Former NFL QB Dan Orlovsky is no stranger to bold takes, and the ESPN talking head believes that even if Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson steps on the field without a long-term lucrative contract in tow this season, the dual-threat king will still win the MVP.
According to Caesars Sportsbook, Jackson sits behind nine other quarterbacks with the 10th-highest odds to win the NFL MVP award in 2022.
Orlovsky said on ESPN’s “Get Up,” that he finds that ranking laughable and passionately offers his perspective as to why the oddsmakers have it all twisted about a guy who just may be willing to bet on himself.
“Lamar’s going to come out and flame this league. 20-1 odds…The disrespect that has been said about him a lot this offseason,” Orlovsky said. “Health. Not only the health of himself, but the health of his football team. I remind everybody, every time I talk about Lamar Jackson. This dude was the MVP of the league last year through Week 12. They were the No 1 seed and they had one of the most historically hurt rosters in the history of the NFL.
The No. 1 reason [Jackson will win MVP] is because this organization got back to the roots of it when it comes to Lamar Jackson.”
Orlovsky praises the offense that the Ravens have constructed to suit Lamar Jackson’s passing comforts. He says that the lack of talent at the wide receiver position is irrelevant in Jackson’s style of offense.
“They got those three tight ends in Mark Andrews, Nick Boyle and their rookie Isaiah Likely. Everybody talks about the wide receivers that are needed. … Yeah, whatever. They have a good one in [unproven rookie] Rashod Bateman. But it’s those three tight ends. In 2019, when he won MVP, he accounted for 43 TDs and nine interceptions. If they all stay healthy, he is going to match those numbers and exceed the passing yards,” Orlovsky insists. “Lamar Jackson is going to win MVP of the league.”
Orlovsky did get some pushback from co-host and former GM Mike Tannenbaum, who said he was all in on Lamar as an MVP candidate, but not with the Ravens as currently constructed.
Tannenbaum expressed doubt about the aforementioned Bateman and labeled him a question mark. Tannenbaum said the lack of weapons will ultimately be a dagger in the backs of Baltimore’s playoff dreams.
“I love Lamar Jackson, “Mr. T said, “We keep yelling about the lack of weapons in Tampa and Dallas, well it’s the same thing in Baltimore.”
Jackson doesn’t have one proven Pro Bowl-level talent at the receiver position. In a league where most quarterbacks throw 60-70 percent of the game now, that’s not a positive situation.
Jackson, 37-12 as Ravens starter (1-3 in playoffs), reportedly wants the biggest guaranteed deal in the sport, similar to what Deshaun Watson got from Cleveland, but more money, because Jackson feels he’s a more accomplished quarterback.
The Ravens are playing hardball but so is Lamar. If he steps on the field without a long-term contract, just know that he probably won’t ever play for the Ravens again after this season. But if he does step on the field, Orlovsky is predicting it will be at an MVP level, which has to be a nightmare scenario for the Ravens, who could first watch him soar and then fly out of the door.