamar didn’t want to play with a knee brace or even take the field until he was 100%.

 

As of today, he’s still not 100% and it’s unlikely that he’ll take the field in Cincinnati. Maybe he doesn’t even travel with the team. Sunday will mark the 5th full game he’ll miss in 2022, matching the same total from 2021. That’s 29.4% of all games played during the last two seasons. Not ideal for a franchise quarterback looking for the game’s biggest paycheck. Not ideal for a running quarterback who has shown signs of slowing down and no signs of progressing as a passer.

In his defense, Lamar has played at less than 100% before, but seeing Roman’s offense and its precipitous drop-off when he isn’t playing, and, it’s heavy reliance upon his skillset, maybe he just doesn’t want to risk his future earnings. Maybe he sees that this offense is going nowhere even with him.

Maybe he’s sending a message to the team.

Maybe he just wants out.

And maybe that’s exactly what needs to happen.

The Ravens and Lamar have had 5 years to get this right. They’ve collectively failed. The “play” clock has expired and it’s no longer fourth-and-short.

These “analytics” suggest it’s time to punt.

 

[Related Article: The “P-Word”]

Edited by oldno82
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He writes War and Peace to say nothing. 

There were more holes to fill last year than could be filled. Nobody saw Brown's quiting on the team and Lamar. Now he's having his "Desert Experience " He's having his worst season ever on a shit team and organization.  Enjoy Hollywood.

Bateman started off the season looking like a true #1. Eric got Lamar a line. 

Remember the 2021 defense? We weren't going anywahere with that.

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Edited by vmax
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So it has been 38 days, as of today, that is just under 6 weeks, (5.4) since Lamar was injured. Jack Youngblood (my favorite all time NFL player) once played in the Super Bowl with a Crack in his fibula, a broken leg.

Over the years, players have played important games with broken ribs, broken arms, hands, high ankle sprains, etc.

A playoff game is an important game, yes?

So if Lamar does not play, most sprains of his nature take a max of 6 weeks for the most severe sprains, one might assume, you know what happens when we do that, that it is more than the injury,  yes?

That him sitting out this game is his dissatisfaction with the 1)offense 2) contract situation.

Do you think the Smith contract might have a negative affect on Lamar? The team would give Smith what he wanted, but not their most important offensive player?

We might even look further and say, him missing this game, he can't do any more harm to the injury if he plays, that it spells, officially, the end of his time here?

I mean, if he had players on his side before the injury, that now, most who are playing less than 100% in health, he might have lost most of them?

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16 hours ago, tsylvester said:

one might assume, you know what happens when we do that, that it is more than the injury,  yes?

That him sitting out this game is his dissatisfaction with the 1)offense 2) contract situation.

Do you think the Smith contract might have a negative affect on Lamar? The team would give Smith what he wanted, but not their most important offensive player?

We might even look further and say, him missing this game, he can't do any more harm to the injury if he plays, that it spells, officially, the end of his time here?

I mean, if he had players on his side before the injury, that now, most who are playing less than 100% in health, he might have lost most of them?

OK. So this is assumptions. Some common ones that the fan base puts out there too. It seems for a significant number of the Ravens fanbase that it's too hard to assume/accept that the PCL is coming along slower than expected. Lamar has never publicly expressed dissatisfaction. He might in the future as his value drops. 

OK. I'll play along...

Assumption #1: 

"That him sitting out this game is his dissatisfaction with the 1)offense 2) contract situation.'

I can't believe this at all. The sitting out this game part because of.... Now, I bet he's kicking himself in the ass for not signing the deal offered to him to be the highest paid QB in the NFL while rehabbing an injury.

He has everything to lose by sitting out if he's healthy enough to practice. Nothing to gain. 

Publicly, He's not a baby or a pouter. He's been nothing but passionate about playing, winning and going for a SB. He's been an electric team leader. Why would he want to lose face in front of his teammates? Lose their support and belief in him by pouting at the most important time of their careers?

