ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith has been talking about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and his current contract situation.
The Baltimore Ravens and their franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson have for the past few months been locked in negotiations over a new contract with the 25-year-old heading into the final year of his contract. The whole process hasn’t been smooth, and included a spell in which Jackson was absent for some of the Ravens’ workouts during the early stages of the offseason.
However, with the regular season just a few weeks away, and Jackson setting a deadline of Week 1 to get a new deal sorted, it really is starting to turn into a crunch time when it comes to negotiations, because the last thing that both sides need is for this to rumble on whilst the games are going on, because it could be detrimental to both sides.
It puts jeopardy on Jackson as it means that he doesn’t have the financial, long-term security should ge get injured, which could result in him holding back a bit during plays. And given how important Jackson is to the Ravens, if he isn’t giving it his all, then their performance as a team could suffer as a result.
They don’t want that
There is no doubting just how important Jackson is to the Ravens, who has taken the league by storm since he entered in 2018. Electric with both his arm and his legs, he has amassed a total of 13,640 yards through the air and on the ground and either thrown for or run for 106 touchdowns, winning the league’s MVP award in 2019.
But his absence is extremely noteworthy, as since becoming a starter midway through the 2018 season, the Ravens have a record of 1-5 when he has been away from the team, including losing four straight to end last season when they finished 8-9.
And perhaps as a result of his importance to the team, ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith believes that Jackson should refuse to play until he earns his contract.
What’s he said
Speaking on ESPN’s First Take, Smith pointed out the number of injuries that Jackson has picked up during his career and stated that because he is so susceptible to them, it would be unwise for him to play for the Ravens at all until he has his contract signed, sealed and delivered:
Whether or not that is the route that Jackson decides to take, we’ll have to wait and see, but with time ticking away before the start of the regular season and the Ravens’ opening game against the New York Jets, it’s a race against time before a decision has to be made either way.