Kyler Murray, Lamar Jackson Contract Conundrums

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Imagine that you are Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta or Arizona Cardinals general manager Steve Keim and you need to make a decision about the future of Lamar Jackson or Kyler Murray.

You could immediately sign your young quarterback to the latest version of the Standard Rich and Famous contract: something similar in size and shape to the five-year, $230-million, fully guaranteed deal that Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns. Or, you could:

  • Wait for Jackson to play out the fifth-year option on his rookie contract in 2022 and Murray to do so in 2023;
  • Franchise tag them if you are happy with their performances;
  • Franchise tag them again the next year if still completely satisfied;
  • Franchise tag them for a third consecutive year if still uncertain about their futures for any reason; and then
  • Worry about what happens in 2026 or 2027 when the future arrives.

Multiple franchise tags would cost much more than the $230-million contract over time, because the tag will increase drastically for quarterbacks from its current $29.7-million value, in part because of Watson's $230-million contract. Also, percentage escalators increase the tag value if a team applies it for multiple years. But the franchise tag guarantees only extend for one year at a time as opposed to five full years. The Cardinals or Ravens could pull the ripcord at any time if Murray or Jackson get injured or decline if they just indefinitely tag them, something the Browns cannot do with Watson.

Fully guaranteed contracts are a sign of progress for players in the NFL. Walkthrough will stand and cheer for them as soon as someone a little more laudable than Watson earns one. But the Law of Unintended Consequences remains strictly enforced. The Watson contract is going to make the franchise tag much more appealing to general managers when deciding whether to offer extensions to young quarterbacks.

Jackson was the 2019 MVP. Murray looks like an All-Pro on his best days. Both are thrilling to watch and fun to root for. They're also both undersized dual-threat quarterbacks who are already showing signs of wear and tear and still have nagging holes in their games. If it was your money, would you really guarantee either of them $55 million in 2026 when a series of one-year contracts is an option?

OK, perhaps you would as a matter of principle: the NFL is grueling and players deserve guaranteed contracts. But really, we're talking about your boss' money, your reputation is on the line, and the dollars you give Murray or Jackson just get taken away from some other player. Are you in any hurry to draw up that contract? Or do you wait and see for as long as you can, until Murray or Jackson either demonstrate they can avoid injuries and minimize slumps or that they cannot?

Murray wants a Watson-sized deal ASAP. He is slated to make just over $5 million in roster bonus and base salary this year, so who can blame him? Erik Burkhardt, Murray's agent, pulled an offer off the table last week in an effort to light a little fire under Keim and the Cardinals. The Cardinals/Murray situation is already pretty messy, but messiness is sometimes just another negotiation tactic. Playing the grasping heavy in a contract drama is a service that agents like Burkhardt provide, often eagerly, so the player can just focus on the things he can control.

Jackson probably wants a big bag as well, though his financial expectations and plans are less clear. Jackson famously does not retain an agent, a decision that's applauded as bold and brilliant by many of my colleagues who: A) use tip calculators in restaurants; and/or B) retain agents. This column isn't about whether or not it's wise for a twentysomething-year-old athlete who did not major in economics or finance to hire someone to handle the complex and time-consuming details of negotiating nine-figure contracts, because, seriously, c'mon, get real. Teammate Marlon Humphrey said on the Ross Tucker podcast that Jackson is uniquely not "money-motivated," which is all the more reason to retain an agent.

Jackson should have started making demands the moment Josh Allen's extension was announced last August. Allen now has $100 million in full guarantees and $150 million in injury guarantees. Jackson will earn $23 million in 2022 and is not guaranteed a penny more.

Maybe Jackson's silent negotiating tactics earned him that $230-million Watson deal instead of the suddenly modest-looking Allen deal. Or maybe he just bought himself a ticket on the Franchise Tag Local, making stops in 2023, 2024, and 2025.

What's In It For The Teams?

In the past, long, lucrative quarterback contracts have been preferable to multiple franchise taggings for players because they provide financial stability and some guarantees against injuries. Such contracts have also benefited the teams, meanwhile, by allowing them to:

  • Use bonus money to create affordably low salary cap numbers at the start of the contract;
  • Potentially gain some affordable years due to salary inflation at the tail end of a contract;
  • Keep the face of the franchise happy.