#2 The Smith deal has no impact on Lamar other than "Look, we pay our star players top dollar." tTe difference is Smith is not demanding that the whole contract be guaranteed. And ...it just happened this week. 

#3 The end of his time here? It could be. But not for pouting. This is 2 years in a row that he has not been available for the home stretch of regular season games and then the playoffs. I would think that if you're a GM, that you want your highest paid QB in the NFL to be healthy and available then. Lamars value may be dropping. 

#4 I mean, if he had players on his side before the injury, that now, most who are playing less than 100% in health, he might have lost most of them? Not if he's walking around on a swollen knee and the doctors won't clear him.

 

#3 is the only one that seems legit. 

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Max, if #3 is legit and plays out, I'm highly intrigued by the off-season possibilities.  I know it belongs in the off-season comments, but

I'm looking at life after Lamar and can't wait to see how the FO will fill the void.  Even with our dismal WR track record and OC woes, I cannot  

but help feel optimism with a FA QB (to bridge us in 23- maybe a Derek Carr (just saying:) and drafting a young QB.   

 

With an improving D, strong OL, nice cadre of RBs, and presumption for a new OC, the off-season can't get here soon enough.  

    

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See how easy it is Max, let the fans run around like chicken little, reading things into situations like a man dying of thirst in a desert, staring at a mirage..

The local "media" in a quest to fill voids in news stories play the fans cries for news, using their, the fan's, own words as inside scoops, as news... Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we beg to be deceived.

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1 hour ago, varaven45 said:

Max, if #3 is legit and plays out, I'm highly intrigued by the off-season possibilities.  I know it belongs in the off-season comments, but

I'm looking at life after Lamar and can't wait to see how the FO will fill the void.  Even with our dismal WR track record and OC woes, I cannot  

but help feel optimism with a FA QB (to bridge us in 23- maybe a Derek Carr (just saying:) and drafting a young QB.   

 

With an improving D, strong OL, nice cadre of RBs, and presumption for a new OC, the off-season can't get here soon enough.  

    

Carr's a heart breaker and widow OC and HC maker.

Field Yates (@FieldYates)
If a team were to trade for Derek Carr, here is what it would owe him on his current deal:

2023: $32.9M base salary + $100K workout bonus = $33M cap hit
2024: $41.9M base salary + $100K workout bonus = $42M cap hit
2025: $41.2M base salary + $100K workout bonus = $41.3M cap hit


 

But this is what we're left for those who want Lamar to go.  Daniel Jones, Bridgewater, Keenam, Brisett, Heineke, Dalton, White .... Oh yea! It's going to be great times watching this team. 

Smith is the only one that I could stomach, and He's had 1 good season in 587 and what's he going to cost? 

I've seen them all on NFL RedZone and watched their fans tear their hair and eyes out. It's bad. Supre Cluster Migraine Bad. I'm not sure I can take a few years of that. Like 10 years of being the Jets.

Nevertheless, the last 2 years have been heart breakers. Your Franchise QB has to be available in December and January. 

I'm torn for now. I need more info on Lamar. It's not like the Ravens will get anywhere with these guys. So in that light I'd rather have Lamar and some excitement and the wild ass hope that he'll make it through a season and post season. His legs are his game... I don't know.

2023 NFL Free Agents Tracker | Spotrac

Edited by vmax
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Other than Trent Dilfer's half season run (2000), Bazooka Joe's 4-5 year run, and Lamars historic season (2019), haven't we only witnessed 

ca. 6 years of dynamic QB play in the franchise's 25 + yr. history.   That's about 20% of our history.

My point - our D and running attack has kept us competitive - won 2 SBs and numerous Division titles - and largely w/o strong franchise QB play.         

Maybe we keep holding out too much for this "franchise" QB when we just need a solid QB to complement our perennially strong D and running attack.

Guess I'm a half full glass guy.  I trust our FO will snatch one up in the offseason.      

