I'm JR of the JR Sport Reef Show on CBS Sports Radio. I'm also the host of the new podcast, Agents of Inclusion. We talk to a different Special Olympics athlete every week to learn how sports can bring us together. We're bringing both the disability and non-disability community to one community.
All one people, one family. It took me a little while, but I decided to claim autism as my superpower. When you hear the word autism, don't let that hinder you from doing whatever it is that you want to do. That's what Special Olympics tells you. You get involved in sports, but then you take it from the playing field out into real life. Family means to me community, acceptance, love, embracing a person just as they are.
That's what Special Olympics did for me. It's all about family. Subscribe to Agents of Inclusion on the free Odyssey app or wherever you get your podcasts. Former offensive lineman Ross Tucker, who is the host of the Ross Tucker Football Podcast and has also heard on Westwood One, CBS Sports, Eagles Radio. We're glad to have him with us. Ross, how are you my friend? It's been a while. I am doing awesome Amy.
Yes, it's been way too long. Thank you so much for having me. Of course. Now I do think that my producer reached out to you when you were on vacation. I don't know if you want people to know where you were vacationing, but I'll tell you my vacation recently if you tell me yours. Okay.
Alright, go ahead. Where were you? It was spring break with my daughters and we ended up going to the Bahamas and it was fantastic. It was, you know, they're 9 and 11 now and kind of right in the middle of softball season, but that's okay.
I'm the coach, so I didn't schedule any practices. Nice. Okay, so see, I thought something different because I could have sworn my producer said you were skiing in Montana. Oh, you know what? We kind of did half and half. Now you got me, now you're putting me, I forgot I told them that.
We had a, it's a long story, but we split the spring break between the Bahamas and Montana. Don't ask. Okay. Alright, well that's impressive because I was impressed because Montana, I've never been there. It's on my bucket list and I would love to see the snow there. It is incredible, absolutely incredible. And honestly, Amy, I can just tell you as a former player, it's the only thing I can like still do.
Really? You know, I kind of thought I would end up like being able to play basketball, but you have a back surgery for the Bills and I tore my right MCL twice. I haven't been able to play basketball once since I stopped playing football and then even like golf because of the back surgery aggravates my back, but for some reason I can ski. So I love skiing. I'm a big skier.
It's like my one most NFL career activity I can still really do. Can you hike? Yeah, I can hike. I like to walk. I mean, we don't go on that many hikes because I don't think the rest of my family does. You know, it's so funny you say that. Growing up, Amy, my dad would always be like, Ross, want to go for a walk?
And I'd always be like, no. Like to a walk where? Where are we going to walk? Like what do you mean go for a walk?
I never understood. And guess what, Amy? Now I'm the one constantly asking my wife and girls if they'll go for a walk with me and thankfully they say yes a lot. Oh, that's good.
That's very sweet. Actually, it was the same for me when I was a kid and my parents would say let's go on a ride. I was like a ride where? Where are we going? Oh, we're just going to go on a ride. No, I hated that kind of thing.
Absolutely not. But the reason I ask about hiking is because my calves still hurt from hiking the Grand Canyon last Friday. And so it was a bucket list item. I just want to share. I want you to be impressed.
Four and a half miles down, 4400 feet down, four and a half miles and 4400 feet back up and it was incredible. And yes, I'm still sore so I can feel your pain, man. I feel it. Oh, I can totally, totally see that.
Yeah, I would love to do that. But yeah, you're using muscles over and over again that you probably don't use that much. You're going up and downhill like that for sure. Yeah, it was taxing, but it was awesome. All right, vacation talk out of the way.
I'm glad you had a good spring. The Ross Tucker Football Podcast doesn't take the offseason off. So what is the hot topic on the podcast these days, Ross? You know, I think it's been this week, it's been the quarterback contracts. You know, with Jalen Hurts getting that huge deal, it's created a lot of conversation around Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert.
And there's so many different layers to it, right? There's Jalen Hurts getting that money. Is he worth that money? Is he, you know, he really had one amazing year. But, you know, we've seen guys have one amazing year before and then regress and and not be able to sustain that level of performance.
