This is the Rich Eisen Show. The Chargers are out of the playoffs. You know, the Chargers, you think they're gonna zag when all they do is zig. Live from the Rich Eisen Show studio in Los Angeles. I told you they were gonna stick with Staley and they were gonna change some of the staff. Whatever your impulse is, do the exact opposite.
Try that one out. Today's guests, host of Peacock's Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio, ESPN NFL analyst Robert Griffin III, Fox Sports NFL analyst Daryl Moose Johnston. And now, it's Rich Eisen.
Yes, indeed. We're heading towards divisional playoff weekend, heading towards NBA All-Star weekend. We are smack dab in the middle of January right here on the Rich Eisen Show in Los Angeles, California. We say hello to everybody who's watching on the Roku channel for free out there. And if you are watching the Roku channel not for free, you're not watching the Roku channel. It's free. And so there's many different ways to say that it doesn't cost you anything to see me in a terrific quarter zip that's gray and I need a haircut.
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We're very proud of what we've built here on this program. Good to see you over there, Christopher. What's going on, Chris? You know, Reggie, pre-show you were standing right over here in front of me. Right at your two o'clock position? Two o'clock and the way the light was hitting you, I thought to myself, he needs a haircut. Is that what you thought? But I didn't say it out loud.
I didn't want to offend you or anything. Top story, getting one today. I'm glad that you said it. Good to see you over there, DJ Mikey D is in these nuts. What's up, Mike Del Tufo?
T.J. Jefferson, good to see you over there. What's going on, sir? Oh, a bunch of stuff this morning going on.
I know, he's got a flat tire. But all we're going to do is lift, we're going to lift you up, sort of like the axle. Oh, very good.
We're going to lift you up, sort of like the axles lifting your car up to change your tire. Good to see you over there. It's good to be seen. So, you know, I've been just sitting here thinking how to start today's show and I'll start it with a little bit of perspective. This is the 20th playoff season that I've covered with NFL Network.
Returned 20 years old as a network this coming November. First time I met you, Mike, probably the first day I walked in the door. Mike, who's that guy from Jersey? Seems like I know him forever. I knew your beautiful wife, Susie, for a couple of years. That's true, that's right. But I had met you and been like, oh, the other half. That's right. Wait a minute, another guy who knew Susie before you? Oh, yeah. Susie was in, she was like, she knew people. She did know people. I appreciate you finishing the sentence there. I don't know where she's going with that. Oh, usually I wasn't going anywhere negative.
She's watching, like I'm not stupid. Okay. But at any rate, yes, 20 years ago, coming November is when we started NFL Network. And it was the year where the Patriots beat Jake Delome and the Panthers in the Super Bowl. And that was our first Super Bowl that we covered.
And then Brady won with the Patriots against the Eagles the next year. And we're like, oh, back to back, huh? Isn't that amazing?
That's cool. I know. It's a rarity and had no idea it would be the last time we've seen it. And we won't see it again this year. As you know, the Rams didn't even make the tournament. But one thing that we are seeing that kind of has me feel like it's unprecedented or we're beginning to see more unprecedented times or rare occurrences of greatness is the AFC playoff picture. For the second straight year, we have Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen and Joe Burrow making the divisional round in the AFC. And it just reminded me of the time when we first went on the air and the Final Four that we first covered for the AFC divisional round was Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger. And we saw that repeated quite a bit over the last, you know, 15, 20 years while they were still playing.
We saw it repeated quite a bit over the following 10, 15 years. And the fourth quarterback would kind of get swapped out. One of the three wouldn't make it on occasion. As a matter of fact, Mahomes, Allen and Burrow making it two years in a row, the last time the AFC Final Four playoff field had three of the same quarterbacks in it in back-to-back years was 20, I was looking this up, if you saw me doing some diligent work prior to the show, was 2015 and 2016 when Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Alex Smith made it back-to-back years.
And it's been a while since that happened, as I've mentioned, from 2016 to the present day. And we're seeing who's going to be the fourth quarterback in. For instance, when Brady, Peyton and Ben made it in the first year where he went on the air in the 2003 season that we covered, and it was in 2004, Brady, Peyton, Ben, you know who the other quarterback in was the San Diego Chargers sent Drew Brees into that mix.
How about that? Our first playoffs that we covered didn't think, oh, those are four first ballot hall of famers that are going to be playing together. Ben was a rookie, 2004 into 2005, and how about them apples? But Brady, Peyton and Ben made it the year after that. Brees out Jake Plummer in.
You see what I'm saying? The following year, Brady and Peyton made it. Brees out Philip in.