The Ravens, for example, would love to convert Jackson's $22-million salary into a bonus and spread it out over a few years so they can spend some money elsewhere in 2022 and 2023. They would traditionally do so by adding non-guaranteed years to the tail end of a five- or six-year contract and smearing a giant prorated bonus across the length of the deal. In the later seasons of such a contract, all sorts of things could happen: Jackson could demand an extension if he's playing at a Pro Bowl level, the Ravens could use the deal like a home equity loan against the cap, or the team could potentially cut bait and trade or release Jackson, swallowing all of the guaranteed money but none of the non-guaranteed money. There was something in the structure of the contract for both sides.

The fully guaranteed Watson contract, by contrast, is completely player-friendly. The Browns were able to create some salary wiggle room for Watson in 2022 for #reasons, but there are no back-end options or other trapdoors the Browns can use to move on from Watson if things aren't working out in two or three years. If the Browns need to pull off a Carson Wentz/Jared Goff escape trade, they will need to find a partner willing to eat a $46-million base salary per year. Good luck with that! And releasing Watson (something the Browns may end up doing with Baker Mayfield, a subject of "what will his extension look like?" articles this time last year), would create an unprecedented financial catastrophe.

The benefits of "keeping the face of the franchise happy," meanwhile, are becoming increasingly tenuous. Aaron Rodgers doesn't have to be happy to win MVP awards. The Falcons will be paying for Matt Ryan's years of bliss with a four-win 2022 season. Money didn't make Wentz a better leader, and the Rams weren't missing Goff's contentment at the Super Bowl. Long-range stability and commitment at quarterback remains nice but no longer feels all that necessary.

There's just not much value in a Watson-like contract to make it appealing on the team's side, unless the team is certain it is locking down the young Tom Brady or is run by an impulsive truck-stop magnate. Other sports offer guaranteed contracts to superstars, but other sports don't have a franchise tag which can be used as golden handcuffs for three straight years, or eight straight years if applied to the back end of a first-round rookie contract.

Teams have daisy-chained multiple years of franchise tags with their quarterbacks in the past: Washington with Kirk Cousins in 2016 and 2017; the Cowboys with Dak Prescott in 2020 and as a negotiating tactic/threat before his 2021 extension. Cousins, in particular, was content to earn annual raises and bide his time. Tag-chaining was a suboptimal tactic for Washington, because it forced them to spend immediate guaranteed money for less-than stellar play instead of manipulating the structure of a long-term deal to their advantage. The Watson contract throws that calculus out of whack.

The Future of Quarterback Extensions

So let's say the Ravens just tag Jackson in 2023 and the Cardinals drag their heels with Murray. The quarterbacks can complain. They could threaten holdouts, but the current collective bargaining agreement contains harsh holdout penalties, so both would likely be present for every mandatory activity. (Watson, again, benefitted from his, er, unique circumstances when he was allowed to just vanish for a full year). Murray and Jackson will probably play for their annual contracts and learn to like it until their franchises decide to make the next move either way.

And what about Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert down the road? Maybe they'll be treated differently because they're not "scramblers," literally and euphemistically. Perhaps their upward trajectory will continue, making $230 million look like a safe investment. Or maybe they will endure ups and downs the way Jackson, Murray, and most other young quarterbacks have and find themselves in the same situation in a year or two.

The more that teams opt for tag-as-you-go tactics, the more appealing they will become. Washington and the Cowboys couldn't straight-facedly threaten to stop giving Cousins and Prescott tag raises each year because they lacked suitable replacements (Washington purposely damaged their own leverage by never even bringing in a rookie prospect, while the Cowboys tried their darndest to polish up Andy Dalton). But if the Ravens decide to move on from Jackson in two years, why, they could just sign Murray when the Cardinals are ready to part with him! Or trade for the 2024 equivalent of Matt Ryan (Derek Carr, perhaps). Quarterback liquidity is all the rage these days: one more reason not to guarantee anything five years down the road.