I think some people believe that. I know the Eagles obviously believe that that's just the start for him. And then you get into how similar the contract is to what Lamar Jackson turned out in Baltimore. And so you have that whole conversation.
And I was actually, you know, down in D.C. yesterday watching my my niece's senior game. And I was talking with somebody and all they wanted to talk about was the Odell Beckham Jr. contract. And I said, well, it doesn't happen very often in the NFL, but basically he got probably twice as much as he was going to because Lamar Jackson really wanted him. And the Ravens are kind of doing everything they can to try to get Lamar Jackson to play for them this year.
So I would say, I mean, obviously the draft is a week away, but I think the quarterback conversation, quarterback contract, especially as it relates to Lamar Jackson, is still front and center. If you're Lamar, do you toe the line? Do you hold the line or do you maybe back off it a little bit because you want to play in twenty three? Well, I absolutely play in twenty three. I mean, first of all, if I was Lamar.
I would have taken the five year 250 million dollar contract with 200 million essentially in implicit guarantees. Yeah. A year ago. Right. So Lamar and I are not on the same page as to what we would do. But now if I'm Lamar, I absolutely play this year.
I don't see what purpose it serves to not play this year. His options are to take the best big long term contract you can get. I think there's been some three year fully guaranteed contracts that have been put out there that he could strongly consider that I think is a good option as well. Or he could also just negotiate a better one year deal than the thirty two million the Ravens are offering.
And I think they'd be open to that as well. So there's really three different doors for him. The thing I haven't understood. I know what's going on here, right? He sold the Deshaun Watson contract. He thinks he's done more on the field and hasn't done the stuff off the field. And I don't blame him.
He's right. But. Just because the Browns gave out that contract doesn't mean any other team is.
And at this point, it doesn't appear as if any other team is going to. And he's very concerned about getting the last two years guaranteed. Right. But what I think is strange about that is twofold. Number one.
What's the worst thing that can happen if the last two years aren't guaranteed that after three years they cut you? Well, then you're just afraid. And that's what he has anyway.
Yes. That's what he wants anyway. And you're getting to understand, OK, he wants the security of the last two years being guaranteed. Well, in exchange for that, he's given up the security the last two years. You know what I mean? Like he's played without the security of big guarantees, long term, you know, big money the last two years in order to get it that, you know, five years from now.
I don't understand that logic. Ross Tucker is a former offensive lineman. You can hear him now as an analyst on Westwood One and CBS Sports and Eagles Radio. And he's got the Ross Tucker football podcast that goes year round.
It's after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. It is certainly a fascinating question. And maybe there aren't as many options now. So that's part of the deal.
Just out of curiosity, when you think about the the number that would be most important to you. Right. So some players are more about highest average annual value. Some are more about the guaranteed money. He didn't get the most guaranteed money ever, meaning Jalen Hurts. But he does end up as slightly higher paid per season.
Which one equates to respect the most in your mind? I think it's the guaranteed number. Yeah, I mean, I think these guys look at the NBA players, the baseball players, the hockey guys, and I think they just want the guaranteed number.
And it's interesting, Amy, because. If I was still playing as a German offensive lineman that played for five teams over seven years, that would be the number that I cared about the most, too, because I got cut four times. So like how much is guaranteed? However, if I was a star quarterback. Who had done what Lamar's done so far, I would care most.
I mean, there'd be a blend between the average at average annual value and the guarantees, but a heavy emphasis on the average annual value, like how much am I getting each year? Because I really wouldn't be that worried about getting cut. I mean, you know, think about the guys like Carson Wentz. I mean, think about the guys who have gotten second and third chances.
Right. Still getting paid a lot of money is starting quarterback. So, OK, you play for the Ravens. Let's say after two or three years, they sour on you.
Some other team at that point is going to really need a starting quarterback and they're going to continue to pay Lamar Jackson. I like that. I mean, I would just take the money that that I know is in my pocket. And I don't really care about the respect factor, though, but I'm not a guy.
