Whenever an NFL franchise or player begins to hang their dirty laundry in public following a perceived slight, it is seemingly only a matter of time before a parting of ways becomes official. As far as Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens go, we are beginning to see fairly significant cracks develop in their relationship which may mean that the quarterback moves on in the upcoming NFL draft. So, why have tensions escalated to the degree they have in recent weeks?
Playoff loss deepens the cracks
The first place to start when answering these questions is by referring to the Ravens’ recent playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals which was seen by the powers that be of the Baltimore franchise as avoidable. At least, at +750 in the latest outright Super Bowl oddsthe Bengals are clearly not the best team in the country and the Ravens should have, realistically, run them closer on the night.
Put another way, should the Ravens have lost to an outfit in the blistering form of the Kansas City Chiefs who are the favorites in the most recent NFL betting odds to win the Super Bowl at +275, then perhaps there wouldn’t have been as much fallout between Jackson and his employers following the game. However, passing up a chance against the Bengals prompted the Ravens to question Jackson’s commitment after the quarterback did not travel with the team to Ohio, citing his ongoing rehabilitation from an injury to his knee which he suffered on December 4th.
A difference of opinions
Needless to say, a part of the Ravens’ hierarchy didn’t quite see it the same way as they expected Jackson to be fully fit following a four-week recovery prognosis. In fact, it was head coach John Harbaugh who was the one to publicly express his dismay at the fact that Jackson hadn’t recovered in time to help the team during their playoff fixture at the Paycor Stadium. Was Harbaugh breaking ranks or merely ruing the bad luck that he had encountered in terms of not being able to pick his best side of him?
Whatever the answer may be, Jackson immediately took exception to the comments which led him to send out a long tweet that detailed his specific injury and that recovery can, in his opinion, take longer than initially predicted.
All of a sudden, you now have a coach and a player at odds with what they are saying in the public domain and in an instant, all trust is broken.
John Harbaugh is “hopeful” Lamar Jackson will play in the postseason.
Jackson has been out since Dec. 4 with a PCL sprain pic.twitter.com/7cIVr6rkQd
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) January 7, 2023
Has the Ravens’ hierarchy ever recovered from Jackson’s contract refusal?
Or was it that quick? At least, could it have instead been Jackson’s refusal to sign a new deal with the Ravens before the start of the 2022 regular season that laid the foundations for resentment to grow?
The quarterback did, after all, turn down a six-year deal estimated to be worth $250 million from the Ravens and hasn’t made any effort to resume negotiations since. Another point to keep in mind is that Jackson is in a unique position as he represents himself and does not have an agent which gives you a better idea of how he views the contractual landscape in the NFL.
Indeed, this is a player who will ultimately do what is right for his own career and if he feels like he has been disrespected, then there’s every chance that Jackson has played his last game for the Ravens.