One thing feels certain: the days when the Eagles and Rams extended Wentz and Goff in their fourth seasons—despite clear warning signs about each player's long-range potential—so they could get ahead of the market are over. Teams are going to be certain beyond all doubt before they start doling out $200-million guaranteed extensions to young quarterbacks.

None of this is anything Walkthrough is wishing for, so don't shoot the messenger. There are an ever-increasing number of reasons for franchises to not fork $250 million over to young quarterbacks. The squeeze has come just as two young quarterbacks of breathtaking ability but dubious shelf life are due for extensions.

My guess is that the Ravens will offer Jackson something Josh Allen-like, with lots of lowball figures hidden within the option years and bonuses. Jackson will sign it, and the "agents don't matter" crowd will rewrite any lost guarantees, starting with the money Jackson could have earned in 2021, as a secret success. (Jackson has the COURAGE to gamble on himself!) Fully guaranteed contracts will remain rarities, just as the Patrick Mahomes contract was shrugged off by the marketplace as an outlier, though guarantees will substantially increase and teams will be quicker to apply the tag when in doubt.

Murray? He shouldn't hold his breath for an extension anytime soon. And he'd better have a great, healthy year in 2022. Otherwise, the market will really start to work against him.

Comments

50 comments, Last at 26 Apr 2022, 4:23am

1 Or maybe he just bought…

Or maybe he just bought himself a ticket on the Franchise Tag Local, making stops in 2023, 2024, and 2025.

I know journalists suffer from extreme cases of recency bias (seriously, read soccer opinion columns some time; mayflies have longer memories and better long-term perspective), but has everyone forgotten the cautionary tale of the Redskins?

No, not that one.

No, not that one, either.

Seriously, don't break federal law.

No, not that law. The other one.

No, the other other one.

I mean when they made Kirk Cousins the best-paid QB in the NFL three years-running because they kept betting against him, only to see him leave and wish he hadn't, because he's still their QB high-water mark since their last Super Bowl.

It's dangerous to bet against a guy whose floor is "competent", because it never feels right to cut them loose, because incompetent is so devastating. This is part of the reason there are now starting QBs with AARP memberships.

I have some hesitancy with Murray, just because he seems to be kind of Wentzian headcase who has a bad habit of collapsing in the second half of seasons. Jackson doesn't really suffer from that sort of reputational corrosion. If you give him something to work with, your floor is competent. Pay the man his money.

2 I say just pay 'em.

Although, it sounds like Lamar is negotiating himself and it's not the Ravens dragging their feet, which is weird. 

Just pay Murray though. You already let Carr, Rodgers and Watson get paid this year. Don't let Burrow, etc get paid first. He wants it, it lowers the cap this year, he's unique, etc. Get it done before you give yourself a bad reputation. The downsides seem to be escapeable.

23 The Ravens are in a tough…

The Ravens are in a tough spot because it's hard to negotiate with a player themselves, and it's ESPECIALLY hard when that player seemingly has no interest or urgency in getting a deal done. In the meantime QB contracts continue to climb higher and higher. 

3 And Kylers improved every year.

In everything but sack%+. Including PFF grade. OROTY then back to back pro bowler.

Not a great look you paid Kliff first either.

4 The Browns completely warped…

The Browns completely warped the league with that contract decision. Its bananas. And now raises another interesting wrinkle to the QB conundrum. 

This time a year ago, I was debating the merits of handing out a contract extension to Josh Allen vs waiting a year. The benefits were if Allen completely cratered, you have more information. The alleged downside was if Allen had a good year(which depending on your weighting of the regular season and postseason), then he would demand even more money. Well, pre-Browns, I am not sure how credible that risk was. But in the world we live in now? Yikes.

To me, Lamar is both a surer thing than Murray and has shown to have a higher ceiling thus far than Murray. Assuming both want FU, league resetting money and all of it guaranteed - you are in a hostage situation with Lamar and an epic quandry with Murray. Because Lamar is a cut above the Kirk Cousins tier of QBs, you  are super unlikely to find a better or even equal replacement. And letting him walk completely tanks your postseason hopes. You just have no choice there.

With Murray, you have more time and so I would be deferring the situation till next year. If he wants league resetting money either way, I am not sure what benefit extending him now does other than quiet the grumbling. Which the Aaron Rodgers situation showed, can always be mollified with money. 