Big Ben out. McNair in. Steve McNair made it. Next year, Brady, Peyton and Philip made it again. David Girard made it for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Next year, Ben and Rivers made it, but Peyton out Flacco in. Girard out Kerry Collins in.
So it kind of would be just like a rotation. Last year, Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Tannehill made it. This year, Mahomes, Allen, Burrow, Trevor Lawrence making it. That could be the fourth for a while.
And that's the sort of stuff that I'm sitting here and thinking about. Like Herbert almost made it. It would have been Mahomes, Allen, Burrow and Herbert.
And you would have said, I think that's the way it's going to be for a while. But from 2019 and 2020, it was Mahomes and Allen. By the way, Allen made it for the first time in 2020. Lamar made it in back to back years. 2019 and 2020. In 2020, it was Mahomes, Allen, Lamar and Baker Mayfield were your final four in the AFC.
But my point is kind of what you just picked up there, Chris. Is we're seeing at the top of the AFC, a trio of quarterbacks that I think we're going to see play for the right to play for the AFC championship for a long time to come. Mahomes and Allen have made it together three years in a row. And the last time that happened was Brady and Ben made it three years in a row from 2015, 2016 and 2017. And remember we were sitting there thinking when Brady and Peyton Manning retire, who's going to take over the AFC?
Really? Is it going to be as good as this every year? Well, there's a third man and his name is Joe Burrow. Is Allen like the, if Mahomes is the Brady and Allen is the Peyton Manning of the equation, is Burrow like the Big Ben of the equation here?
You know what I mean? Or, you know, he's certainly the AFC North entry, which has changed from Ben Flacco, by the way, made it many years in a row. 2008, 9, 10, 11, 12, and 14. Flacco was there a lot, taking on Brady quite a bit. And there's Burrow, Lamar, and obviously, you know, Big Ben for a while. And maybe pick it in future years and we'll see what Deshaun Watson does. His only time in the final four of the AFC was 2019, as you know, he had the lead on Mahomes. And then the Texans blew that. But my point is, we're seeing some unprecedented changing of the guard in a way that, it's going to be kind of tough, barring injury, to see if the game of musical chairs, that fourth chair is up for grabs. Herbert had a chance to get it.
Trevor took it this year. Tannehill got it last year because the Titans had the one seed he just got right in and they got one and done by Burrow. The dance card's filling up in the AFC, which is again why you gotta go get that quarterback. We'll see if Miami goes and gets Brady and says, screw it, you know, let's just get him at age 46. Because Brady's name is all over my notebook, obviously, from the AFC.
And that's kind of where I've been just thinking about, like a little Wednesday, what's more likely? So the trio of Ben, Peyton, and Tom in the AFC, when Tom was in the AFC, won ten Super Bowls. Like if I give you nine and a half for the Super Bowls of Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow over the length of their careers, like do they get there? Do they get half? You're shaking your head. I mean winning the Super Bowl was hard work.
That's a hard thing to do. Which makes the six, the Tom one, just unbelievable. So how about this, do those three get to Brady's six? Allen, Mahomes, and Burrow?
Tom's an anomaly. I can't imagine that they wouldn't. I mean, Mahomes needs one more to get everyone a third of the way there. Right.
But they are going to keep knocking each other off. Right. And the fact that statistically speaking, the other two franchises have never won a Super Bowl.
Let's also say... Perhaps never won a Super Bowl until Brady got there. That's true. Let's just point this out as well that one of these three is going to prevent the other from going. Every single year. Every year. One of these three is going to prevent potentially the other two from going.
Right. Every year. Last year it was Burrow who got in and got Tannehill, drew Tannehill while Mahomes and Allen drew each other. This year Mahomes draws Trevor while Burrow and Allen draw each other.
And you keep seeing this. I think we're going to see this play out. And so one is going to prevent the other two from going. And then the NFC could prevent that one from getting it just like last year. And how many times did that happen where the Patriots beat the Steelers in the playoffs and the Colts beat the Patriots?
Patriots beat the Colts. Like how many times did that happen with Ben, Peyton, and Tom? It just so happened that there was the one guy who got through then beat the NFC team and put a ring on his finger six times. And then did it once in the NFC too.
That's ridiculous. So I know it is when you think about it. But this is the stuff that I'm thinking about that we're seeing this play out in the AFC now.
Kind of fun. And it's something to think about because I truly, definitely, without a doubt, had these conversations when I was host of NFL Total Access from 03 when we first came on the NFL Network to 2011. And then on game day morning as the host there from 2011 until now when Brady and Peyton are gone. Who's going to take over the mantle in the AFC? And there's three guys and then there's a true shot of who's the fourth from Herbert to Trevor Lawrence this year to Lamar Jackson whenever we find out if there's smoke or fire in Baltimore.
