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The Drama Continues: Lamar Jackson Has Taken To Twitter To Dispute Adam Schefter's Report On Contract Guarantees

Another day, another chapter in this never-ending saga surrounding Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.

It's been close to a week now since the Ravens declared they would be putting him on the non-exclusive tag. Since then, we've seen teams left and right bow out of the running for his services like a pack of little boys afraid to ask the class cutie to the school dance. 

The first instinct of many (myself included) was that there was collusion from NFL owners afoot -  and maybe that was right, maybe that was wrong. But as more time passes, more and more cap analysts and amateur number-crunchers keep trying to provide reasons why teams are de-incentivized to go after Lamar. I still struggle to see it because he's clearly a franchise-altering player, but the list of potential suitors continues to dwindle as free agency rages on.

All of that pretty much leaves Lamar Jackson and the Ravens right back where they started. In a staring contest to see who will blink first, with the Ravens having gained some upper ground now that the rest of the league has shown their apparent indifference. 

So that begs the question: why is Adam Schefter reporting new contract info now? From Adam Schefter's own podcast (and thankfully transcribed by Baltimore Beatdown):

“Chris Mortensen and I reported on this last September when Lamar Jackson was offered a deal that he turned down. A deal that included at the time he was offered $133 million due at signing,” Schefter said. “$133 million guaranteed. The contract also had injury guarantees that brought the guarantees to $175 million and it then had a springing guarantee that could’ve brought the value for the contract, the guaranteed money of the contract to $200 million in guarantees... and yes, those were the actual numbers and that was the situation. So those really were the guarantees for Lamar Jackson.”

The details regarding injury guarantees is by all accounts new information. The Ravens have been steadfast in their stance that they would not take negotiations public as agreed upon by both parties, with GM Eric DeCosta re-stating that as recently as two weeks ago.

So now I wonder whether Lamar Jackson believes that the Ravens leaked that info to Schefter, which would only serve to damage the negotiations further. If those guarantee figures are actually accurate, it would certainly be reasonable for alarms to go off in Lamar's mind that they've potentially broken that covenant. Of course, it's also possible Lamar (or the Ravens) have communicated with other teams what the Ravens have offered and that info got to Schefty and Mortensen that way, but the uncertainty helps nobody.

On the other hand, if those numbers are inaccurate as Lamar is clearly indicating, then the public has been judging this situation off of bad information for months and we're sent hurtling even deeper into the unknown than we already are.

Neither of these scenarios are any fun for anybody involved. I am so goddamn tired of this story and I think the rest of Baltimore is too. 

Each side can continue to play hardball til kingdom come, but both sides have to see the mutual benefit of getting this thing done. Lamar can go twitter fingers all he wants about those who tell him to go get an agent, but an agent would most definitely guide him towards seeing that mutual benefit. Why else do you think this situation has literally never even come close to happening with any other franchise QB??

This is under the assumption that the Ravens see that mutual benefit already. I think they do, and if the two sides were particularly close, I think they'd give in just to get it over with. But the deal has to make sense. They're already being forced to make moves they'd prefer not to, simply because of Lamar's non-exclusive cap figure. A contract structured for long-term team success is a contract structured for long-term Lamar success. 

They just cut Calais Campbell yesterday to clear space. Calais is a beloved locker room figure and still a damn good football player who is hungry to go win a Super Bowl before he retires. Those are the type of guys that Lamar needs if he ever wants to prove the haters wrong and reach the mountaintop he's repeatedly spoken of for years. Once you do that, the cash will follow two or threefold in a variety of ways. Winning solves everything.

Every day I wake up and it feels like we're no closer to a conclusion. I want Lamar to get paid and get paid well. He's worth it and he deserves it. But come on folks. Enough is enough. 

Just get this fucking thing done already before I jump into the icy Chesapeake and sink to the bottom.