It reminds me of the Jeff Van Gundy line. "When someone says 'Its not about the money', just remember this, IT IS ABOUT THE MONEY."

27 Lamar

As someone who has lived in Louisville and followed U of L football since before Teddy Bridgewater water was QB there, I have to say your analysis of Lamar is off. His best is definitely otherworldly, but he's almost like a Bizarro-Allen. With Allen, there was no question about having the build to be a starting QB, but whether he could develop his skill. With Lamar, there's no question about his skill, but whether he can develop his body to remain starter quality. He's taken more hits than most QBs have taken in their first couple of years, and he's not particularly big. If he wants the to remain a running threat, to keep his passing game more viable, well that's not going to reduce his physical punishment or decrease his odds of another injury. 

28 You'll have to highlight…

In reply to by coltsandrew

You'll have to highlight which specific part of my analysis is off.

You are highlighting the injury risks, which are significant. But that's why I said you are held hostage by Lamar. With someone like Mahomes or Allen, you are happy to give that contract. But Lamar comes with a much larger downside risk probability. 

But that doesn't alter the fact that Lamar has had an MVP season which Kyler has not come close to, but Lamar has also been successful for longer than Murray by virtue of being in the league longer. That makes him, in present day terms, more of a known quantity.

Tldr - both can be true. Lamar is great today and you have to pay him. Lamar may not be great tomorrow and the contract could be an albatross. 

5 If Lamar Jackson were in the…

If Lamar Jackson were in the NBA, I could understand his not needing an agent because the minute he won his MVP, he would be on track for a supermax and the contract is practically pre-written.

But his decision to forgeo an agent is unbelievably risky. 

6 I Don’t Think So

“This is part of the reason there are now starting QBs with AARP memberships.”

The starting QBs closest to those memberships finished 1-2 in DYAR and MVP voting.

12 Well, I am on team - MVP…

Well, I am on team - MVP should be more positionally agnostic, so I agree with you in that sense. However, because thats not the world we live, I am making the above statement. But yes, I agree - I would have loved to see Kupp win the award. 

To me, if Kupp was going to win; it basically implies the only positions that will win this award are running back and QBs. And even that comes with qualifiers. The running back wins ONLY if a) he has some insane close to record breaking season and b) no QB has some sterling record.

10 With the advent of better…

With the advent of better health, recovery, and training techniques, I would expect QB to trend older in the coming years, anyway. Most other positions have a speed component and/or a physical contact component that tends to make experienced players (OL, DL, CB) lose their competitive edge. Barring injury, QB is a position that you can excel at by compensating for your physical decline because you've literally seen it all before - you're closer to that magical "10,000 Hours", so your brain is accessing memories instead of doing analysis. As long as you don't lose the important tools for throwing the ball - which, say, Manning did because of his neck injury - you can still be successful.

13 I wonder if this is true or…

I wonder if this is true or we are just witnessing some outliers with Brady and Brees and Rodgers.

The 2004 Class all declined before reaching their 37th birthdays. Ditto for Matt Ryan. We'll have to see what happens with Stafford.

50 Old QBs

The only QB who's really shattered the QB age curve has been Brady, Brees had a good age 41 season, but so did Warren Moon, Favre had a good age 40 before falling off, Johnny U, Len Dawson, and Sonny Jurgensen all breached the age 40 barrier 50 years ago, along with Blanda who toyed with it on and off as a relief kicker.

 

As backups there's even more evidence with Hasselbeck, DeBerg, Brunell, Schaub, Testaverde, and others who stuck around past 40 so I think all we've seen is Brady who breaks convention, and the rest of the golden generation of QBs (Peyton, Brees, Eli, Rivers, and Roethlisberger) all age out about when we'd expect.

14 One downside of the trend…

One downside of the trend toward scrambling QB's.  That capability will go far quicker and they have to make the transition to being able to play without it.  I would suspect some will and some won't and it will be hard to tell which is which.  Wilson may be the leading case here. 

