We talk a lot about Lamar Jackson and the standoff between he and the Ravens, and I'm convinced that Jackson is still very interested in being a Baltimore Raven. I believe that there are three relationships that are part of this story that I want to get to, and I want to bring in my friend Mark Viviano from WJZ in Baltimore, because I think there are three. There's fans, there's teammates, and there's the organization. Let me start with teammates. How strong is that relationship?
Adam, I'd say it's strong. Just as recently as last night, Morgan Moses, starting right offensive tackle for the Ravens, just was gushing in his praise of Lamar Jackson, the teammate, Lamar Jackson, the person. And he was the first player that we've kind of heard from since the end of the season. And when they cleaned out their lockers following the loss to the Bengals, the Lamar Jackson subject was pervasive, mostly because of his absence. And there wasn't a single teammate who didn't speak highly of him and speak hopeful that he would return as the quarterback. So Lamar is standing in the locker room is a undeniable in that it is strong. The players love them players throughout the league, love the guy. They respect his ability.
They're in awe visibility. I'm sure we'll get into some of the other relationships as they pertain to the business side of this, but I would suggest that the locker room, as far as those who have played with him and even against him, I would describe him as an admired figure for sure. So the next relationship is Lamar and the team itself, you know, excluding the, that's why I started with the players because these are two different relationships. I know he asked for a trade back on March 2nd.
I don't believe for a minute. He really wants to be traded. What is the relationship between him and the team? Well, the public description of the feeling that the team has for him and it has been consistent throughout is it's almost been, it's almost cartoonish and how much they profess their love for Lamar Jackson. And you have to be, you have to look at it for the, for what it is, knowing that they could lose him or trade him, they would have to speak well of him because he's an asset to them.
Right? So they're going to say all good things about him. And I think to be honest with you, Adam, it is genuine. John Harbaugh loves Lamar Jackson. Eric DaCosta does have an affinity for Lamar Jackson, but what DaCosta, the general manager has said repeatedly and increasingly is there's a difference between Lamar, the player and Lamar, the agent, because he represents himself and the business side of that relationship. DaCosta has described as difficult. He has described as burdensome. And there are even two sides to even describing that relationship between the player and the front office.
They do love them. And if you consider since they drafted him and they were the one team that reached into the first round and made a trade to make him a first round quarterback and dedicated their franchise to an essential offensive rebuild to accommodate the skills. And it's a different type of offense you have to run with his skill set.
And then he brings you a dynamic attack, which is unlike any other. They did it. They call it a revolution and he has been their guy. So they've invested.
Now the question then becomes how much are you willing to invest as it now ratchets up to a higher cost? And I'll say this to Adam. One thing needs to be made clear. You, you must succeed on a, on a quarterback's rookie contract. You must succeed at that time as the chiefs did, uh, as the Bengals did, as the Eagles have done you better because once it comes time to pay big, it becomes more difficult, not impossible, but more difficult to surround that star player with the talent needed to have a good team. Quarterbacks are important. Teams win games. Um, but they, they, they won one playoff game in the five years since they drafted him. And that in itself rates as a failure because now you have to pay him and it's going to be more difficult to make your team better at the rate you're going to have to pay him to keep him.
Yeah. It then flips from the quarterbacks under cheap contracts. You got to take advantage of that. Now you got to find a lot of other players on cheap contracts to, to kind of counteract the fact that you have to pay your quarterback a lot of money. Uh, and now one more relationship before I get to the nuts and bolts of why we're here. And I think we all understand that it's the only reason why Jackson has not already been signed is the contract demand.
That's the only reason he hasn't been signed. The, what is the relationship between Lamar and the fans of Baltimore? Well, it's interesting. And you've been in Baltimore before and I think you have a pretty strong understanding of what Baltimore is. One thing, Morgan Moses said just last night, uh, it's been his observation and he's played for other other organizations that Lamar Jackson is a representative of the Baltimore culture and he gives Baltimore people hope.
I think it's clear. The understanding is Baltimore city in particular, it's urban population is 70% African American. Lamar Jackson brings overwhelming appeal to that part of the fan base, rightfully so. He is, you know, from the, from his entry into the NFL, he could be described as elusive and unconventional both on and off the field. But there is, he, he certainly has a great appeal to the people of Baltimore. I mean, they celebrate him and that I say that to say there are some fans who would prefer conventional, they would prefer less elusive, more communicative, a guy represented by an agent who appears to be more buttoned up. Um, and there is sort of a divide, you know, everywhere I go in town, everyone wants to know what's, what's going to happen with Lamar.
