Another wrinkle has been added to the ongoing Lamar Jackson saga in Baltimore. The Ravens and Jackson aren’t any closer to coming to terms on a new long-term deal. Now it’s been reported that a representative for Jackson has allegedly been contacting teams claiming the former MVP is ready to move on from Baltimore.
This entire situation surrounding Jackson has spun out of control and has many in disbelief at how things have been handled. This latest revelation has ramped up speculation around who’s pulling the strings and orchestrating Lamar’s campaign for a fully guaranteed contract. There are people who think Jackson’s mother is telling NFL teams that her son is ready to leave the team that drafted him in the first round in 2018.
Initially, it was Jackson’s mom, Felicia Jones, who was reported as representing her son in talks with Ravens management during the 2021 offseason. It wasn’t that far-fetched that she would do so since Jones had done the talking for her son in negotiating his rookie deal a few years prior. So, while it’s possible that Jackson’s mom isn’t running the show this time around, the speculation isn’t unwarranted.
Similar to the Roquan Smith situation
What this news does, though, is it brings up an interesting aspect and something the NFL has instructed teams not to do. The league specifically instructed teams to refrain from negotiating with representatives who aren’t certified by the NFLPA. This came down last year after teams were allegedly contacted by a man named Saint Omni on behalf of former Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith. Omni also allegedly helped Houston Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil secure his three-year, $75 million contract. Tunsil got $50 million of that guaranteed with “no official” representation.
This also speaks to the NFL keeping control over what’s happening with its biggest investments. That being the players. While they may be looking out for their assets in handing down mandates like the one outlined above, it also keeps the balance of power in place. Certified agents and teams work hand in hand as agents usually represent multiple clients throughout the league. Both sides want to keep each other happy and avoid outsiders coming in, especially if they haven’t gone through the proper channels.
In Jackson’s case, having someone contact teams off the cuff when he’s still technically signed with Baltimore could be considered tampering. What the NFL does with this is yet to be seen, but if true, this could make the situation much tougher as potential negotiations progress.