A tweet from Jackson on Tuesday could be the foundation for Baltimore to keep its franchise quarterback.
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• When Lamar Jackson he tweeted that he had been offered a fully guaranteed deal worth $133 million over three years, I think for now Crows The quarterback has done more than a little steam in what must be a frustrating situation. To me, it outlined what the tradeoff between him and Baltimore could be.
Now, for starters, I don’t know if his tweet should be interpreted as the full deal he was offered, or if it’s just where the guaranteed money is in a bigger deal. And this is very relevant in the grand scheme of things.
Here’s why — my educated guess is that this is more about principle than money for Jackson. I know, I know. That sounds silly, since Jackson turned down nine-figure offers. The point is, I think if this it was On the money for him, especially after a few injury-riddled years, he would have just taken the $100 million-plus fully guaranteed that was on the table and been done with it.
What I do know is that, with the help of the NFLPA and his mother, he pursued a fully guaranteed deal along the lines of what Deshaun Watson got. He has been offered a top quarterback contract in a more traditional structure. The problem with this? In a traditional quarterback contract, there are usually two or three years on the back end that are glorified team options and protect the team in the event of a devastating injury or slump in play. Most strategists can reasonably count on seeing that money.
Jackson’s case is different. Again, it ended the last two years on the shelf. He has struck out 753 times in 65 career starts (including the playoffs), which is a average nearly 12 carries per game. That’s unprecedented for a quarterback. Cam Newton, by comparison, had just under eight per game in 151 career starts. So if you’re Jackson, it would be easy to look at it and say-You had me take on this workload, play out my rookie contract, and now you’re the one looking for injury protection in the back?
So for me, the trade-off would be the fully guaranteed, short-term deal. If Baltimore was willing to cover the five years fully guaranteed, the deal would likely go through. A more traditional offer would have, say, three years with guarantees on a five-year deal. Which means, to me, the middle ground would be to stop the team-controlled back-end years and give Jackson a no-tag arrangement. Let’s say three years fully guaranteed, and then Jackson controls free agency in 2026 at age 29.
That, to me, would protect both the team and the player, and everyone could be on their way.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow afternoon.
Lamar Jackson is by many measures the most productive quarterback in NFL history, with his increased injury risk complicating talks for a fully guaranteed contract.
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• I love the story of the 100th pick, who will eventually become a real player.
It is a compensatory option that the Leaders had in their back pocket this season, a reward (as part of the league’s effort to diversify the coaching and GM ranks) for Ryan Poles who was hired from the Kansas City front office as the Bears’ general manager. Kansas City traded it in the fall for former first-round receiver Kadarius Toney (who had a huge Super Bowl comeback). He was assigned a number last week when the comp picks were assigned, then flipped again from the Giants in the Raiders for veteran tight end Darren Waller.
We’ll see if the type selected becomes a Raider. If the past few months are any indication, you probably shouldn’t count on it.
VERDERAME: Giants’ Waller Trade Brings Kadarius Toney Deal Back to Spotlight
And while we’re at it, it’s also worth noting that up until a few years ago, teams couldn’t trade track picks. What you can now, for the reasons illustrated above, has made them even more valuable in the minds of teams.
• So why does Waller get emotional? And how did the Raiders only get a low third for him? He turns 31 in September. Injuries have cost him 14 games over the past two years. He is coming off a 28-game, 388-yard, three-touchdown season. And he was inherited by Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. He’s also not cheap – he’s owed $12.475 million this year, $12 million next year, $13 million in 2025 and $15 million in 2026.
With that established, the Raiders also really like Foster Moreau and will see if they re-sign him (he’s a free agent). There’s also a historically deep tight end class in this year’s draft.
But I still think this is a very, very creditable swing by Giants GM Joe Schoen. The Giants needed to put more around Daniel Jones, and with a pretty weak free agent receiving class, bringing in tight ends who have played at an elite level, even if it’s been a few years since Waller was around, is something worth getting. a shot up.
• The machinations of the Raiders roster are really interesting as Vegas has zeroed in on familiar merchandise in the second offseason for McDaniels and Ziegler. By signing Jimmy Garoppolo and Jakobi Meyers, they get two guys they were with for three years (plus Garoppolo’s case) in New England, adding to Chandler Jones, Jermaine Eluemunor and Duron Harmon (Harmon was free, but he was a Raider.last year) among exPatriots.
