Ravens GM shines uncomfortable light on Lamar Jackson contract dispute

Eric DeCosta had some tough things to say.
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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson asking for a trade last offseason led to one of the bleakest months in franchise history before cooler heads prevailed and a deal was reached. Based on recent comments from Ravens executive Eric DeCosta, this front office is in no mood to relieve that traumatizing experience.

In an appearance on the "Next Up Podcast" with Adam Breneman, DeCosta relayed the experience of trying to get a deal done with Jackson, who famously negotiates with his mother instead of a traditional agent. Safe to say, DeCosta is not too thrilled about the whole process.

"Well, actually, it was a terrible experience," DeCosta said. “When you’re a parent, it’s very hard to tell your kids that they’re not very good at something or not as good as they think they are...With Lamar, it was very hard for both of us to disagree at times. With an agent, it’s easy for a general manager to say to an agent: ‘Your client’s not as good as he thinks he is, or I’m not giving you this. I know you want it, but I’m not giving you this, and here’s why.’"

DeCosta said the finalizing of Jackson's new contract "one of the happiest moments in my professional career.” Saying that Jackson was not as good as he believed is a stunning statement for a GM to make, especially when he has won an MVP and posted a 45-16 record in that span.

Baltimroe Ravens GM Eric DeCosta has brutal quote on Lamar Jackson negotiations

Jackson eventually earned a five-year, $260 million contract with $185 million in guaranteed money. Considering that Deshaun Watson got a fully guaranteed deal despite being both an inferior player and one of the league's most reviled players due to his off-field issues, Jackson was wise to stick his foot in the ground.

It's safe to say that Baltimore and Jackson are on the same page after last year. Jackson took them to the AFC Championship game after putting together a 14-3 record in the regular season and his second MVP award. Jackson was just one vote short of becoming the first player in NFL history to be named a unanimous MVP twice.

Negotiating with a star quarterback, especially one with as unique a skillset as Jackson has, is always going to be a challenge. Luckily for all involved, this issue seems to be in the past (despite some very frosty times), and the organization can pursue their ultimate goal of competing for a championship.

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