Yahoo Sports NFL Writers Charles Robinson and Frank Schwab talk about Lamar Jackson’s contract situation with the Baltimore Ravens, and explain how the Ravens have continued to dig themselves deeper into a hole.
CHARLES ROBINSON: We've got to talk about Lamar Jackson. Eric DeCosta, the general manager of the Ravens, comes out. You listen to him. He does this press conference. And you sit there, and you go, this is the same deal? He's talking about the same-- nothing's changed in six weeks. All this time they had to work on this, they've gotten nowhere with him, nothing. Hey, we like the player, and I talked to him. But there's no indication that they made any progress.
I think it is now getting worse for the Ravens because Rashod Bateman-- Eric DeCosta makes this comment-- and I'm going to paraphrase here, but he's talking about the evaluation of wide receivers. And he basically says-- and I'm pretty close to the quote here-- if I knew the secret to that in terms of evaluating wide receivers in the draft, I would probably have better receivers. The second you hear that quote, you're like, that's going to resonate. There's some guys that are not going to be thrilled about that.
Well, Rashod Bateman, first-round pick in 2021 out of Minnesota, wide receiver, has had some injury issues there, was not happy with it. So he quotes that tweet, quote tweets about it, and basically just rips DeCosta and says, I'm tired of you blaming the wide receivers and 8, number 8, Lamar Jackson. So he literally claps back on the GM and inserts Lamar Jackson's name into the clapback, which I think is a big deal, because it shows you there's this coalescing of-- there's a group inside there. They're forming against the Ravens' management.
And I think it's lamar, and I think it's those receivers. And I think they're sick of their [BLEEP]. I think they're like, look, Greg Roman was doing what he was doing. If you want to blame somebody for the way the offense functioned, blame the guy who you just mutually parted ways with, fired, whatever you want to call it. Yeah, so he's pissed off.
And on top of that, the NFLPA puts out these-- Jori Epstein and I talked about it-- put out these report cards on teams. The strength coach of the Ravens, who they have now parted company with, was graded an F minus. And the NFLPA made a point to say not only was it 32nd, dead last in the league, but there was a pretty significant divide between 31st and 32nd. They were last, and they were last by a mile. So it's no surprise that they got rid of this guy.
That comes out. You had a couple of former Ravens players come out after it start saying on Twitter, my career was ruined there. Here are the injuries that I suffered. And I think the reason why that's also bad in the Lamar Jackson situation is because Lamar finished the season refusing, basically, to go back and play. We thought, is this contract-related? I think it's fair now to wonder if Lamar is in that group who are like, I don't trust this team with injuries.
It's all bad, every indicator. If this were a stock, this is a stock market and we're watching it, this [BLEEP] is like Blockbuster. It's like-- we're like, wait, what's wrong with the videotape movie industry? And then a couple of years later, you're like, oh, my god, why do I still own Blockbuster stock? This is a total disaster. That's what this feels like right now. It's nuts.
FRANK SCHWAB: I get it. But the one thing DeCosta said that I really thought was very interesting is you don't want to live in a world without a quarterback in the NFL.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Everybody says that. Everybody says that.
FRANK SCHWAB: But it's true, Charles, because at some point, if we're going to say this isn't going to work out, the Ravens, Lamar Jackson, all right, you have to answer for me-- anybody who wants to trade him to Atlanta or Carolina or the Raiders or wherever, you've got to answer for me, who is the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback week one? If your answer is Tyler Huntley, if you've moved on from a 26-year-old MVP elite quarterback to be in the 30s as your starting quarterback--
CHARLES ROBINSON: He left out the important part, Frank. He said you don't want to live in a world without quarterback. He didn't say you don't want to live in a world without a $250 million guaranteed quarterback. He didn't say that [BLEEP]. OK?
Do you think the Arizona Cardinals-- do you think the Arizona Cardinals are sitting there right now going, well, jeez, man, we didn't want to live without our $45 million APY quarterback. And god, man, we don't want to live in that world. Do you think the Packers are sitting there going, god, man, we really couldn't live without Aaron Rodgers and that $50 million APY salary and then the $60 million balloon payment he's having such a hard time taking. Do you think the Denver Broncos are sitting there going, oh, jeez, man, we couldn't live without our $200 million guaranteed money quarterback. OK, [BLEEP] then. They can say--
FRANK SCHWAB: But if the Ravens are-- if the Ravens are like, we're not going to pay this guy, fine. But you're still setting-- these are the quarterbacks everybody covets. And just to voluntarily move on from him at 26 years old--
CHARLES ROBINSON: The stakes are high. The stakes are higher than ever.
FRANK SCHWAB: Again, you've got to answer who is your week one quarterback. You have to answer that. And if your answer is Tyler Huntley, it's like, what have we done?
CHARLES ROBINSON: Frankie--
FRANK SCHWAB: This might set you off in that Broncos 2016-to-current path.
CHARLES ROBINSON: Frank, you told me that all last season, you were clearly happy for the answer to who is your starter in week one for the Broncos-- you would've been happy if it was anybody else other than Russell Wilson. And so were all those Broncos fans.
FRANK SCHWAB: Mistakes can get made, but I don't think it's a mistake to pay Lamar. I do think he's elite. I think he's totally fine. I thought it was a mistake to pay Kyler. We talked about that. I didn't think he was ever worth that. I think the Giants are going down a really, really bad road with Daniel Jones.
Russ turned out to be a mistake. I didn't call that. I didn't think it was. I can't sit here and tell you paying Lamar Jackson is a mistake. What I'm saying is unless the Falcons just go to you and say, here's a blank check, whatever, however many picks you want for the next five years, we don't care-- unless you got an offer like that, I'm not moving on from Lamar Jackson.
I'm saying, look, we got the franchise tag. Let's still work together, figure this out. We know you're mad. We are at an impasse, but you're not going anywhere until we absolutely, positively have to give you up, because you are a 26-year-old former MVP quarterback. And those things don't come along very often in the NFL.