Right? Could it be, you know, for a while you thought it could be two of this year? Can it be Deshaun Watson again in Cleveland? Can it be one of these young quarterbacks that has just been drafted? Could it be someone who eventually is the Jets QB because you guys have some talent on that squad.
Look, that's my hope and belief. And in the NFL you can go from worst to having a seat at this table. Very quickly.
Number one pick to Final Four in the AFC. I know. Yeah.
So, food for thought. 844-204-rich is the number to dial. Our three guests today. Mike Florio will join us first. He's the first guy I thought of.
If you were talking about Brady to Miami, who's more of an expert on that subject matter than Mike Florio? And we talked about it yesterday. Jim, we talked about it. And so he's going to join us to talk about that as well as all the other musical chairs as Sean Payton is on his coaching candidacy tour.
Robert Griffin III. Very few people more delightful than that. Top of hour number two. And then Moose Johnson will join us. Moose. Moose.
Yes. Because he's calling Giants and Eagles on Saturday night on Fox for the divisional round. We'll ask him about that. And who knows better about the Cowboys-Niners rivalry than this guy who called the Niners wild card weekend. Super wild card weekend win over Seattle. So we'll have him talk about the game he's calling and the game that once he once upon a time played in. Cowboys and Niners. That's an hour number three on this program.
844-204-rich is the number to dial. If you want to chime in to say, I got the name of the fourth quarterback in the AFC that's just going to have a little Mount Rushmore. Could you just etch it in stone maybe? And somebody just wants to chime in? You know, he may have flowing locks of hair. I don't know. Well, which one? They played against each other this past week. Not not to do from the franchise who always finds a way to the bed.
I'm talking about T-Law. 844-204-rich is the number to dial right here on the Rich Eisen Show. When we come back, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk with all the latest going on. Where might Sean Payton be interviewing next or go?
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With supplies and solutions for every industry, Grainger has the right product for you. Call clickgrainger.com or just stop by. Mike Florio is finishing up with another appearance and he'll be joining us in a moment. That's my way of telling Adam, our call screener, keep trying him.
He will be with us shortly from Pro Football Talk. Again, here's some fun names. Again, I have it written here in my book.
I wrote it down all here just to show you my work. The final four quarterbacks every year in the AFC from the year after NFL Network came on the air. I didn't include 2003 because that was the year Big Ben was still in Miami of Ohio.
So here's an interesting final four mix right here. 2011, Brady and Flacco made it. They wound up playing each other in the AFC championship game. As we all know, Flacco won that one and then went to the Super Bowl, right? No, Brady won that one. It was the year next year that they beat New England and made the Super Bowl against San Francisco.
2011, how about this final four? Brady, Flacco, Tim Tebow, TJ Yates. How about that one? Brady, Flacco, Tebow, Yates.
That one just jumps out off the page at you. And then the next year it was Brady, Flacco, Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub. Texans made it, man. Texans were decent, man, back then. Those early J.J. White years. And then Andrew Luck made it for a nice while as well. And now you got Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow back to back years. Here we go. And this is the way it's going to be. And then there's that fourth chair. Who wants it in the AFC?
Because it's going to be tough to think that these guys aren't going to be back there year after year in the final four of their conference. 844-204-Rich is the number to dial, pro football talk creator, as well as the man who administers PFT Live every day on Peacock, starting off the Florio Flauta that he starts and frequently finishes every single day on that lineup on Peacock. He is Mike Florio back here on the Rich House with Joe. How are you, Mike? Rich, doing great, buddy. How are you?
I'm great. So, you know, we were talking yesterday about Brady's future and how Miami just jumps off the page at you. Because, you know, if Brady's looking for a spot where there's a running game and a defense and weapons, that's it. There's no question about that. And then we all know that Brady knows how to find Stephen Ross's number and or boat where it's docked. So with those conversations, I'm like, I got to call Florio.
So let's give you the floor here. We all know they said that's two of the two is the future. What do you think about that possibility? Well, first of all, based upon one specific play that I saw in the third quarter of Monday night's game, I would suspect Tom Brady is considering joining the Cobra Kai dojo because he has proven quite adept at sweeping the lead. I saw that.
That was quite a moment. That was quite an eye-opener and disappointed anyone who cares about good sportsmanship and clean, fair play. That aside, speaking of not clean, fair play, that's how the Dolphins lost a first-round pick last year, tampering with Sean Payton and Tom Brady. I was told last week that Miami is definitely on the table for Tom Brady. The question this year is, Rich, will the Dolphins be interested in him? Now, in the past, they've denied interest.
