As he recently made clear, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson needs an agent now more than ever. Will he appoint an agent?
The prevailing thought in league circles is that it wouldn’t be.
For starters, although Jackson and his mother did speak to one or more agents from time to time, there was never a serious sense that Jackson planned to hire one of them. Some believe the goal is simply to choose their minds for ideas. More importantly, there is a belief that Jackson will not hire an agent at this point due to the possible perception that he will admit his mistake in not hiring him sooner.
And make no mistake about it – it was a mistake.
Jackson was eligible for a new contract in 2021. He instead earned $1.77 million that year. Last year, under the fifth-year option, he made $23 million. That’s a total of $24.77 million over the past two years.
In the same period, Bills quarterback Josh Allen (who was drafted that same year in the same round as Jackson) received $66.2 million, under the contract he signed in August 2021. That’s more than $41 million that will never return to Lamar.
Over the past two years, Jackson’s challenge to represent himself has come from negotiating directly with the Crows. Now, he can negotiate with any interested team as he tries to convince someone to either sign him to an offer sheet or approach the Crows about a potential deal. This is a more subtle and complex process.
At some point, Lamar Jackson has to make a deal with someone. He was unable to get along with the Ravens, a team that routinely dealt with many other players. It’s hard to think he’ll end up with another team, or with the Ravens by the July 17 deadline.
And what did he really gain from not hiring an agent? He did not have to pay a fee of one, two or three percent. Hooray. But isn’t it now clear that the 99, 98, or 97 percent of the pie that Jed Agent Lamar would have had is way better than the 100 percent of the pie he baked on his own?
Just look at Josh Allen. Even with the three percent cap, he’s received $64.214 million over the past two years. Jackson received 100 percent of the $24.77 million.
Yes, he needs to hire an agent. He won’t. And this is finally his work. Among the various inalienable rights as US citizens is the right to make bad business decisions. He did one by not hiring an agent in 2018, prior to the draft. He made another one in 2021, when he became eligible for a second deal. And he’s probably going to triple now, for fear of looking like he’s made mistakes in the past.
But he did. And it’s okay to admit that. Nor does it make us anti-Lamar believe him. Like I said before, anyone who really wants to see Lamar fail will simply say at this point, “Keep it up. You’re doing great.”