Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has reported for training camp. So he’s not holding out.
But here’s the real question. Will Jackson hold in?
It’s become a more common device in recent years. Players who aren’t happy with their contracts nevertheless show up, attend meetings, participate in preparations for the season, but don’t practice.
Steelers linebacker TJ Watt did it last year, and it worked for everyone. He got a market-setting contract, and he tied the single-season sack record.
Jackson should not do anything until he gets his contract, now that he has pivoted from not wanting a new contract to trying to get one. If he had an agent, that’s what an agent would tell him to do.
An agent also would tell Jackson to insist on a fully-guaranteed deal, especially since Kyler Murray didn’t get one.
The numbers should be easy at this point. Deshaun Watson goes $46 million per year. Murray got $46.1 million. Jackson should try to get $46.2 million.
The challenge becomes the guarantees. Especially in light of the physical manner in which Jackson plays the position. The Ravens will surely use Murray’s deal to support the argument against fully guaranteeing the contract. With or without an agent, it could be very hard to get the Ravens to yield on that point.
But Jackson should nevertheless try. The question is whether he’d walk away from $46.2 million per year, with the same guarantee structure that Murray received.