24 I can see the downside if…

I can see the downside if you're a team trying to figure out what to do with your late 20s/early 30s scrambling QB, but from a fan's perspective it kind of sucks when the same guy(s) are at the top for 20+ seasons.  Especially if their game is as frequently dull(imo) as Brady.  So I hope the trend toward playmaking QBs continues, even if they're not as good for as long

18 This

QBs are just generally protected by rules nowadays so I don't think people should be surprised if Russ lasts as long as a Brees.

29 I was talking about more how…

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

I was talking about more how they adapt to one facet of their game declining faster than the others. Top tier QB can pretty regularly play into their mid to late 30s, but given the age curves for RB and WR I really can't seem them running all that much at that age.  

33 Wasn't even in response to you

Just happened to be typing before you posted and went off to do something else before I could post.

And this boards general obtuseness to him being "barely better than '20 Bridgewater" or "essentially a mobile Kirk!" as seen elsewhere...including more of it here now. 

9 There's just not much value…

There's just not much value in a Watson-like contract to make it appealing on the team's side, unless the team is certain it is locking down the young Tom Brady or is run by an impulsive truck-stop magnate.

Looks like everyone forgot that the truck-stop grifter and the embattled quarterback have the same lawyer, who made their serious legal problems disappear.  Also, Haslam gets to tell off the QB who has more of an advertising presence than Watson.  Lots of weird stuff there.

15 I wonder if the Mac Jones…

I wonder if the Mac Jones pick is actually brilliant(or maybe just lucky) since he seems like a guy who can maybe hang around top 10-15 DYAR but not put up flashy numbers and not command a super-mega contract. 

16 Cousins, in particular, was…

Cousins, in particular, was content to earn annual raises and bide his time. Tag-chaining was a suboptimal tactic for Washington, because it forced them to spend immediate guaranteed money for less-than stellar play instead of manipulating the structure of a long-term deal to their advantage.

This isn't correct. Cousins played to the level of his tag in 2015 and 2016 after Washington twice bet he wasn't that good. In 2017, he was merely above-average. The conundrum for the Redskins became:

  1. You don't want to extend a long-term contract at about where he'd been, because 300 DYAR might be his new reality.
  2. Because he'd been 1200 DYAR the two years before that and because he'd been paid at tag rates, he wouldn't accept less.

While we like to make fun of Kirk Cousins, he's been steadily a 700-900 DYAR guy his entire career, absent the occasional +/-300 DYAR deviation. There's a lot of value in locking top-third of the league performance at an important position for basically forever. Since he left, Washington's pass offense has negative DYAR. Their best year (this past one) was worse than any year Cousins was the starter. That's the risk.

 

What's going to be interesting are the lesser Florida teams just exploding the WR market value. SF is already experiencing the effects of that. Because unlike QBs, WRs are capricious headcases who can't be trusted anywhere near money. But it's going to be fascinating watching them go to war for the same funds.

19 The problem( which seems to…

The problem( which seems to happen in all sports), is the top 20-30% of  guys command basically the same money.  To top portion of that range is sorta worth it, the bottom, not so much.  The problem is, if you have a guy in the bottom part, they are good so it's hard to replace them, but it's also hard to pay them like a top 5 guy like they want. 
 

I wonder if the browns end up extending Watson's contract to add void years and wiggle room. (not a cap guru, so not sure how that works). 

21 For whatever reasons, people…

For whatever reasons, people have a hard time with Kirk Cousins. Ok some of it is Vax related, fine. But beyond that, its like everyone thinks his good numbers are a mirage and his relatively high variability is proof that he's actually a bad player being entirely propped up by his receiving core.

This same principle applies to Matt Ryan vs Russell Wilson. Forgetting their current states, I bet most people think Wilson was the better QB hands down over Ryan at his peak and yet the DVOA numbers are heavily favoring Ryan. Yes, you can throw the context argument in there which makes it more complicated, but I don't think that's where the massive gap in reputation is coming from. Its even weirder considering Wilson has the most infamous INT in NFL history. 

Again, not shitting on Wilson, but this reputation thing takes on a life of its own sometimes.

36 My problem with Cousins is…

My problem with Cousins is that his cap space has been like a guy who can still be productive when things around him are breaking down, and there's little reason to think that this is true. That doesn't make him bad, just suboptimal from a value standpoint. Like the majority  of starting qbs.

