Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens choked away what looked like a surefire victory against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Despite being up by 21 points at one stage in the game, Baltimore permitted Tua Tagovailoa to score six touchdowns and lead his team to an improbable 42-38 victory.
Jackson put forth a strong individual effort this weekend. He recorded his 11th 100-yard rushing game, pushing him ahead of Michael Vick for the most by a quarterback in NFL regular-season history. And in addition to that, he also became the first player in league history to throw a touchdown pass and rush of 75-plus yards.
But in the end, none of it mattered, because his Ravens lost in embarrassing fashion.
Jackson’s inability to come to terms with the organization on a new deal has been an ever-present story over the past year. The two sides appear no closer to working something out now than they have been at any point prior.
With each passing day, it is seeming increasingly likely that Baltimore will franchise tag him next year.
This week, a report emerged suggesting that Jackson will simply not play if he is franchise tagged next season. Moreover, he has apparently compiled a list of three teams he would be willing to go to if things don’t work out with the Ravens.
Breaking: #Ravens star QB Lamar Jackson has privately told those close to him that he will not play on the franchise tag if applied . Jackson does have a list of teams he would be interested in going to. The list includes the #Lions, #Dolphins and #Eagles.” Per @5ReasonsSports
— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) September 17, 2022
It’s easy to see why any of those three squads would want Jackson, particularly Detroit and Miami. Jared Goff and Tagovailoa are obviously not the most consistent of quarterbacks, even if they are both coming off solid weekends.
Why Jackson would have any interest whatsoever in the Lions is a bit less clear.
Over the summer the real reason why Jackson didn’t want to sign with Baltimore emerged. It’s hard to see circumstances changing at any point in the near future.
Jackson is a very gifted player. Everyone can see that. That said, he also comes with a lot of annoying issues and a tendency to vanish when his team needs him most. Saying you got poisoned is a good excuse for one playoff collapse, not multiple postseason failures.
And to his credit, Jackson has said this himself.
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops going forward.
Next week’s showdown against the New England Patriots is impossible to predict because it’s hard to know which version of Bill Belichick’s squad will show up.
The photo speaks for itself. https://t.co/htfBw7OEaA
— Game 7 (@game7__) September 19, 2022
But after that come the Buffalo Bills, and it’s difficult to see a scenario where Jackson and Co. beat them.
Baltimore has a pretty tough seven or so games ahead. If they go 2-5 or 1-6, the prospect of cutting ties with Jackson will suddenly make a lot more sense.
Watch this space. What happens from this point forward with Jackson and the Ravens could have massive ramifications for the NFL as a whole.
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