The thought that Meyers could replace Waller’s passing-game production makes a lot of sense, and as with Garoppolo, there’s no guessing how he’ll fit.
But the bigger picture part here brings me back to a conversation I was having Jet coach Robert Saleh last summer. You’ll remember the highly publicized feud between him and Rex Ryan. What I later learned is that when the two connected, Ryan actually gave Saleh some advice that Saleh took to heart.
“I asked him a few questions,” Saleh said. “And he shared how when he got to the Jets, he brought in guys like Bart Scott, [Jim] Leonhard, all these guys he knew would not only be champions of the message, flag bearers, but also guys who understood his scheme and understood the style of play they were looking for. He felt this was such a defining part of his early success that, for us, it was thought-provoking—Hey, is it too late to take the same approach?“
So Saleh turned around last offseason and brought in Kwon Alexander, Laken Tomlinson, Marcell Harris and Solomon Thomas, and the results, at least until the quarterback situation melted down, followed. The way I see it, what the Raiders are doing here is similar to that, and knowing what I know about the two of them, Garoppolo and Meyers will be good flag bearers for second year GMs and coaches in Vegas.
• An interesting strategy we have seen since Steel mills in recent years (the Ravens and Patriots did that, too) he showed his face again with the signing of Patrick Peterson — the signing of his third or fourth vet contract. Joe Haden, Myles Jack, and Melvin Ingram are other examples, with the upside for teams being in the lead, getting a known commodity (who’s already taken his money, so there’s no predicting how he’ll react to a big payday), institutional knowledge and, usually, a reduced price.
Peterson’s deal is $14 million over two years, but Pittsburgh can easily opt out of it after the 2023 season. Peterson gets $5.85 million to sign and $1.3 million in base salary this year, with a $3 million roster bonus that creates a decision point for the team next March.
• Taylor Heinicke’s deal in Atlanta is real—the base value is $14 million over two years and has incentives that could raise it to $20 million. It is also an illustration of his strategy Falcons they’re working at the position – trying to stay economical so they can build the rest of the roster and stay flexible for when a quarterback comes along that they’re willing to go all-in on. So Heinicke will compete with Desmond Ridder to start.
What the Falcons are doing, by the way, is not unlike what you might see in Tampa and Washington this year, with young guys (Kyle Trask, Sam Howell) at both positions, and those teams are picking a little too low to be in the mix for one of the first round quarterbacks.
Taylor Heinicke’s contract shows he will have a real chance to start for the Falcons.
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• There is a strong belief in the league that the Texans they get a fourth second overall, strong enough to have affected how the Bears approached trading down and how the Panthers approached negotiations last week. So going and getting a veteran lineman in Shaq Mason was a smart move as it helps solidify a group that is really solid across the board right now. Something that will give a young quarterback a great opportunity to develop.
• Young Broncos RT Mike McGlinchey’s deal is a really good example of how to read a contract and what it really means. McGlinchey gets a $17.5 million signing bonus, and his base salaries of $2.5 million this year and $15 million next year are fully guaranteed, bringing his signing guarantee to $35 million. The twist from there is that his $17.5 million base through 2025 becomes fully vested next March.
So no, this is not part of the full warranty at signing. But realistically, the Broncos would have to pay $35 million for a single year of McGlinchey to keep that $17.5 million from vesting (that would mean Denver cut him before mid-March 2024). That means he’s getting absolutely $52.5 million over three years, and that’s a pretty nice payday for a guy the Niners were willing to let go.
• I assumed it might be Baker Mayfield, it ended up being Sam Darnold, but the idea, to me, remained the same in San Francisco – bring in a guy with some upside to compete with Trey Lance until Brock Purdy become healthy. It will be interesting to see Darnold in Kyle Shanahan’s quarterback friendly offense as well. A big part of the problem with him has been that he doesn’t play fast enough, which coaches believe is because he thinks too much out there.
The Niners’ offense, by contrast, takes much of the mental load off the quarterback (the center makes the Mike recognition calls, for example). So that should help Darnold, who gets $4.5 million in base pay for 2023 ($1 million of that in roster bonuses per game), with another $7 million in incentives for him.
• One thing I feel good about for two days: my prediction that linemen will gobble up all the money in this year’s free agency cycle. It was indeed a boon to the grown-ups.