Will the Crows exchange for Lamar Jackson? It is not as elusive as it used to be.

Will the Crows exchange for Lamar Jackson?  It is not as elusive as it used to be.

Lamar Jackson was not with the Baltimore Crows Sunday night during their wild card match against the AFC national team Cincinnati Bengals. Not on the plane. Not on the bus. Not in the locker room and not on the sidelines.

his social media accounts during a period A shocking competitive loss They were silent, as they have been since he raised eyebrows across the league with his injury update tweet Thursday.

The absence was noticeable. The silence is resounding. And now Lamar Jackson’s future is as bleak as ever.

In some cases, this is how trades roll. In other cases, it’s how contract negotiations come to a head and deals get done. Either one could happen with Jackson and the Crows in the coming months. This ambiguity will make their union the biggest story for the NFL in the offseason, until either the franchise owner or quarterback (or both) comes out and publicly settles what is developing into a quiet war over Jackson’s health and the upcoming extension.

Make no mistake, it he What happens now: The Ravens are dealing with the frustration of anticipating Jackson’s return to the fold for the postseason versus a quarterback who won’t risk a more serious injury when he’s not feeling well and still has a lot to lose.

Apparently everyone in the NFL is talking about some aspect of that, due to the ambiguity of the situation – or just reading into the behavior of Baltimore coach John Harbaugh or Eyebrow-raising comments Crows Wide Sammy Watkins. It’s a small circus that looks like it’s about to get bigger, louder, and more dramatic.

As one NFL general manager wrote late Sunday night: “I feel excited [our quarterback’s] Deal done!”

Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations with the Ravens will be one of the biggest off-season stories in the NFL. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)

Not that anyone in the league would wish for such an attitude in Jackson or the Ravens. Those in the NFL who’ve been through this kind of thing—negotiations with record-setting fallout, hurt feelings, angry fans—are a little brotherhood. They each have some kind of scar tissue from the experience, whether it’s setting a new contract standard that displeases the rest of the league’s franchise owners or signing a deal that ultimately turns sour. Few of them, even the most competitive, want to see others have to go through the experience.

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But crows in it. When it all began, Jackson was the perfect savior for the franchise. He communicated with his teammates and the coaching staff. Fans were drawn to his candor and charisma. It was suddenly so easy to see how he won the 2016 Heisman and so hard to understand why he would stick to the final pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. The league’s MVP of 2019 came quickly and unexpectedly, but it also set an astronomical benchmark: He arrived. .. Now came the period when he was expected to flourish.

For the most part, Jackson lived up to it. He was a prolific winner as a rookie, but also requires an offense tailored to his strengths. One of those is that he will run a large sum and there will be no shortage of injury risks. Another being who can throw from the pocket with accuracy and efficiency, but still suffers from a dryness that reawakens his critics. He was a dossier about it all aspect of the money, the contract, and the fan base he clashed with on social media. Not to mention the still burning issue of how he and the Ravens got into an articulate negotiation with no veteran agent between the two parties. How much harm will each side do to the other before an agreement can be reached? And what if the talks find themselves in dubious territory of injury or a long-running disagreement over contract guarantees or structure?

How will each side handle this kind of added drama?

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the answer? not good. Or if you are a pessimist you read in the present situation: horribly.

That’s how it all feels right now, with Jackson staying home during a playoff game that could have propped up the team, and there’s no real answer as to who made that decision. Not to mention his decision to tweet about his health, which could be interpreted as a move to defend himself when the crows didn’t seem to know or didn’t know it was necessary.

When you calculate this trajectory, it is not difficult to understand where speculation goes next. None of it is really good. It’s the point where some well-connected people now openly see Jackson’s days in Baltimore numbered. That includes a very high-profile former head coach who is expected to be a head coach in the future – perhaps even with one of the teams that has the kind of owner who would trade for and pay Jackson the money he’s after.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the ex New Orleans Saints Head coach Sean Payton, who has great friendships within the Ravens that have been strengthened over the years as a member of the league’s competitiveness committee. Now a Fox Sports analyst, he shared an informed opinion that probably should be taken seriously.

“They’re in a playoff and I get the game if he doesn’t play, but that’s the whole tweet [from Jackson last week saying] “Let me fully explain my medical condition” – Listen, I hear grumbling from a bunch of people out there [there are] Teammates who feel his process has been slower than expected,” Payton said. “I just don’t like it. The team is more important now than you and we appreciate the information about your injury. You don’t play. I get it.”

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“I don’t see that player in Baltimore anymore [season]Peyton said emphatically. “I think he will end up with another club.”

A few months ago, this statement would have been unthinkable. For now, it seems possible.

It is not hard to find the simple truths in this situation. Jackson and the Ravens were a decade apart when this season began, thanks in large part to a totally guaranteed warped deal they signed. Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns. Well, since the start of the season, things have gotten worse between the two sides. The Crows would dance around any criticism of Jackson and avoid any talk of why the contract impasse persists. Meanwhile, Jackson has been arguing with fans on social media in a way that strongly suggests he’s upset about the no deal. He then eventually sat out the remainder of the season after suffering a sprained PCL in a December 4 game against Denver Broncosand watching the Ravens lose, from afar, the Bengals’ wild card game.

None of this sounds like a recipe for good compromise. Instead, it feels like two extremes are drifting further apart with each passing week. And when I looked up at the Crows on Sunday night, I saw that.

Jackson was nowhere to be found. The crows were moving with what they had. Now more than ever, it seems like this might be exactly how all of this is done.

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