Lamar Jackson of the Ravens recently turned down $133 million dollars, and decided to roll the dice instead.
However, is Baltimore doing the same thing for another reason?
Could it be possible that the Ravens are not sold on Jackson? Have they instructed their college scouting department to be scouring the country to replace their franchise quarterback (QB)?
As someone who is familiar with the thinking of the Ravens and knew one of their scouts for years, I think it is very possible.
Why would the Ravens want to replace Jackson?
For a lot of reasons.
Bottom line, Jackson hasn’t taken Baltimore to the big game and he hasn’t hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in a parade.
This is a bottom line business and the bottom line is Jackson is not getting it done.
Despite his 38-13 record as a starter during the regular season, Jackson is a disappointing 1-3 in the playoffs (statmuse.com).
Then there is the elephant in the room nobody wants to really talk about.
Jackson isn’t exactly ripping up the league throwing the football
Despite jumping off to a quick start this season as the No. 12 rated QB in the league (espn.com), he hasn’t proven to be a highly-rated QB since he got drafted.
Last season, he rated No. 25.
He rated No. 22 in 2020 and in 2019.
In his rookie season, in 2018, Jackson was way down near the bottom of the list rating No. 37 amongst his peers.
The QB’s who are breaking the bank in 2022 have done better than that
Green Bay gave QB Aaron Rodgers a 3-year, $150.8 million dollar extension, and we all know what Rodgers has accomplished.
In that same time span of Jackson’s career, Rodgers rated No. 6 (2018), No. 11 (2019), No. 7 (2020), No. 10 (2021) and this year (No. 20).
QB Russell Wilson was traded this off-season from Seattle to Denver and landed a five-year deal worth $245 million (including $165 million in guarantees). Let’s look at his numbers: 2018 (No. 18), 2019 (No. 6), 2020 (No. 9), 2021 (No. 22) and so far in 2022 (No. 8).
Signal-caller Kyler Murray wasn’t drafted until 2019, but that didn’t stop him from landing a $230.5 million dollar contract ($189.5 guaranteed). How has Murray’s rated? In 2019 (No. 15), 2020 (No. 13), 2021 (No. 14) and to date in 2022 (No. 18)
Then there’s also the showstopper contract.
The contract of Deshaun Watson who got traded from the Texans to the Browns this off-season.
He got $230 million guaranteed for 5-years.
How was Watson fared in terms of his ratings?
Watson broke into the NFL in 2017. For the sake of an accurate comparison, these are his numbers since the year Jackson started: 2018 (No. 11), 2019 (No. 13), 2020 (No. 1) and of course he did not play in 2021 and has yet to play this season.
Starting to get the picture?
Jackson can’t bank at the same bank any of these higher rated QB’s bank at.
This is where the negotiations have stalled out.
Who might the Ravens be looking at if Jackson flies the coop?
They may be going back to Louisville where Jackson went to college to answer that question.
That is where QB Malik Cunningham plays, who reminds me of NFL legendary QB Randall Cunningham (no relation).
Cunningham has a very similar style of play as Jackson. A move like this could additionally allow for Baltimore to allocate their salary-cap dollars to moving the meter with that embarrassing No. 32 defense they are sporting through the first two weeks.
As an evaluator who has studied Cunningham off of his 2021 game film at Louisville, I can tell you he is raw in the finer points of passing, but the same can also be said for Jackson.
Cunningham’s ball placement leaves something to be desired at the short to intermediate route levels. Of course, the same can also be said for Jackson.
On the flip side, oh my…Cunningham is a playmaker who run and throw deep (hitting receivers in stride).
Right now, I have Cunningham in the fourth-round. However, if he can fine-tune this season at Louisville, he could easily catapult into the first-round.
Having dynamic playmaking ability is a premium in the NFL.
It’s just not as much of a premium as Jackson thinks he’s worth.
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