And then it turns out that they were. In 2020, Stephen Ross, not long before the Dolphins hosted the Super Bowl that same week, why would he be interested in us? Well, they were interested in him last year.
They downplayed it. They were going to have him purchase a small piece of the team. And then as the Dominoes fell, Payton becomes the head coach at some point in the spring offseason program. Brady ends up playing for the Dolphins. So this whole two-a-thing is strange to me because I've said this all week, actions are going to speak much more loudly than words. They can say he's our starter until they pick up his fifth-year option, which they could do right now if they wanted to, or until they sign him to a long-term contract.
It's possible they will go in a different direction. I think that after what they went through in 2021 with Deshaun Watson hovering over the team for weeks and what it did to Tua psychologically and emotionally, I don't think they want to put him through that, especially at a time when he's still trying to recover from this concussion. So I think they're being deliberately careful to tiptoe around Tua because they don't want to complicate his situation any more than it already is. But how can you not be thinking about other options if you're the Dolphins? Dolphins fans, and specifically the various members of Tuanon, get upset when I articulate this, but if you're going to put yourself in a position where you get ragdolled by a 300-pound defensive lineman and you're an average-sized human, i.e.
a small quarterback, your head's going to hit the ground. Every time he had a concussion this year where there was two or where there was three, it was his head hitting the ground, not someone hitting his helmet with another helmet. Until that changes, he's going to be at risk for more concussions.
And he's the only quarterback this year that had multiple concussions other than Kenny Pickett of the Steelers, and Pickett didn't happen in such a dramatic way that he became the face of concussions in the NFL. It's just a bad situation for Tua and for the Dolphins. So whether it's Brady, whether it's Aaron Rodgers, they have to look at all their options, and I think they will.
They're not going to admit it. Tua's the guy until he's not. And we've seen that time and again with other coaches and players in the NFL.
He's our guy until the moment that he isn't. So what is Brady's market right now, if that is in fact what he wants to enter, and not just begin his broadcasting career that's ready and waiting for him whenever he wants? I think one of the real questions here is proximity to family members, proximity to his children. San Francisco, he's wanted to go to San Francisco.
They've said no thank you. I can't see the 49ers saying yes to him this year, and I don't think he'd want to go that far. The Raiders, obvious potential destination because of the presence of Josh McDaniels. Tennessee has been mentioned.
I think Carolina is one to watch. If Sean Payton ends up there, who's his quarterback? And I feel like these two are determined to find a way to work together, especially after what happened last year. They were ready to go last year.
It was ready to happen. The Brian Flores lawsuit threw everything askew, but wouldn't it be fitting? Sean Payton, who was suspended for bounding gate. Tom Brady, who was suspended for deflating. The joint force is to give a giant middle finger to 345 Park Avenue, and they go to Carolina, especially a year after they weren't able to go to Miami. And I just get the sense that they both kind of would like to say they had a year where they worked together, because Brady understands that Payton is the master of designing offense and spending extra time to find that play that's going to work for the guys he has next level creativity and just overall brilliance.
So I'm keeping an eye on Carolina. If Payton ends up being the coach of the Panthers, I don't know why you wouldn't have Tom Brady at the top of the list as potential quarterbacks for 23 there. PFT Live host, author of Playmakers, How the NFL Really Works and Doesn't, Mike Florio here on the Rich Eisen Show. Let's jump into Sean Payton's coaching search or I guess tour. Does that mean every team he's spoken to or is speaking to has already spoken to the Saints and Mickey Loomis and knows what compensation would have to be sent to the Saints to get Sean Payton's dotted line? They've gotten permission from the Saints with kind of a loose general understanding of what it's going to take to get him. And Payton himself said earlier this week a mid-to-late first-round pick is what's going to be required. It's an awkward situation, and Payton has a hell of a hammer here. If the Saints try to drive too hard of the bargain under this idea that he's still our employee, he's still under contract to us, teams couldn't interview him in person until yesterday because of the rule as to when you can first have in-person interviews with coaches employed by other teams. If the Saints drive it too hard, all Payton has to say is, I'll be back tomorrow. I mean, this is how it's going to be. I'm ready.
I'm coming back. You have to figure out what you're going to do with Dennis Allen, but I'm coming back. So I don't think anyone wants it to get to that point. I think that Mickey Loomis and Sean Payton have the kind of relationship where they will work something out. And the fact that Carolina has gotten permission to talk to Payton tells me that the Saints have come to terms with the possibility they'll be coaching and facing Sean Payton in the future. So I think that part of it is kind of a foregone conclusion, even though there aren't specific deals in place yet. I think that if Payton says, hey, Mickey, this is where I want to go, they'll work together to get a deal done, because, again, the alternative is Payton says, fine, I'll just come back and work for the Saints. And what's the Bronco search now that my college coach is staying put?
