Stephen A. Smith has always been a big fan of Lamar Jackson. Overall, there isn't much to dislike about Jackson. He is a quarterback who can pass the ball well, and he runs better than any other QB we have ever seen. However, he has struggled with injuries, and that is exactly why the Ravens will not offer him a huge contract. Over these past couple of years, the Ravens and Jackson have been in a stalemate as it pertains to contract talks. Consequently, the Ravens hit him with the non-exclusive franchise tag yesterday.
This is a very unique situation as any team can sign Jackson to an offer sheet. Subsequently, the Ravens have to either match the offer and keep Lamar or let him walk for two first-round picks. Shockingly, there isn't a single team looking to make an offer. Instead, numerous teams without a quarterback have come out and said that they will not pursue the former MVP. This has many screaming "collusion," and today on First Take, Stephen A. spoke about those allegations.
Stephen A. Talks Collusion
While speaking to Chris "Mad Dog" Russo, Stephen A. made the point that the non-exclusive franchise tag is a clause "built on collusion." Meaning, it is a great way for teams to teach players a lesson in asking for more money than they are worth. The owners effectively win because they get to keep their best players for low prices. Moreover, the other owners benefit because now, the price for quarterbacks has dropped significantly. For example, if Jackson doesn't get an offer sheet, he will make $32 million next year, instead of the $40 million that guys like Daniel Jones are getting. It feels like the owners are breaking the rules, although the rules are quite literally drawn up this way.
For Jackson, this is going to be a difficult few weeks. If he remains in Baltimore on this one-year bridge deal, then he will likely have to negotiate a weaker contract for himself. It is the harsh reality of the NFL, and it sucks that Jackson had to be the one to experience this. As for the Ravens, they feel very good about their decision. Let us know what you think of all this, in the comments below. Additionally, stay tuned to HNHH for more news and updates from around the sports world.