Robert Griffin III: Relationship between Lamar Jackson, Ravens is “salvageable”
Agents negotiate contracts. They do other things too. Or they don’t – if a player doesn’t.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson currently has no agent. At a time when it feels like the situation between Jackson and the Ravens is coming to a head — and it seems like Jackson is being painted as a villain in some circles for not playing the Bengals in the playoffs — Jackson would this would benefit an agent who could draw on a network of contacts to paint a picture better suited to the player’s overall interests.
Without that, Jackson has to rely on the people he knows. For example, he spent three years in Baltimore with quarterback Robert Griffin III, featured in ESPN’s pregame coverage Monday night. At the beginning of the show, before the Cowboys vs. Buccaneers game, Griffin addressed the Jackson situation.
“What I can say is that I spoke to people in the building today,” Griffin said, “and that relationship is salvageable.”
Griffin, who never really explained why or how it can be saved, also addressed the fact that Jackson was absent from last night’s game in Cincinnati.
“The reason Lamar Jackson didn’t go to the football game was because he was ill. They diagnosed that, said he was ill, he didn’t go on the trip.”
Griffin’s main comments relate to the fact that some believe Jackson didn’t make the playoffs because he doesn’t have a long-term contract.
“This narrative about Lamar Jackson having people arming themselves and saying he didn’t go on the field because he wasn’t willing to risk it for his teammates or because he wants a new contract, I just find it wrong” said Griffin.
That doesn’t change the fact that Lamar might have played with the PCL knee injury if he had his long-term contract. That’s what people in and around the team, including the players, believe. (Not all, but some.)
The problem is that Lamar doesn’t have a long-term contract because he turned down the team’s best offer and instead insisted on a contract with a full five-year guarantee. A good agent could have gone a long way in solving this impasse. A good agent could go a long way in meddling for Jackson now that things have gone sideways.
Griffin has repeatedly insisted that the situation is being “armed” to make it appear that Lamar is not playing due to his contract situation. But the argument should not be that the situation will be “weaponized” against him. The argument should be that football involves a multitude of physical risks and that he should not be expected to take those risks unless he believes he is truly and fully 100 per cent without the long-term financial security that he can earned but not yet received.
There is a way to make this case without being selfish. A good agent could do that much better than Griffin did on Monday night.
It’s easy for Griffin to say Jackson shouldn’t play with a sprained PCL because Griffin once tried playing with “no ACL and no LCL” and it ended badly for him. It’s harder to explain why a top player with long-term financial security would be comfortable taking increased physical risk in a sport where no one is 100 percent by January — and why a top player without that long-term financial security is. t.
If Jackson had an agent, he could count on the agent to spread that message. On the other hand, if Jackson had an agent, Jackson would already have had a long-term contract. And he probably would have played with a PCL sprain last night.