Lamar Jackson Reportedly Has A "Non-Certified Representative" Telling Teams He's Ready To Move On From The Ravens
ProFootballTalk - Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is free to speak with other teams. He currently isn’t. But someone on his behalf has.
Per multiple sources, a representative for Jackson has contacted more than one team in an effort to spark negotiations aimed at a possible offer sheet. The representative is not certified by the NFL Players Association.
As one source explained it, the person has said that Jackson does not want a fully-guaranteed contract. Some regard this as a possible exercise in semantics, with Jackson still wanting a very significant amount fully guaranteed — up to $200 million or more — with one more more non-guaranteed years on the back end.
Another source said that the representative is telling other teams that Lamar is ready to move on from the Ravens.
Obviously, the Ravens would have the ability to match any offer sheet signed by Jackson.
I suppose this was due to happen. When the Ravens said "go ahead, find your market" by placing the non-exclusive tag on him, this was very literally what they were encouraging him to do. Talk to other teams, drum up some interest, etc etc etc.
When the market was initially ice cold, it felt a lot like that storm had passed. Especially as free agency began and prospective teams began making moves on other QB's and draft positions. You can think and hope that that may have sent Lamar crawling back to the negotiating table to talk some things out, but it certainly seems as though it hasn't. And who could blame him? Regardless of leverage, anybody who feels they're not being paid appropriately by their current employer is going to explore their options elsewhere.
The fact that he has somebody representing him is seemingly a new development, but it's hardly surprising. The PFT article alludes to Saint Omni helping other players "negotiate their own deal", and it could very well be him. But it could also simply be his mother Felicia Jones, who has been mentioned for years as very involved with these types of dealings. She's certainly not certified by the NFLPA. Nobody would put it past Florio to write something factual that totally paints a juicier picture than reality. Maybe it's Omni. Maybe it's his mom. Maybe it's somebody else. None of that really matters in my eyes, and it shouldn't to anybody else.
The takeaway is that whoever is representing him is reportedly telling teams he's ready to move on. Now let's be clear about this. That's exactly what anyone in that scenario would and should be telling teams. If you want to attract offers, you have to put yourself out there as all in. Especially given the fact that the Ravens have the right to match any given offer. Nobody's going to want to waste their time with anybody who's wishy washy and could be perceived to be using your offer as leverage elsewhere, with the possibility of all of it being moot anyway looming. Lamar can't give off that perception to other teams. Gotta jump in with two feet, and that's what his rep is doing.
However, there's not a lot that suggests that his reported desire to leave doesn't reflect his true feelings. He's jilted, clearly. Anybody who follows him on social media can tell you that. We can debate all day about who is at fault for having arrived here, but the situation between the Ravens and Lamar is wildly uncomfortable at this point for everybody involved. It's natural for anybody to want to move on from an exhausting and traumatic experience. We may be at that point now. We may have been at that point long ago. It feels a lot like that's the case. Hell, I've been told he hasn't responded to messages from numerous veterans since the season ended. Surely doesn't sound like a guy itching to come back to Baltimore.
Still... there would need to be a team willing to take the dive, and the Ravens would have to be willing (or forced) to decline matching that offer. There's really only one team at this point that seems positioned to make such a move - the Indianapolis Colts. They've been making some shrewd cap-cutting moves and are best suited to give Lamar an offer sheet after the draft. That way they don't give up their 4th overall selection and concede their 2024 and 2025 1st rounders instead.
All of that continues to leave us in a holding pattern. We'll keep an eye on the Colts as the draft approaches and passes us by, and see what happens from there. That, and we see what the heck this self-interview he's got cooking is all about whenever it drops.
Just another day in the life...