Will His Big Pay Day Follow?
I feel like Brian Windhorst writing this but…two tweets, seven minutes apart. What is going on in Baltimore? Even the best oddsmakers at livescore couldn’t have predicted these tweets just 7 minutes apart.
Cardinals are giving Kyler Murray a five-year, $230.5 million deal that includes $160 million guaranteed, per source. It gives Murray the second highest paid QB average at $46.1 million per year. https://t.co/tTnUJXGSm3
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 21, 2022
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 21, 2022
I was actually able to acquire footage of the very end of Jackson’s meeting with top Ravens officials at The Castle on Thursday:
In all seriousness, there’s no denying the impact that Murray’s new mega deal will have on Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens. The 2019 MVP has arguably played his hand to perfection, letting other dominoes fall first, like Aaron Rodgers crossing the $50 million per year threshold and Deshaun Watson signing a fully-guaranteed deal. After building their entire offense around his skillset, Jackson has the Ravens in somewhat of a bind, since no other quarterback could run that offense nearly as effectively. Murray’s contract might be the last piece of the puzzle; as a less-accomplished quarterback, his deal should establish a clear floor for Jackson’s extension.
It’s certainly possible that a deal gets done before Week 1, but Jackson still seems comfortable betting on himself to earn an even bigger payday after another MVP-worthy season and/or deep playoff run.
To do that, he’s going to need improved play from the Ravens’ retooled offensive line, particularly their offensive tackles. Veteran David Sharpe is yet another addition who played well in a few relief appearances last season, giving Baltimore plenty of tackle depth.
Ravens hope they’ll have a healthy Ronnie Stanley at LT and they added Morgan Moses to play RT. They brought back vet Ja’Wuan James and drafted Daniel Faalele. Now, they’re adding Sharpe. Patrick Mekari and Tyre Phillips have also started games at OT. Tackle depth much improved https://t.co/zHCLEO004M
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) July 21, 2022
Getting the dangerous backfield duo of J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards back from injury will be a boost, as well.
But it’s possible neither is ready for a full workload by Week 1, so rookie Tyler Badie and recently-signed veteran Mike Davis will need to pick up the slack.
First, though, Davis has to learn how to read the room; as far as I’m concerned, ‘injured reserve’ or ‘IR’ shouldn’t be in the Ravens running backs’ vocabulary!
Movie theater steps almost put me on IR just now 😩
— IG MikeDavisRB (@MikeDavisRB) July 22, 2022
Not funny, Mike! (Also, was he seeing Jordan Peele’s Nope last night? Athletes, they’re just like me!)
But for the first time in the Lamar Jackson era, I’m actually more excited for the Ravens defense than I am for their offense.
A new approach for the #Ravens defense is forthcoming, and rookie Kyle Hamilton may have a big role in that (Should note new DC Mike MacDonald coached under old Baltimore DC Dean Pees…) pic.twitter.com/gQg1gBr8Hn
— Mike Giardi (@MikeGiardi) July 19, 2022
With an intriguing mix of youth and veteran talent and an infusion of new(ish) blood into the defensive coaching staff, Baltimore seems primed to retake their place among the league’s top defenses.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) July 21, 2022
It helps that Calais Campbell seems to have a little extra motivation after being downgraded in this year’s Madden ratings.
Madden thinks I fell off! Been over a 90 for 10 years straight. But I guess they think the run is over! 🤔 we will see 💪🏾💪🏾💪🏾 https://t.co/OcJ0DzbQe6
— Calais Campbell (@CalaisCampbell) July 21, 2022
Look, we all know that the annual release of Madden ratings is a farce – What even is ‘awareness,’ anyway? – meant to stir up controversy and draw outrage over the most over and underrated players. But the current generation of NFL players grew up playing Madden and imagining themselves in the game, so they take their ratings at least semi-seriously. At a minimum, it’s a Michael Jordan-esque way of inventing adversity or doubt to rally against.
Heck, I think Mark Andrews (93 overall, third among all TEs) and Justin Tucker (90 overall, first among all kickers) should be insulted too. Especially Tucker; come on, how is he not a 99 overall at this point? In case anyone needs reminding (and because it’s a great way to start your weekend)…
— Bobby Trosset (@bobbytrosset) February 11, 2022