Why Laremy Tunsil’s new deal could be an example for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens | You Pod to Win the Game

Yahoo Sports' Charles McDonald, Jori Epstein and Charles Robinson discuss Laremy Tunsil successfully brokering his contract extension with Houston, including the impact this could have on Lamar Jackson and the Ravens moving forward.

Video Transcript


CHARLES ROBINSON: I look at the Tunsil deal, and I still feel like that's part of how the Ravens and Lamar Jackson can exit out of what's going on right now. Tunsil did a three-year deal. He's going to get back to free agency, I think, at 32, 33.

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OK. But Charles McDonald-- before we started the show, we were talking a little bit about this. And you're going to start that negotiation probably at 31, 32. Right? Before you ever hit free agency.

So to me, I think this is-- I hope Lamar Jackson is watching this. And I would like to see Baltimore and Lamar look at this kind of a deal and go, look, the upside of this deal is it's short. And it didn't completely destroy anything in that franchise. And the long-term benefit for Laremy Tunsil is he's going to do another top-of-the-market deal in his early 30s. It's a lit runway, I think, for Lamar Jackson in some sense if he's willing to take a shorter-term deal and try to hammer out something that works for both sides with the Ravens.

CHARLES MCDONALD: Yeah. With the Lamar stuff, I just want a resolution at this point because it's getting weird. You know, we're getting closer and closer to the draft. And I feel like if you're the Ravens, you at least have to think about what could be after Lamar, if you don't have it settled by now.

But we've seen, like you said, Roquan Smith, Laremy Tunsil. They've gotten their big money deals without an agent. So if Lamar is willing to adjust some of maybe his demands for what he wants, I think like a three-year deal that gets him back out to another contract in like two seasons.



CHARLES MCDONALD: Because if he keeps playing at this level, it's not like the Ravens wouldn't want to extend him again--


CHARLES MCDONALD: --in two years. So it just seems like someone's going to have to cave on the Ravens side or Lamar's side. But at least we're seeing that top players can get this done without an agent or maybe a little fellow in the background that's helping them work out some kinks with the contracts. But it's definitely interesting to see this era of, I guess, player empowerment and what guys are willing to try and keep a little bit more than money moving forward.


JORI EPSTEIN: Yeah. But I think what I'm curious is I know that one of the things we talked about for this episode was winners and losers of free agency. And when I was going through who seemed to be winners and losers, it felt like Lamar was a loser, not necessarily that he will be in a few months but at least for this past week. And I'm curious if y'all agree, but to me it seems like he doesn't have that deal worked out.

At least to our knowledge, or at least to my knowledge, he doesn't have all of those suitors coming to give him the terms that he wanted to play on, it seems. And then it doesn't seem like he's got much amicability with the Ravens. So I mean, do y'all think that's fair to characterize at least from this past week Lamar as a loser in terms of winners and losers in free agency?

CHARLES ROBINSON: It means free agency isn't going anywhere. You know, I haven't gotten any sign. Anyone I've spoken to, there's not this idea that, oh, is Marcus heating up, or there's this unknown team right now that's sitting out there and going to ultimately award Lamar the contract that he feels like he's earned at this point, that long-term, fully guaranteed deal.

Yeah. I mean, I think it's unfortunate because the conversation around Lamar has been sliced up in a lot of different ways. And I don't think anyone's really wrong. There's a conversation about race because he's a Black quarterback, and he has done this contract negotiation in a way that the league is not really familiar with.


It is different than the Deshaun Watson situation. So it feels like-- and let's separate Deshaun Watson, the off-field stuff, with what he did on the field, which was hold out for a year. I mean, it kind of feels like it's heading down a similar on-field path in terms of heads butting with the franchise.

But there has been a conversation about race. There's been a conversation about how he plays the position, injury, a couple of years straight not playing full seasons. It's conversations about the position. It's conversations about whether or not you have an agent.

Fewer and fewer conversations about the dynamic MVP-caliber player that he was just a few years ago. So I think overall just the conversation around him in some ways has made him a loser in this process, not just whether or not he's getting the money that I think a lot of us assumed would have been locked up by now.