NFL owners have shown throughout time that the only color that matters is green. If a black quarterback, coach or GM can win games, that’s all that matters. Lamar Jackson is not a victim of NFL racism.
No, owners are punishing him because the Cleveland Browns went rogue and gave Deshaun Watson $230 million, fully guaranteed.
There are plenty of football arguments to make for why Lamar Jackson isn’t worth that money. I’ve made them myself. Personally, I would not want to tie my franchise to Lamar Jackson long-term and commit a massive chunk of salary cap.
His limitations as a passer and injury concerns are very real. However, you cannot convince me that 32 teams feel the same way. And, as we saw with Watson, it only takes ONE.
But I don’t think they are. And I think they both make a valid point.
So, too, by the way, did JJ Watt.
It’s hard to believe that six NFL teams — who Lamar Jackson would immediately make better — so quickly said they’re not interested. Even if they have to surrender two first round picks.
Part of that, though, could be because of NFL rules. Because Jackson doesn’t have an agent, he cannot have any contact with any other NFL teams until March 13.
An agent can speak to them on his behalf, but the league prohibits teams from speaking with him due to tampering rules. And we know the league takes those seriously.
It’s easy for teams to tell the media they’re not interested, and then go speak to Jackson once the tampering period actually opens. And, what good would it do for teams who already have quarterbacks (like Miami) to let it be known that they’re pursuing ANOTHER QB.
But for teams like the Panthers or Raiders, why be so quick to dismiss the notion?
Here’s where potential collusion claims gain steam. To be clear, I do not know if NFL owners are colluding against Lamar Jackson. The only people who know that are the NFL owners.
And, based on everything going down with Daniel Snyder and the Jon Gruden leaked emails, I assume owners are smart enough not to put anything like that in writing.
But here’s what I do know: some NFL owners were furious that the Browns gave Watson a fully-guaranteed contract. How could they not be? That’s not a precedent that owners wanted to have set.
Not only that, but Patrick Mahomes or Joe Burrow — legitimate elite quarterbacks with no real baggage (Jackson Mahomes aside) — didn’t set the precedent.
No, a player facing over 20 allegations of sexual assault set the precedent. A player set to be suspended by the NFL who had to sit out an entire season and almost two calendar years. And, the Browns had to give up three first round picks, plus more, for Watson.
Again, I would not pay Lamar Jackson that money because it comes with too much risk. However, if I were Lamar Jackson, I would absolutely say that I’m worth at least what Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray are worth.
I’m worth more, quite honestly. Neither Murray nor Watson is a former league MVP. Watson has the same number of playoff victories (one) as Jackson. Murray doesn’t have any.
If Daniel Jones gets $160 million for one good season, how does Jackson not get much more than that considering his best season resulted in an MVP?
He would make, arguably, at least 18 NFL teams immediately better.
Thirty-one teams probably looked at Deshaun Watson and said “no way he’s worth $230 million and multiple first-round picks.”
But just one looked him and said “yes he is.”
It only takes ONE.
And you can’t tell me there isn’t ONE out there for Lamar Jackson.