What do you got on that one? Well, there's a bunch of candidates, and we see that every year. And why not take full advantage if you've got the stamina to do it? And I think some of these owners ultimately just get fed up with the process. It's taken too long. It's too much work. My head hurts. I've got to sit here and talk to these people all day long. I mean, seriously, think about it. Any time you're in a situation like that, if you've ever done any type of interviewing to fill a job anywhere, you get to a point where you want it to be over with. Greg Penner, the CEO of the Broncos and former CEO of Walmart, captain of industry, smart, hardworking, ruthless, brilliant, all the good things, and some of the not good things that you have to be to be effective in that job.
And I'm not saying that in a pejorative way. You've got to be tough. You've got to be rough. You've got to be willing to make tough decisions, tapping a wide net, looking at a lot of different people. But Rich, I'm a firm believer this time around the Broncos are not going to hire a coordinator who's never been a coach before because you don't know and no one knows. And you find out too late that Nathaniel Hackett can't do it, that Vic Fangio can't do it well enough, that Vance Joseph isn't ready to do it. I think they're going to hire somebody with head coaching experience. And I don't know whether Harbaugh just realized it wasn't going to be him or it just wasn't going to work or the fit wasn't right. I think Harbaugh does want to come back.
I'd watch the Chargers next year if Brandon Staley ends up out. But I would be stunned if it isn't someone with head coaching experience in the NFL who ends up as coach of the Broncos. So is it a sixth sense or you know what the conversations between Harbaugh and my school president were that if he stays that this doesn't end the annual footsie? I mean the contract would or you just think that Jim Still would be tilting at that NFL windmill no matter what? Well, as I said with two actions speak louder than words, when we see the final revised contract with the buyout, the buyout's the key. If Harbaugh really wants to slam the door, make the buyout 20 million, not 3 million.
It was 3 million this year and it goes down I think two and a half next year. I mean that's couch cushion money for some of these owners if they really want Jim Harbaugh. So he can make a clear commitment that prevents him from going to the NFL. But when he says, when he talks wistfully about the Lombardi Trophy, winning a Super Bowl, what that means.
And yeah, okay, we'll go try to get a college championship instead. He wants that Super Bowl. You know, I think we've talked about this before, it's Cain and Abel stuff with him and his brother John. John's got a ring, Jim doesn't, Jim wants one.
Sometimes it's that simple. Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk here on the Rich Einstein Show. What's your reporting on the time period, however long it was, 30 hours, maybe 40, between the Jacksonville Jaguars splitting the uprights, or I guess maybe even 70 hours, between the Jaguars splitting the uprights and the Chargers Twitter account tweeting out that they've let Joe Lombardi, the offensive coordinator and the quarterbacks and passing coordinator go.
What's your reporting there on that? Well, I don't think Dean Spanos was ever serious about firing Brandon Staley. And I think that both Jim Harbaugh and Sean Payton would have loved that job to come open, as would anybody else looking for a head coaching job in the NFL. I just don't think Spanos ultimately wanted to do it. You got to buy out Staley, you got to go buy the new coach.
It's going to be expensive, it's going to be risky, and you can look at that glass and you can regard it as half full with the Chargers. Now, it was empty enough that Joe Lombardi and Shane Day had to go, which you quickly start chasing your tail on this because, okay, whatever it was that caused them to fire the offense coordinator and the quarterbacks coach, why did that not result in Brandon Staley being fired? Because he's in a position where he could have intervened to try to improve whatever it was they were doing week in and week out, game in and game out. He's ultimately responsible. And you could say as to Lombardi and Day, well, there were a lot of injuries and maybe Herbert's ribs weren't right for weeks.
Okay, fine, if it's an excuse for Staley, it should be an excuse for them. It feels like what Mike Ehrmantraut once cautioned Walter White against, Rich. And you know what it is. No half measures. It feels like a half measure.
It does, doesn't it? But I also have to sit here and think that they already know the price tag on Justin Herbert's new contract that's going to be asked for now, right? I mean, if you're Justin Herbert's agent, how quickly do you call Tom Tolesco and say season's over, let's talk about his new contract after three years? Yeah, I think it's time. It's just a matter of it.
Now, they may want to see what happens with some of these others. Does Jalen Hurts get a new deal? Burrow, obviously. Yes, Burrow get his deal. The window's open for anyone who has completed three regular seasons.
