The biggest question as training camps open next week is whether the Ravens come to a lucrative multi-year extension with Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson.
In all likelihood the Ravens will come to terms with Jackson in short order, considering Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson — two QBs he’s more accomplished than — have signed the two biggest deals in NFL history this offseason.
With sensitive and very private contract negotiations ongoing, however, media and fans are left to wonder and offer their own opinions on how the situation should transpire.
Recently, an anonymous defensive coordinator made some comments about Jackson as a quarterback, questioning if he’s a 1 at the position.
Here’s what the anonymous (cowardly) DC told Mike Sando of The Athletic.
“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game. He’s so unique as an athlete, and he’s a really good football player, but I don’t give a sh-t if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be a 1 as a quarterback.”
“He’ll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two minutes, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they’re good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he’s just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”
A defensive coordinator was quoted saying this about Lamar 🤨
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 25, 2022
While the anonymous source does make some valid points, former NFL All-Pro Richard Sherman called him to task. “The Shermanator,” tweeted the following in response to this analysis.
“Everybody is bold off record.”
“When the take has ‘undertones’ to it they keep it off record. He will cook whoever that DC is this year,” Sherman predicted.
Is Sherman Speaking Of Racial Undertones?
The undertones Sherman, a Stanford graduate, seems to be speaking of are race-related. Jackson, just like many other Black quarterbacks, is always criticized and critiqued much more than his Caucasian counterparts. While Jackson is a true dual-threat using his arm and legs, he’s also proven he can beat teams throwing.
He led the entire league in 2019 with 36 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. If we want to get technical, Buffalo Bills multi-faceted quarterback Josh Allen has more rushing touchdowns than Jackson over their careers. Allen really hasn’t shown to be that much better of a passer than Jackson either. Jackson has a higher completion percentage, winning percentage, more yards per attempt, more yards gained per completion, and a higher QB rating. But only one is considered a tier 1 QB.
“This doesn’t seem cowardly, it is cowardly. This doesn’t seem personal, it is personal.”@LRiddickESPN didn’t mince words about the anonymous NFL defensive coordinator’s comments on Lamar Jackson.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) July 26, 2022
They love to put Black signal-callers in a box, but three of the top five and five of the top ten average annual value deals are Black QBs. When Jackson signs his new lucrative deal he’ll make six.
Jackson Set To Cash In And Have A Huge Season
As the questions about Jackson’s passing ability continues to fester, he’s continually proved he can get it done. Last season was the worst of his four-year NFL career with just 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in an injury-shortened season that saw the Ravens collapse to six straight losses after his departure. To his credit, his receivers led the league in drops and tipped balls, with many of those tips resulting in turnovers that go on Jackson’s stat sheet.
Sub-5 minutes 4th quarter and trailing, last 3 seasons
Unstoppable Comeback God Patrick Mahomes: 39-62, 509 yards (62.9%, 8.2 YPA), 4 TDs, 1 INT, 110.2 QB rating
Can't Pass To Win The Game Lamar Jackson: 41-64, 574 yards (64.1%, 9.0 YPA), 5 TDs, 1 INT, 112.4 QB rating https://t.co/5uK1lkWZmo
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) July 25, 2022
Jackson is an elite level talent at the position, and hearing so many doubt his abilities has to really light a fire under the former Heisman Trophy winner. The Ravens should want to pay him now, because after the season he’s destined to have, he’ll cost much more than he does now.