22 How many QBs truly can…

How many QBs truly can maintain consistency and put up high efficiency year in and year out. The answer appears limited to 2 or 3 at any one time. Yes, sometimes theres a bit of overlap as happened with Rodgers with Brady and Manning and Brees. That's basically less than 10 percent of the QB starters in the league and yet that difference is huge and in obvious and not so obvious ways.

And yet, market compensation appears to not reflect this difference even though everyone is aware of it. I think the answer is easy to see. If you are a GM or a coach and your name is not Bill Belichick, you are constantly facing a two year ultimatum. Stink for two straight years and you will likely be fired. Given that constraint, you have no leverage and the QB has all of it.

26 I'm not sure even Belichick…

I'm not sure even Belichick has leverage for two straight stinky seasons (although Payton survived three consecutive 7-9 seasons -- being your franchise's only successful coach has value) -- Kraft is already whining about how the Pats have been underperforming.

40 Well one of the reasons it…

Well another reason it isn't an entirely efficient market is clearly the salary cap. There's also the 'how much money do you need?' effect. Brady obviously took below market deals for several seasons (although his personal situation is somewhat unique). And everybody, including probably him and his agent, knew that Mahomes was giving away loads of leverage unnecessarily by agreeing to (up to) 10 years. But he's still going to have earned upwards of $300m when all said and done, so as long as he's happy, who gives a f*ck? 

41 I think this is correct…

I think this is correct. Mahomes probably was ok with being the highest paid player. He didn't then need to optimize about just HOW much higher he should be given his talent relative to the league. I am sure a big part of his value system is winning more titles; though I wouldn't blame him if he said, "I want X per year given my value".

Still, by virtue of him doing that, he's doing the chiefs a favor and effectively screwing over everyone else. The degree of handicap is directly tied to the delta between Mahomes and the next QB; which widens as you go further down the list.

I do find it fun to speculate what Mahomes could have credibly asked for and gotten. I think even at 60 million per year, effectively a 50 percent increase over Dak Prescott, is still something the Chiefs would probably have to say yes to. At 80? I'd say still yes but now you will probably need to pray for draft miracles. At 100? Yeesh.

49 Well he did become the…

Well he did become the youngest owner in the MLB when he turned some of the contract into a 1% (it might be more now) owners stake in the Royals.

Your point still stands.

I'm just adding data that indicates that Mahomes really does seem to like the KC community. He gets involved with it. I realize he is higher profile than other players on the team and that I also don't follow local stuff as much as many other people who live here, but I see him doing things way more than other players. Again that may just be that he's getting more publicity that filters through my narrow band than other players because his profile is just so much higher. But the dude really does come across as loving KC and the deal he took and his actions seem to back that up.

30 Situation Swap

First off I don't see what you mean by calling Lamar undersized.

Secondly, I know it'll piss plenty of people off but why not swap them out?

The Cards don't like Murray's attitude or his lack of height. And they obviously would prefer to keep on a win now path.

The Ravens would prefer a guy who's under contract for the long haul for offensive continuity. They would also prefer a more consistent passer than what Jackson brings to the table.

Jackson would mesh well with Hopkins, Hertz and green. And Murray already has familiarity with Andrews and Hollywood Brown from Oklahoma.

There is a near zero chance of this ever happening. It sounds more like a fantasy trade than anything. But, it does make sense to both sides on many levels. I wouldn't mind seeing something like this potentially help both win-now franchises.

 

35 It’s weird that we just…

It’s weird that we just assume Watson is better than Jackson. Jackson’s best season is better than Watson’s best. Their career averages aren’t dissimilar. (Allen, too, for that matter)

Jackson also doesn’t have a criminal charge following him around.

38 I wouldn't say that. We have…

I wouldn't say that. We have large group of 23-25 year old QB now who it's hard to tell who will turn out elite and who will be very good. (Watson, Murray, Herbert, Jackson, Allen and Burrow). Good times I guess.  Frex Wentz is a guy who had a couple good years early on but could never put it together again so far. 

I wonder if teams start doing some sort of weird tricks like bonuses for ($ for X ) and ($ for !X) to make it so all the cap tricks still work, but it's guaranteed from the player perspective.  