Burrow can actually get one now. His season doesn't have to be over. It's as soon as the regular season ends, and I'm waiting for the day that a long-term deal gets done with a guy three years in during the playoffs because you're still carrying that injury risk as the quarterback of the team, and we see how he gets banged around. But yeah, I may want to get some other data points, but Justin Herbert is going to make a lot of money eventually. He seems like a – and I don't want to imply that it's wrong to try to get every dollar because I'm a firm believer that you should try to get every last dollar when you're a football player with a finite number of years and the constant physical risk, and we saw what happened to DeMar Hamlin.
You should get everything you can. I just don't think Justin Herbert is going to demand every last penny to the detriment of having a team around him because look at what happened this year with the team when guys were injured. And that would be my desire. If I was Justin Herbert, if I was ownership of that team, if I was anybody connected in any way, shape, or form of the Chargers, I would want to do a deep dive-rich into why it's always something with us when it comes to injuries. I've said, and this is a dated reference that I think you're old enough to understand, they are the Roseanne Roseanne Adana to the NFL, and that it's always something with the Chargers. When it comes to injuries, I'd want to figure out what it is, what are we doing wrong. It can't just be bad luck. Too many guys get pretzeled around in every possible position while playing football, and they pop up and they keep going. There's something deeper going on with the Chargers, and they need to get it fixed. Well, you went early season SNL. Yesterday we on this program went Costanza, that if their instinct is always wrong, do the opposite. Just go up to Sean Payton, the pretty girl at the counter, and say, I'm the Los Angeles Chargers.
I have trouble making the playoffs or winning there, and I live with my parents, and see what goes. But that clearly isn't happening. We'll see what happens when Justin Herbert signs on the dotted line, because if he doesn't before the season, that would be quite something.
That would be another aspect. And that's my last question for you, Mike Florio. What is happening in Baltimore with Lamar Jackson?
I'm hearing everything, and it's either, yeah, we'll figure it out, or, yeah, it's no big deal. He was sick. That's why he wasn't there. Yeah, I mean, he was really hurt.
I mean, that's why he didn't play. To, oh, my gosh, it's a five-alarm fire there, and everybody's just putting a smile on their face because that's what they do with that organization. What are you hearing? Well, I think that things got a little tense behind the scenes last week. The comments that we saw from Sammy Watkins to The Washington Post about playoff time and can Lamar Jackson play, I think there was a belief in the organization, and within the locker room, not universally, but some of the players that this PCL injury is something that a brace could have been applied, he could have gone out, he could have given it a try. When RG3 says, well, I played without an ACL and an LCL, and look at what it did to me, what's the fundamental difference? A PCL sprain apparently can't get worse, and it was healing, and they just thought he'd be able to come back. Now, here's my take on it.
It's very simple. If a guy isn't 100% and doesn't have the long-term financial security that he has earned, he has every right to say, I'm already taking enough risk when I'm 100%. I'm not taking an enhanced risk without my long-term financial security.
It's fine to say that. The problem is he's part of the reason why he doesn't have his long-term financial security because the Ravens have been ready to give it to him, and he's been caught up on this five-year, fully guaranteed Deshaun Watson contract, and he desperately needs an agent who can explain to him what you need to do to get a Deshaun Watson contract. The Ravens aren't just going to hand it to him. He's got to finagle a way to the open market. He's got to say to the Ravens, I'm never playing for you again. He's got to hope they try to trade him.
He's got to try to get multiple teams to the table and hope that one of them gets pushed aside, whips back around, and says, how about a five-year, fully guaranteed contract like the Browns did? If an outlier would happen with Deshaun Watson, but when you don't have an agent, people think that all the agent does is send a few emails to the team and collect 3% of every dollar that's paid. The agent has to tell the player, here's how it is.
Here's what your expectation should be. And you know what an agent also does, Rich? Last week when all this stuff's going on, the agent calls people in the media, the agent calls people around the league, the agent calls the team, the agent works hard on behalf of the client to make sure that the client isn't vilified, that the client doesn't come off as the bad guy in all of this. And I think that's how the dust settled on this, that Lamar Jackson got painted as the bad guy.
And it's going to be hard for the two sides to repair this. I think what the Ravens are going to do, prediction. It's not an exclusive franchise tag, which will give him the chance to go talk to other teams. If he signs an offer sheet with another team, the Ravens get two first-round picks if they don't match it, or the Ravens could trade him. But at some point, Rich, he's got to negotiate a contract with somebody.
At some point, he's got to sit down and say, this is the deal I want to do. And if it's a nonstarter, to not have anything but five years fully guaranteed, he's never going to sign a long-term deal with anyone. So what you're saying here, right in the middle of January, 2023, is the Deshaun Watson contract, when it was awarded to him, and that is a way to say it from Cleveland, and he signed it. And we were all wondering what the ripple effects were. It did not eventually prevent the Cardinals from securing Kyler Murray's services or the Broncos from securing Russell Wilson's services long-term and for just this year as well.
