Lamar Jackson is the most electrifying quarterback in the NFL. He can throw bombs on a rope, swiftly elude a pass rush and outrun any defense.
But over the last month, he’s been unable to escape Baltimore as the Ravens and the NFL have clipped Lamar’s wings with their economically restrictive policies.
During the last two years, the Ravens and Lamar Jackson have been trying to negotiate a contract that would keep Jackson in Charm City for at least the next five seasons.
Lamar wants guaranteed money and a contract similar to what Deshaun Watson received in Cleveland.
The Ravens, and to be clear the rest of the NFL, don’t want Lamar’s contract to come anywhere near Watson’s. A $230 million guaranteed contract, they believe, would set an expensive precedent. So instead of negotiating with him in good faith or letting him emancipate himself from his team, the NFL has told the league’s most dynamic quarterback to stay in place.
The Ravens placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on him, giving teams an opportunity to negotiate with him but giving the Ravens a chance to match any contract he receives. If they don’t, Baltimore would receive two first-round picks as compensation.
To date, there have been no takers.
This is a clear-cut case of collusion, a tool leagues have used in the past to shackle their brightest stars.
But it’s also a game that owners can’t win for as we have witnessed in the past in other sports, labor will find a way to win and in the end, Lamar will make them pay.
Just like Tim Raines did.
This content has been brought to you by First and Pen in partnership with TheHub.News. First and Pen “amplifies local sports stories from voices of color to the national conscience…”