Do Jackson, Ravens bury the hatchet with deal?
Michael Smith and Michael Holley react to Lamar Jackson signing a huge deal with to return to the Baltimore Ravens and can't agree on whether the ends justified the means.
MICHAEL SMITH: So the deal got done after we got done yesterday, and that's a big reason why I felt like nothing changed. Actually, they only added to it. I felt like the Ravens won night one, round one of the NFL draft before it even got started because, A, contrary to a lot of speculation, they didn't end up trading their franchise quarterback. B, or A2, they kept their quarterback happy for the next five years by making him the highest paid player in NFL history, Although, In all likelihood, temporarily.
And C, they went and got said quarterback yet another weapon in the passing game in the form of Boston College's Zay Flowers, who some considered the best receiver in this class, and add him to the recent signing of Odell Beckham, as well as if you want to throw Nelson Agholor in there, along with some of the holdovers that they have. And we'll see what else the Ravens have in store for the draft.
What I have in store for you, and I know there's an I told you so coming from me later, so I'm going to get mine out first. I seem to remember somebody saying, hey, man, we give a little too much praise to the Ravens. We give too much love to the Ravens. The Ravens--
Like, this is why I said, there were no bad guys in this negotiation, that it was business and never personal, that it was never too far gone, that it was always a deal to get done, thanks in part to Jalen Hurts getting his deal done. But like, all's well that ends well. The Ravens get the deal done.
For all the hue and crying, gnashing of teeth about, oh, the Ravens are doing Lamar Jackson dirty, or Lamar Jackson needs an agent, and he dropping the bag, and he fumbling the bag, and the Ravens are cheap, and yet they got the deal done. They got the deal done. He's got another receiver. Ravens doing what the Ravens tend to do.
And furthermore, before I pass it to you, Michael, I'll just go ahead and set the table like this. Who nailed it in the first round besides the Ravens? Just call me [INAUDIBLE] because I'm doing the bird today, Michael. The Ravens.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: OK.
MICHAEL SMITH: The Eagles-- the Eagles did what the Eagles always do. The Seahawks got the best cornerback and the best wide receiver with their two picks. The Cardinals, our favorite fixer-upper, OK, get my favorite player, former Ohio State journalist and offensive tackle Paris Johnson, Jr.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: That's right.
MICHAEL SMITH: And they get future picks from the Texans. And last but not least, Michael, another team that nailed it, the Atlanta Falcons. I've been trying to tell you to stop devaluing the running back position, my friend.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Yes, you have. Yeah.
MICHAEL SMITH: OK, I've been trying to educate you on the fact that you have to take the best player, especially-- as Arthur Smith said, Bijan Robinson is more than a running back. And now the Falcons offense is rather dirty. So shout outs all the bird teams. Shout out to [INAUDIBLE].
MICHAEL HOLLEY: I like it.
MICHAEL SMITH: All right, who nailed it for you? I know I said a lot there. You are allowed to report or just tell me who--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Let's go back.
MICHAEL SMITH: Yeah, go ahead. Go ahead.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Let's go back. Let's go back to this. Let's go back to this. You're like, oh, yeah, the Ravens do what the Ravens do. The Ravens are suspect, starting with the fact that my man, Eric DeCosta, said Lamar Jackson's is the best quarterback in the NFL. I don't believe you. I don't believe it. Now, if you had said, Eric--
MICHAEL SMITH: I don't believe you.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: You know, like the Ron Burgundy. You know what? I don't believe you.
MICHAEL SMITH: I thought you had Alonso. I don't believe you.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Or Alonso. Or Alonso. I don't believe you.
MICHAEL SMITH: Putting the backs. Bang. [INAUDIBLE].
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Yeah. Boom. Because you never know. Because you never know. No, if he said-- if Eric DeCosta had said, Lamar Jackson is the best quarterback for Baltimore, for the city, and for this franchise, for what we're trying to do, he fits everything on the field and off the field, what we're trying to represent, yeah, I agree with him. I agree with him, and I agree with that sentiment because Lamar Jackson does belong in Baltimore. I'm glad to see that it worked out, that he's getting not a fully-guaranteed contract, but a contract very similar, very similar to Jalen Hurts' deal, just slightly better.
Total value, 5 million, if you just go with the numbers. And then the guarantees are slightly better than Jalen Hurts' guarantees. But the Ravens still have some questions to answer. We'll see. You mention-- you did say this. You said this. I'm just quoting you.
You said, if you want to throw Nelson Agholor in there-- I knew you were funny. I didn't know you were that funny. OK? Nelson Agholor--
MICHAEL SMITH: I never said--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: You did. You just said that.
MICHAEL SMITH: He's not their-- I did. He's not their one. I'm saying they've overhauled the receiving room.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Come on. But if he's a part of the equation, you've got work to do.
MICHAEL SMITH: OK, fine, fine.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: And Odell Beckham, Jr., yes, great name, but Odell has not played in a whole year. The Ravens gave him more money than anybody else would have given him. That's a question.
MICHAEL SMITH: That's not even my point, is they're trying to take care of their quarterback. That's all I was saying. I'm not saying Odell is 2016 Odell.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Yeah, they're trying to take care of-- they're trying to take care of the quarterback, but there are easier ways to do it. The fact that Lamar Jackson has a deal doesn't invalidate all the things that people said about Lamar and the Ravens. The Ravens have some questions to answer still.