48 Technically (I know, I know)…

Technically (I know, I know) Watson doesn't have a criminal charge following him around right now, either.

 

To me 67.8% vs. 64.1 and 8.3 vs. 7.5 YPA is outside the margin of "not dissimilar," and Lamar has been steadily trending in the wrong direction since the MVP season.  Watson has about half of the rushing volume of Lamar, which is already proving to be an unsustainable usage level for LJ.

34 They drafted him #1 overall.

In reply to by zanon49

"The Cards don't like Murray's...lack of height"

Don't understand that but ok lol 

Also they haven't requested trades (like Deebo, maybe the 49ers need to call TN about a Brown swap), the moneys just not right. They seem to like their respective places. 

37 Cap is going to explode with…

Cap is going to explode with the new tv deals, gambling, streaming PPV, end of pandemic paybacks. I haven't read any informed projections of what it might be, so it's very hard for the fan in the stands to rationally judge these new contracts.

I do recall fans getting angry about "over-paid" QB contracts in the mid-$20 range, but in retrospect those contracts turned out to be very affordable and team-friendly.

Quite possible that $40M/yr will be just the entry-fee for a starting QB very soon. Jerry Jones was crowing about Prescott's contract recently. 

Walkthrough is right that the franchise tag allows teams to pay slightly less than top market salaries for a year or two. But not "indefinitely", the third and last year forces a decision. 

 

47 Cap is going to explode with…

Cap is going to explode with the new tv deals, gambling, streaming PPV, end of pandemic paybacks.

Sigh, media reports.

I don't know why people think the new TV deals are going to make the cap explode. They're not adding money. The cap's been growing at an average ~6% annual increase for like 20+ years. The new TV deals are actually under that in terms of annualized growth (more like 4-5%), so on their own they won't make the cap explode at all. The media coverage on this is really bad - you have to take into account the length of the contract when figuring out what the increase is.

The gambling deals are pretty much peanuts. Sunday Ticket depends on the length of the deal. Sunday Ticket was $1.5B/yr for the last 7 years: if, say, the new deal is $2.5B/yr for 10 years, that's just 6% growth. And the pandemic paybacks ending only restores cap growth to its average rate, it doesn't balloon it. QB deals have ignored the pandemic drop in the cap almost entirely.

QB cap hits are growing much faster than the cap -  closer to 10% growth annually.

39 I don’t think Jackson’s…

I don’t think Jackson’s agent-less approach is really that crazy, if - and this is a fairly large if - he doesn’t actually intend to negotiate a contract. He has enough leverage, and enough other teams that would theoretically be interested in him as an FA, to say “4 years, 40 million per, fully guaranteed, take it or leave it.” 
 

Why pay an agent $4.8mm (3% of 160 million) when you can pay a law firm like $10k to make sure there’s no loopholes in the document you’re signing?

42 I think you are underrating…

I think you are underrating the job of an agent, which admittedly amounts to more than being a glorified proof reader and spouter of glib sports metaphors. 

Part of being an agent is knowing how to maximize value based on the client's preferences in an industry where pay is vague and there aren't clear market signals and where offers are made and rescinded in a blink of an eye. That amounts to relationships with front offices and experience in knowing how to leverage different offers against each other. It also plays into what Lamar's priorities are and if other teams can and would accept those parameters. Perhaps Lamar prefers security, in which case he's willing to trade top end earnings for more guarantees. Or perhaps he wants to maximize potential earnings and will sign a shorter contract with the ability to receive an extension as the cap rises.

I wrote this above but if he were in the NBA, this makes much more sense because the contract is practically prewritten for MVPs or all pro players. You get the max or the supermax and thats that. For the rest of the players, they need agents. 

45 If he intends to negotiate…

If he intends to negotiate with multiple teams, or “test the market”, or whatever else, he should absolutely get an agent. 

If he intends to make the Ravens a single, sincere “take it or leave it” offer, which is the scenario I’ve proposed, there is absolutely no universe where the services youve described are worth upwards of $4 million. 

46 We will see what happens,…

We will see what happens, but I can't think of a case of an elite QB reaching FA before age 30 without their being some other factor.  The teams will pay up bc they don't have a choice.