My first question is what do you want to see happen? I just ask it right back and it's almost down the middle. There are some who say, God, they got to keep them. That's Lamar Jackson. Yeah. And there's another group that says, I'm done.
It's too expensive. I don't like the way this is going. I'm over it.
Let's start over. Um, so that's, that's the answer to your question of his relationship with the fan base. It is a passionate connection to some degree. And the other part of it is it's just been weariesome to some and they're done with it.
So I am of the mind, Adam, I still believe in you. You alluded to this earlier. He doesn't really want to leave. What he wants is to be compensated. And what he said in his tweet in which he indicated he he's asked for a trade is that he said the Ravens are unwilling to meet my value. What, what has happened or what happens, and this is not uncommon, the Ravens just have a different sense of his value. And no one knows him better than the Ravens. The Ravens know everything about him. They know how great of a player he is, what a leader he is, how he prepares. They also know his dedication to rehab. They know his sleeping and eating habits, which have come into question.
All they know it all. And they know what it's like to deal with a guy who doesn't have an agent and they've described it as burdensome. So they know the whole package and they've, they've put forth a value to that for them to keep him.
His value that he sees for himself is higher than that. Will that be a compromise? I think so. Will he be willing to play under the tag number?
I don't think so. Could the Ravens kind of keep this relationship moving forward if they can't reach a long-term deal by just sweetening a one-year deal? Cause you know, this Adam, the most motivated player in all of sports is a guy playing for a contract one year, 40 million, give them more than the 32, just to raise it to what the perceived market value is for player visibility and see what you can get that way. He'll at least be there. The big, the worst thing that could happen is he doesn't like it. He sits out, you got a new offensive coordinator.
Nobody's ready for the season to start. And this thing just goes off the rails because of it. You want to avoid that. Ideally you get the long-term deal, which I think is still possible. I say three years fully guaranteed one 40 to one 50 that's market value puts him up among the highest paid annually and one of the highest and make it guaranteed and put a written provision in no tag afterwards. We'll see if we can continue the relationship or you're free to go three years.
That's how I would do it. I don't think it's beyond repair and I don't think it's beyond thought that he would still play for the Ravens. I, I feel like I'm in a growing minority in my opinion though. Well, the only, uh, the only people that really matter are, well, the Ravens and Lamar Jackson accept something like that. Uh, and I, and I don't know the answer and I keep saying that. I feel like the number needs to be the total number. Maybe you'd be better off guaranteeing in that contract over eight years, 250 million over eight years rather than keeping the same average annual value over a shorter period of time. But I honestly do not know. Uh, maybe the last few years are dummy years so he can, so the contract can end.
I don't know how that's going to work, but let me ask this question and then I want to ask you about the O's very quickly. Um, if another team and I don't think another team is going to do it because they, well, make, I'll, I'll ask you the question. I'm not going to assume if another team signs Lamar Jackson to a $250 million guaranteed contract over five years, will the Ravens match it?
I don't think so. I think they're prepared to move on and I think that is telltale about the relationship. The Ravens have always gone by and it goes back to Ozzie Knudsen, right? Player, right? They love the player. They're just not keen about the price right now and they're not seeing eye to eye with the player or what that price is. Remember that you know this, there is a statue of Ray Lewis outside of the stadium. They let Ray, they told Ray Lewis at one point in 2009 this is what we're offering.
You don't like it, go shop. He went, he wouldn't shop. He talked to Dallas, he talked to Miami.
He came back. So that's Ray Lewis. They are pretty firm in establishing right player, right price parameters and it applies to Lamar Jackson.
Quarterbacks are a different breed and a different level of importance. I get it, but they're still applying that to him and I don't think they would match that. I don't think they could.
I don't think they could fit it to be honest with you. So there's also that element at play, not just for the Ravens, but other teams who would be potential pitchers. All right, before we let you go, Mark Viviano, it's opening day. I've always thought that opening day should be a, a kid should not have to go to school on opening day across the country, should be, should be a national holiday. I used to like when opening day was a Tuesday or when I was a kid, we never missed. I actually didn't miss opening day. Even when I was in college, I would go back for the Mets home opener, home opener at then Shea stadium. Um, so I know it's celebrated in Baltimore anyway, cause the Orioles are part of the community and they, they were a good team last year. I think the win total is like 76 and a half.
Uh, you can get in, uh, in Vegas. Give me your, your thoughts on what the O's could be this year. I kinda like them. Yeah, this is exciting and it is the fruit of years of pain. I mean, when you, when you launch a rebuild, you are guaranteeing your fan base. You're going to suffer for anywhere from three to six years and even look at Philadelphia. There's didn't go well for a number of years before they finally reached a, a world series last year. It was a failed rebuild in many ways.