But it has also created this issue in Baltimore that resonates to today. That is what you're saying. That's what I'm saying, because Kyler Murray's agent didn't insist on five years fully guaranteed. Russell Wilson's agent didn't insist on five years fully guaranteed.
Nor the players, nor the players, obviously. Now, Rich, and there very well may be collusion. You know, the NFL Players Association already has filed a grievance under the collective bargaining agreement accusing the owners of colluding in this refusal to give certain players fully guaranteed contracts. And there could be collusion happening.
Good luck proving it. But with Lamar Jackson, the Ravens just refused to do it. And this is what a good agent would say to Lamar Jackson. Look, you've got two choices here, generally speaking. You can take the best offer that I can negotiate on your behalf with the Ravens.
Let me try to do that, and then we'll evaluate it. Or you can say to the Ravens, I'm never playing for you again, like Watson said to the Texans, and hope that we can set this competition up where we get one team to the table that freaks out when it gets thrown aside because it's already undermined permanently and irreparably its relationship with its current starter in the form of Baker Mayfield. So it has to do something.
I mean, how often do the planets line up like that? And that's what Lamar Jackson needs to understand right now. He needs to understand that the planets lined up in a crazy-ass way for Deshaun Watson, and it's not going to happen for him.
Or it's highly, highly unlikely it's going to happen for him. And so your prediction is Tyler Huntley week one or Lamar week one? I think Tyler Huntley, unless they decide to go after some other quarterback and dramatically change their offense. I mean, there's going to be plenty of veterans out there, but if they want to just continue with the approach that they currently have, I mean, Tyler Huntley did pretty well for himself in the playoffs. No doubt.
If he'd only gone low instead of high, who the heck knows what would have happened? Well, that's right. They scored that touchdown to win that game. I think the conversation this week is...
Totally different. ...Lamar Jackson isn't coming back. Tyler Huntley's the guy. You want to take a crack at where Lamar goes if this happens, just to go completely hog-wild on this down a rabbit hole or what? I've always thought Miami to get back to where we started, so I guess there's some poetry in that.
We started with Tom Brady in Miami. Maybe it's Lamar Jackson. The problem is they don't have the compensation that would be necessary to get Lamar, but there is one thing they could do. Because they invited Brady on a boat?
That's right. They don't have a first-round pick because they tampered with Tom Brady, and they gave up the other first-round pick they had as the last piece of the Trey Lance trade, the trade that became Trey Lance when they traded for Bradley Chubb. However, consider this. This has never happened, that this is what they could do. They could wait until after the draft and then sign Lamar Jackson to an offer sheet, and if Lamar Jackson accepts that offer, and if the Ravens pass, the Ravens get 2024, 2025 first-round picks from the Miami Dolphins. They do have those two first-round picks. They would have to wait until after the draft to sign Lamar Jackson.
They could still do it if they wanted to. Mike Florio, food for thought, as always. Thanks for the call, brother. We'll chat soon. Great talking to you, Rich. As always at Pro Football Talk, Mike Florio.
How about that, man? I'm telling you, Lamar, he was sick. That's why I wasn't there. Lamar, he was hurt.
That's why I didn't start. Lamar, we love him in the locker room. Lamar, he's our guy. Lamar, I don't know what that tweet was about. Lamar, why he wasn't there, just know he's just not there. Lamar, locker room's so livid with him right now.
I'm here. Everything. Honestly, my texts, my phones from people, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It's all of that. What? It's wheat. It's chaff. What is it? Smoke, it's fire. I don't know. My spidey sense says this has been weird from the beginning. That's been my spidey sense on this. From the start, something doesn't feel.
What is up? From the start, from week 15, when I was there, chatting with the Ravens prior to Ravens-Browns, and they were like, yeah, I think we're going to get them back next week. I could have braced them up, but not really. We don't want to do that. And that's what we said on the air, because this is what we were told. John Harbaugh said that to us in a meeting. And then maybe this turned out to be more of an injury that nobody believed it could be at the very beginning.
It got worse. It's entirely possible, and then he was sick and didn't get there. Everything I just said is so very possible. And then the alternative is, that's his buddy. How is he not there? How is it not additive for him to be there? Why isn't he there?
Why did he tweet out about his knee? I don't really have a frame of reference on something else that's happened, other than guys who don't get paid and don't have a contract long-term are less apt to put themselves on the line. You've got to understand that.
Apparently that's not it. 844-204-RICH number to dial here on the Rich Eisen Show. Don't go anywhere. Your phone calls. And yeah, we haven't hit the Harbaugh thing, the gym.