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2 hours ago, tsylvester said:

See how easy it is Max, let the fans run around like chicken little, reading things into situations like a man dying of thirst in a desert, staring at a mirage..

The local "media" in a quest to fill voids in news stories play the fans cries for news, using their, the fan's, own words as inside scoops, as news... Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we beg to be deceived.

Local media person gets on off the record leak from an uncle?

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4 minutes ago, papasmurfbell said:

Local media person gets on off the record leak from an uncle?

Or a disgruntled former player, who knows. Preston has done it, remember Stanley was soft, and done, how did that work out?

Then Lamar was skipping rehab, wait, no he has been to ever one on the schedule, oops.

You get my point papa, people see and hear, write what ever they want just to get hits & clicks.

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I don't believe for one minute that we won't have 1 or 2 seasons of pain if Lamar goes but if the FO can draft a good qb and we sign a stop-gap it might be worth it. As the saying goes, you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. I know I'd look forward to a Roman-less system.

I think when you look at the owner we have and the quality of the front office we're supposed to have, a Lamar-less future might be a good thing. Notice I used the word 'supposed'. I don't think either path is without risk...it all comes down to how much risk do you want to take.

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4 minutes ago, tsylvester said:

Or a disgruntled former player, who knows. Preston has done it, remember Stanley was soft, and done, how did that work out?

Then Lamar was skipping rehab, wait, no he has been to ever one on the schedule, oops.

You get my point papa, people see and hear, write what ever they want just to get hits & clicks.

 

I was just saying if a player wants to get his issues out there it can be done without getting his hands dirty.

 

1 minute ago, oldno82 said:

I don't believe for one minute that we won't have 1 or 2 seasons of pain if Lamar goes but if the FO can draft a good qb and we sign a stop-gap it might be worth it. As the saying goes, you can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs. I know I'd look forward to a Roman-less system.

I think when you look at the owner we have and the quality of the front office we're supposed to have, a Lamar-less future might be a good thing. Notice I used the word 'supposed'. I don't think either path is without risk...it all comes down to how much risk do you want to take.

Exactly.  Orlofsky this morning is yelling that making the move will cripple the team for 3 yrs.  For 1 I dont think it will take that long and 2 I am willing to take that immediate pain to move on.  

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Houston, we have a problem. Why release a statement like that now? If the sprain is that bad, why is he jumping around on the sidelines? Have we ever had a player upstage a team like this before? This close to a playoff game?

Answers, we must have answers, we want them now, we want them honest! We will take no prisoners!

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Things just aren't adding up here.  How are we/he just learning this ?  Also, how does a 24-25 superstar athlete approaching (if not already) in the prime of his career,

have so many physical, medical issues (COVID, back, knee)?  Geez.   Cmon down, Anthony Brown !            

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It is very strange VA. His knee got worse? Did Not improve? Did he use crutches? A brace?

I get the team keeping this hush hush, what I don't get is Lamar coming out an tweeting that he is out for the game, right after his head coach says he is still day to day?! And, detailing his injury.

It seems he is speaking to someone or trying to convince possible suiters that he is not loafing, not quitting on his team.

Still having swelling can be a sign that other ligaments are injured, we are 6 weeks out! Most if not all people who have this injury are ready to roll this far out. Not to say he is lying, we all heal differently. But coming out like this may be the nail in the coffin for his time here.

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Tsy, its a head scratcher for sure.  Im already picturing the next QB in purple next year.  With a new OC, QB and WR corps and the 

rest of the team in-tact, I'm ready for the next face of the franchise (even if it takes 2-3 years).        

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Just now, varaven45 said:

Thats great Max!  We can laugh at each other's crazy thoughts but still remain civil. Thats why I love this site !       

 

 

I hope so. Not laughing at the fact that Lamar may not be here next year. Laughing at the wild ass reactions and reading between the lines of this quote. Using Stephen A and to start off with Lombardi is the icing on the cake.

Cold hard facts don't sell.

 

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