Both sides want a deal to get done
Before looking at why Jackson is handling the negotiations in this manner, it is important to look at a timeline of events to establish the fact that both sides want a deal to get done at some point.
Back in March, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta was asked by reporters about potential contract negotiations with Jackson, and he made it very clear that he wants to get a deal done.
“I hope so at some point that we will [reach an extension],” DeCosta said. “We’ve discussed this at length and I said this before. We will work at Lamar’s urgency. He and I have had ongoing discussions. We’ve talked fairly recently as well. He knows how to find me, I know how to find him.”
Ok, so the Ravens want to get a deal done and it is clear the reason they have not done so is because of Jackson, so maybe he does not want to come back to the Ravens right? Wrong.
At every point, Jackson has indicated that he wants to come back to the Ravens and get a deal done as well.
He sent out this tweet at the end of March, which seems to pretty clearly indicate that he wants to be a Raven for a long time.
Just two weeks ago, when asked by reporters if a deal would get done before the season, he hoped things would be able to get worked out.
“Hopefully,” Jackson said. “I’m not going to say ‘yeah’ right now. Hopefully. But it’s God’s timing.”
So if both sides want to get something done, and both sides have indicated that they are talking, why haven’t we read updates on where negotiations stand and when a deal might get done? Well, the answer is once again that Jackson does not have an agent.
When reporters get scoops on deals, they generally come from agents. That is why ESPN’s Adam Schefter tags the agent almost every time a new free agent deal is done — it is where he got the report from, and it is where he will need to go in the future to get scoops, so he has to stay on their good side.
And beyond there not being an agent to give scoops from the player’s side, the Ravens have also remained unusually tight-lipped.
Part of what makes the Ravens a successful organization is a commitment to treating their players right, and unlike when they are negotiating with an agent, the team wants to respect the confidentiality of discussions with the player.
DeCosta said as much during his end-of-year press conference in February.
"“The first thing I would say is this is an unusual negotiation because I’ve been dealing with a player. I would never divulge a conversation with a player. So for me to talk about it in specifics would be prohibitive. What I can say is that Lamar and I have had probably five or six conversations at different points over the last year in regards to his contract. We picked up his option, as you know. I think at this point I would say we’re working at Lamar’s pace.”"
While we may not know when a deal will get done or what the specifics of the negotiations are looking like, we can say at the very least that both Lamar Jackson and the Ravens seem committed to being in each other’s lives for the foreseeable future.
So then the question becomes, what is going on?