You know, this is a young group. It's an exciting group and Michael Elias deserves, uh, who is the general manager who took on this gargantuan effort, which it's not just a rebuild, which we saw the Cubs do successfully and the Astros do successfully, but it's rebuilding in the American league. That, that is, you know, I'll never forget this Adam interviewing Dan Duquette, who was then the general manager of the Orioles in spring training, 2018. He said, you don't rebuild in the American league East. Well, that was his last year with the team.
And Michael liar said, hold my beer. Yeah, I'll show you how this is done. And remarkably through the pain, you're announcing a completely redone franchise. And I don't just mean what you see on the field, but what they've done to bolster their research and development, the number of scouts, their international market, uh, presence, all of that, they built it back up from the studs. They won 83 games last year, which they admit was ahead of their schedule. And now they've got a stock minor league system, which has a number of players who are ticketed for major league debuts.
And if they're not doing it for the Orioles, they will be the assets used to, to acquire players from other organizations that could bolster this major league roster. So it's a pretty exciting time. Um, it's not done yet.
They've declared the rebuild over. Uh, it's time to compete for a playoff shot. Uh, and, and I, and I believe that, uh, but at the same time, it's still the American league East and it's going to be, it's going to be a tough run, but I think they're up to it. And I think it's going to be pretty exciting and a good time to be an oil fan. I think every team in the, uh, in the division, I think Boston's actually, uh, the team that I look at as the weakest, but I think every team in the division thinks they're going to make the playoffs.
And that is incredible. I'm a Mets fan. I, there are two teams in the division that are probably not, I mean, nationals are tanking, uh, Marlins great starting pitcher.
But after that, I don't think they're, the rest of the team is great, but the other three teams, uh, pretty doggone good. Mark Viviano speaking of pretty doggone good at Mark WJZ in Baltimore. I appreciate your time as always, uh, have fun today and good luck on the Lamar Jackson front. You'll break news. I know you do. You, you break all sorts of news. Oh, at this point, this is, this is different, but this is a story unlike any we've had in Baltimore. And, uh, it's got everybody talking, including down there where you are. Have a great opening day.
Well, first of all, same to you, Mark. Um, we are, the NFL is just the national, every team is covered like a home team nationally. That's just what the league has become. Whether it's fans, we have legitimate Ravens fans here. Maybe they're from Baltimore, but they live here now. But I just think that the sport itself, it's not a regional, obviously there are more Panthers fans here, but my guess is that Panthers fans probably only make up about 40% of the NFL fan base here. I could be wrong, man. I'm just going to guess. Let's just say half.
And the rest of the fan base, the rest of the NFL fan base are fans of other teams. Next pot. Yeah. Well, I mean, you have a youngish team and then you have a state full of a melting pot. Yeah. I mean, I don't think that, I mean, we're probably a little bit different than a lot of other places, but I think that's probably similar just about everywhere in the south where I would say we have better weather, but have you been here in the summer?
Anyway, it's hot everywhere. So we just, we just, everybody's covered, especially stars like Jackson and Rogers. They're covered like there's like, they're not even football players.
They're celebrities at this point. So, but I've, what I found interesting there and we'll break right after this was my mischaracterization of Jackson and the team together. I really believe that the Jackson, he wants the Deshaun Watson contract or something that resembles it. He wants, I think he wants the number, total guaranteed number to be higher. I don't think Lamar Jackson will accept the compromise deal that Mark talked about and that other people have talked about, 140 million, whatever it is over three years guaranteed. I don't believe he accepts that because it's not the guarantee that Deshaun Watson has.
I always thought that that was their, the real, the goal. If I'm wrong and there is a compromise to be made there, okay, great. But I still think that the, I have a hard time releasing my belief that it's about the total number, which I think you could get to through dummy years, which would lower your cap, but maybe not. Maybe Lamar doesn't, maybe this is the peril of negotiating your own contract.
Maybe that's the bigger issue. I don't know, but it's hard to close your eyes and not see Lamar Jackson playing for the Ravens because they don't really have another option. You know, Huntley is not the option. He shouldn't be, but if they're prepared to move on, as Mark said, who they moving on to? Yeah, good question.
There's nobody there. Although maybe they'll have an idea by the draft and they could certainly maybe draft a quarterback. I was watching highlights of Anthony Richardson's pro day.
Looks impressive. I'm not advocating for it, but there's a lot of teams that are going to take a shot on Anthony Richardson.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-01 23:31:48 / 2023-04-01 23:39:45 / 8