Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson showed up for training camp. So it doesn’t hold.
But here is the real question. Will Jackson hold up?
It has become a more common device in recent years. Players who are unhappy with their contract nevertheless show up, attend meetings, participate in the preparation for the season, but do not train.
Steelers linebacker TJ Watt did it last year, and it worked for everyone. He got a market deal and he tied the single-season sack record.
Jackson shouldn’t do anything until he gets his contract, now that he’s gone 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 would also 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 earns $46 million a year. Murray got $46.1 million. Jackson should try for $46.2 million.
The challenge becomes guarantees. Especially in light of the physical way Jackson plays the position. The Ravens will surely use Murray’s deal to bolster the argument against full contract security. With or without an agent, it could be very difficult to get the Ravens to give in on this point.
But Jackson should try nonetheless. The question is whether he would walk away from $46.2 million a year, with the same guarantee structure that Murray received.