I understand that men, especially pro athletes, seem to care more about money as an indicator of of their respect and what the the franchise values them. I have to I'm going to totally pivot on you. What's your reaction to Jamar Hamlin being cleared to play football again, Ross? Wow. Well, initial reaction is obviously it's wonderful news and I'm thrilled for him. But my immediate second reaction was Amy. I started to think to myself, would I do it? Would I play again? And I think what happened to him is so unique and so random. And he's met with so many specialists and so many doctors that I think I would, because they've all said, listen, this is like getting struck by lightning, like it's not going to happen twice. The emotional cord is you got hit in the wrong spot at the wrong time, et cetera, et cetera.
But then I think about like telling my mom and dad I'm going to play again. You know what I mean? Like after what they went through, after what they watched. You know, you got to remember, I think sometimes we lose sight of this. Like I know you know this, Amy, but these are these are real people, you know, these are real guys and real lives. And they all know what happened to him. And I think that'd be a difficult conversation. You know, I was surprised.
Very different story. But I was surprised Alex Smith came back and tried to play football again. You know, there's certain there's certain injuries where you get so close.
It's something so bad that I'm always amazed and impressed when guys decide to actually go out there and play again. I love that he wants to inspire other people. I'm so amazed by his wisdom and his perspective and his thoughtfulness as a 24 year old who's been through this, but clearly doesn't want this to be just about him. He wants to impact the world around him. And for that reason, I'm so glad he's decided to keep playing. You know what? I think that's very well said. And I do think he knows now that he has an opportunity to spread awareness about, you know, the unique circumstance around what happened because it is unique in me, but it happens and it happens like with little league baseball and softball. You know, I told you I'm a softball coach and we just went over what to do in that situation because if a kid gets hit in the chest with the ball at the wrong time, it actually happens more in those sports than it does in football. Interesting.
Ross Tucker Football Podcast and then on Twitter at Ross Tucker NFL. Before I let you go, if you are the Panthers, which direction are you going at the top of the draft? Yeah, I'm going with Bryce Young.
Yeah, and I think that's what they're going to do. And that is what I would do because, I mean, Alabama plays on national TV seemingly every week. I still don't remember the guy having a bad game. I mean, even the two games they lost this year, I thought they put up like 40 some points. He just had to me that incredible knack of making the right play at the right time over and over and over again. There's a reason why he was so highly touted in high school.
There's a reason why I mean, if Alabama offers you a scholarship at five, ten and a quarter, 170 pounds or whatever he was, he's not even that bad. You know how good you have to be? I mean, he just finds a way to find a way if that makes sense. It does. It absolutely does.
And that's part of the pedigree there of Alabama, right? Ross, Mother's Day is coming up. What can you offer people who are looking for a great gift from mom with your awesome My Front Page story?
Amy, perfect timing. Mother's Day will be here. Guys, I'm telling you, it's by far the best Mother's Day gift I've ever heard of. You talk to a writer for 10 minutes or you can just fill out a quick email while you're driving to work or whatever.
Tell them how great your mom is or if you're getting it for your wife, how great she is. They write an incredible story with pictures. It looks like it's on the cover of the newspaper. It's framed. It's beautiful. And being able to give it to her and tell her you had a story written about her, she'll be blown away. You won't even realize that's a saying. And then when she reads the quotes like, I never thank her enough for all the little things.
I'm just telling you, Amy, they cry every time. Cheers and joy. And then it's hanging up in the house forever. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Myfrontpagestory.com. Trust me, dudes. Myfrontpagestory.com.
Best gift ever. And if you need to find Ross on Twitter again, we're again at Ross Tucker NFL, Ross Tucker Football Podcast because the NFL never goes away. Not that we want you to go away.
Don't twist that. Former NFL offensive lineman. You can hear him on Eagles Radio, Westwood One, CBS Sports. Ross, good to catch up with you. Thank you so much for a few minutes. Yeah, don't be a stranger, Amy. Anytime. I love coming on with you. Thank you. All right. We'll take you up on that.
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