HomeSportsNFLNFL Agents Have Harsh Words for Lamar Jackson Negotiating With Baltimore Ravens Without Agent

NFL Agents Have Harsh Words for Lamar Jackson Negotiating With Baltimore Ravens Without Agent

by Suzanne Halliburton
lamar jackson
Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images

The Ravens stuck a non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson this week as contract negotiations remained stalled. And the fact the Baltimore quarterback has no agent may be a big factor.

At least, that’s according to other agents who are used to dealing with NFL owners and general managers. Now, the negotiating process could become more complicated. Lamar Jackson can talk to other teams as of next Monday. And because of the non-exclusive tag, the Ravens will have the opportunity to match the offer. More about that later in the story.

FIrst, it should be noted that Lamar Jackson has never had an agent since he joined the league in 2018. The Heisman winner from Louisville slipped into the first round when the Ravens selected him with the 32nd pick.

“I know coming in as a rookie, an agent doesn’t really negotiate anything,” Jackson told USA Today. “You’re going to get the salary you’re going to get. I decided I don’t need him. He’s going to be taking a big cut out of my paycheck … and I feel I deserve it right now.”

Now, five years later, he still hasn’t changed his mind about an agent and what he’s worth. That’s the hold-up. Jackson wants the same type of contract signed by Deshaun Watson a year ago. The Browns guaranteed it all. Rather than establishing a new quarterback benchmark, NFL teams believe the Watson deal was an outlier. The Ravens have offered big money, but are guaranteeing only up to about 60 percent. That’s the sticking point.

Agents Believe They Could’ve Been More Creative in Getting Lamar Jackson to His Money

NFL agents believe Lamar Jackson needs a rep in the negotiating room if only to become more creative in getting his desired worth.

“The last thing you want to do in a situation like this is back a team into a corner,” an agent told Yahoo Sports. “Where you’re so far apart that you’re basically just saying ‘no’ and asking them to negotiate against themselves.

“Owners aren’t going to react well to that. Especially if you’re repeatedly asking them to do that. … There has to be some flexibility in the process.”

Lamar Jackson also probably missed a chance to advance a possible deal last week at the NFL Combine. It wasn’t a surprise that the Ravens put the non-exclusive tag on the quarterback. An agent could’ve jump started the negotiating process with some very informal networking in Indianapolis. Some teams don’t want to deal with the non-exclusive tag because the GMs don’t want to spend the money and two first-round draft picks. Or, they believe the Ravens will match the offer and wipe away all their work.

“There’s only a few agents that have the gravitas to sit with (owners or GMs) and talk about the type of human being and player they are getting in these kinds of deals,” an agent told Yahoo. “Lamar is an incredible kid. You need an agent who can convey that (to an owner) in a situation like this.”

Then there’s this about why teams may not be all in on paying Lamar Jackson a fully guaranteed, $250 million deal.

“It’s not easy to pay $250 million to a quarterback that’s been hurt.” an agent told Yahoo. “It’s not easy to pay it to one that’s never been hurt. If he gets hurt, that kind of salary is a franchise-killer for most teams. … And oh, by the way, you have to give up two first-round picks just for the right to spend that money.”