MICHAEL SMITH: Why not?
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Because the Ravens, first of all, we don't know if the receivers are going to work out. Yeah, they're trying, but we don't know if the receivers are going to work out. They've had some issues in the last few years with their personnel, with their training staff. These things are still on the table. And Lamar, still without an agent, still has left lots of money on the table that he'll never make up. I'm glad he got his deal now.
MICHAEL SMITH: No, that's fair.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: But He did leave money on the table.
MICHAEL SMITH: But if we're going to be fair, let's be fair. This was never a football conversation, whether or not they knew what they were doing from a football standpoint, it was why do they treat their players so badly. It was, they did the same thing with Joe Flacco. It was, why don't they just pay the man, pay the man, pay the man? When as I said, it took two.
There was no bad guy because he was entitled to want what he wanted, and they were entitled to say, Deshaun Watson was an outlier. And for all the panic about whether or not Lamar Jackson had a future in Baltimore, ultimately the deal got done because, as I said, there were no games being played any time soon.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Let's not turn this around.
MICHAEL SMITH: The deal got done.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Don't turn this around. Listen. Listen. Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. This is what happens.
MICHAEL SMITH: You're turning into a football thing. If you want to nit pick their roster, be my guest. But ultimately, they end up with a really good wide receiver prospect, and they end up with their quarterback. So what was all the fuss about?
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Hold on. Hold on. Hold on. I just want to point out for those listening.
MICHAEL SMITH: I like that professorial look, by the way. That's very "Good Will Hunting" of you. Go ahead.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I had some business to take care of earlier today. But anyway, for those listening to brother from another [BLEEP] point out, that this is not a-- media. It's the media. No, who made this an issue? It wasn't the media.
It was Lamar Jackson, who very astutely, the same time his head coach was having a press conference in Arizona--
MICHAEL SMITH: He did. He requested a trade.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: --with a Boston accent puts out a tweet, he has to be traded.
MICHAEL SMITH: No, but I'm talking about you. No, I'm talking about you. You were the one--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: It is a problem.
MICHAEL SMITH: --that said to-- no, no, no, this ain't about the media. This ain't about Lamar. This is about me and you. And you know how highly I regard that organization. And you--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Lamar Jackson had a problem with them.
MICHAEL SMITH: --and others came on this show every single day telling me how F'ed up the Ravens were for not giving Lamar Jackson what he wants.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: And guess who agreed with me?
MICHAEL SMITH: That's what you told me.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Guess who agreed with me?
MICHAEL SMITH: Who? Who?
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson who tweeted--
MICHAEL SMITH: Did he? Did he?
MICHAEL HOLLEY: No.
MICHAEL SMITH: Because clearly--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Yeah, he did.
MICHAEL SMITH: --Mr. Trade Me wasn't serious when he continued negotiating. And he got a deal done that wasn't fully guaranteed.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: He said, trade me. Something changed. The relationship changed. But at one point, Lamar Jackson did think that there was a villain. He thought the villain--
MICHAEL SMITH: But they didn't give him a fully-guaranteed deal.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: He thought the villain was the Ravens.
MICHAEL SMITH: All that changed was him. Lamar Jackson's agent told Lamar Jackson, hey, man, that guaranteed deal ain't happening, except being the highest paid player in NFL history. And the Ravens said, here you go.
It never got personal. It never got that contentious. He did what a player representing himself does--
MICHAEL HOLLEY: It never got personal.
MICHAEL SMITH: --which is, trade me. It never? It clearly wasn't personal when they were still communicating even after said trade requests.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: It got personal, and then there was a resolution. But at one point-- now, it's not personal today. Just because it's not personal today because they have a deal doesn't mean that there was a process.
MICHAEL SMITH: All I'm saying is you and I have seen this a million times, Michael.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Maybe they was some healing.
MICHAEL SMITH: You and I have seen this story a million times.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Oh, sure, and I agree.
MICHAEL SMITH: You and I have seen this story many times, where people say, I will never wear this uniform again, or trade me, or I don't want to be here, and a deal gets done. And that's all I was saying the whole time was just like, yo, there are no bad guys here. Let the situation play out. He was never going to play anywhere else. He was never going anywhere else.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: We have seen a situation--
MICHAEL SMITH: Because nobody else-- A, nobody else wanted to get him, or wanted to give up what it was going to take to get him financially or draft capital wise. B, the Ravens always wanted him back, contrary to popular opinion. But then you add on top of that, OK, you're right. You got me.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: Contrary to his opinion.
MICHAEL SMITH: Odell-- well, no, it's not that they didn't want him back. No, they didn't want him back on his terms.
MICHAEL HOLLEY: We're going to keep sitting on Lamar.
MICHAEL SMITH: OK, let's sit on Lamar. Lamar, he may have felt some kind of way because they wouldn't come where he wanted them to come. Ultimately, they met in the middle. But you're right, you got me on, OK, Odell Beckham and Nelson Agholor. I'm not saying that they're the second coming. I'm saying there are efforts on the part of the Ravens, both financially and personnel wise, to accommodate their franchise quarterback.
So again, showing how it's done. Deal gets done, get a good player in the first round. We'll see what else they do because that's what the Ravens do.