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Monster.com. I wanted to talk about Jim Harbaugh, but there's not enough time left in this hour, so I'll talk about it later on. Instead, I've got a bone to pick. I've got a bone to pick, and I'm bringing this to the people. I'm bringing it to the people. I just went back there during the commercial break, and I need a little burst of caffeine.
We have a Kehrig machine here. No water. Water empty.
The water is empty, and I feel like I'm back at home. That's bad. You tell the kids, hey, if you're the last to do something, throw it out, or fill up the water thing again. Yeah. Come on.
Who was it? I think it's on you to check first, right? Oh, no, I don't know.
I go during a commercial break to go get coffee, and I can't do it because I've got to go get water to fill it up because somebody just left it completely empty. I don't know. No, excuse me.
This is a civilized society we live in, correct? Yeah, but you can't take responsibility. You can't rely on someone else. What do you mean? Yes, if you are making your tea.
It wasn't me, for the record. And you exhaust the supply of water in there, and you know it's empty, you fill up the water. I wish that were true, but no one drinks more tea than me, and I promise you no one has filled up that thing with more water than I have, so it's not like nobody looks out. And then another thing, if we're just going to start complaining about stuff, the fact that you guys use the Keurigs to make coffee, and then you don't take them out, so then the person next coming to wants tea, and you pour your water, and then you have coffee tea water?
Yeah. Toffee? Okay, so why tea? Toffee.
The same thing applies. Take your little Keurig thing and throw it out. You know how many cups of tea I've had ruined? Well, I know what I'm going to do in the commercial break. Thank you for telling me that. I will do that.
I will do that. Just own it. Just somebody's got to own it.
Who's going to own it? I haven't had tea in a month. I've had tea, but it's not like owning it. I don't know that I'm sitting there looking to see how much water is left when I'm gone. I think you need, if you're making it, you've got to look, oh, do I have water? Oh, I've got to go get water. I just filled it up. I always look.
I filled it up while making the coffee. There you go. Good job. I always look. Thank you, Mike. I mean, I always look. I appreciate that. Mike, you never use it, though.
Occasionally, but I look. Somebody left, I mean, literally, when I say there was no water left. Well, there's only a couple, it wasn't me.
I have no cup, so I'm out. This is a civilized group. We have gotten the chemistry in this place right. As Warner Wolf would say, let's go to the videotape.
Oh, boy. They probably have. I don't know if we, I don't know. Can you imagine we're going to go to security? What for? What happened there? Is everything all right there? No, everything's fine. Somebody didn't fill up the Kehrig water, the water container. Can you roll it back?
There's only seven people here. That's amazing that that's an argument today, because it's never, ever filled. Ever.
RG3 is coming up. He's going to enter this zone in a moment. And by the way, I feel that you probably left more of your coffee on the floor when you were walking out than is actually in your cup. What are you talking about? You were in a hurry and I was watching you. That thing looked like it was. I didn't spill a drop. You didn't? No.
You didn't. Let me tell you something. Let me tell you something, sir.
When I fill up a coffee mug, this nectar is so important. What do you think? I trailed? Are you calling? Are you saying I'm a trailer? I trailed? You one billion, not even a million, a trillion percent trailed.
Like I sat there and watched it. Coffee trail. There's a trail.
There's a coffee trail. I'll go right now and take a picture of coffee on the floor. You don't have to do that. I will own it. I'll come in here. Just like if I was the one who forgot to fill the water, I'd own it in the same way that I'm going to do two things in this commercial break.
So everyone knows. I'm going to go see if I trailed. Okay. And then I'm going to remove the coffee, you know, Keurig from the machine.
So when you have your tea, you don't have toffee. That's all I'm asking. Really?
I'm going to go on Instagram live and see if there was a trail. So just taking the container out and putting your tea in, that there's still coffee residue from it? No. Because I've left my container in there? If you leave the container, the water comes through there. I understand that. So then, yeah. He's saying, he's just putting it in to do the water. Ah, I get it.
He's not checking. I'm on it. I will do that. Yes. Fixed. Whoever is out there within the sound of my voice, that's probably sitting in this room, fill the water up.
Here endeth the hour. For over 40 years, Jim Ross has been the voice of wrestling. Nobody has stories like Jim Ross, and he shares his tales with cohost Conrad Thompson on Grilling JR. Best Nickman was the top heel in the Attitude Era. It was a fresh character. It was new. It was material that we had not seen or heard to that date. We couldn't have created a bigger or better heel.
No. We wanted to make more heels, and we tried to make more heels, and we did, but nothing compared to Vince. The Grilling JR podcast. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
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