New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick admits that the pressure is on the Baltimore Ravens to back quarterback Lamar Jackson with a hefty contract.
Bill Belichick is often not a man of many words, unless he’s quizzed about the history of football.
To some extent, that is what he commented on when he was asked about Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s abilities in the pocket.
Ever since he entered the league, Jackson has faced ample criticism for the way he plays quarterback — even after he was unanimously voted NFL MVP in 2019. Jackson has the ability to run and pass the ball, although there have been critiques of his passing capabilities.
Jackson all but answered them in a 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins that saw Jackson complete 21 of 29 passes for 318 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, Jackson’s incredibly efficient day was overshadowed by Tua Tagovailoa’s monstrous 469-yard performance that resulted in six passing touchdowns.
But Belichick saw what Jackson can do. So when he was asked if Jackson had finally answered questions about his ability in the pocket, Belichick seemed to endorse the notion that Jackson deserves the historic contract he’s sought for the past few months.
“Without a doubt,” Belichick said as to whether or not Jackson’s play has answered any lingering questions about his pocket abilities. “It’s the type of the player, the MVP type of candidate. I think he’s more than answered them. But, we’ll see what his contract is, that will answer them.”
Bill Belichick weighs in on Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiations with Ravens
Belichick isn’t proposing anything unknown in the NFL world: money is the only talk that matters, which is why the contract negotiations between Jackson and the Ravens have spoken loudly about the differing expectations Jackson and his organization seem to have.
Jackson has championed for a contract that offers guaranteed money comparable to Deshaun Watson possesses, as Watson has has a fully-guaranteed contract of $230 million. The following is what the Ravens reportedly offered Jackson, which he turned down:
- 5 year contract, $250 million
- $133 million guaranteed at signing
- AAV of $50 million
If Jackson is considering other options, as some suggest, it could all be a negotiation tactic — one that Belichick just assisted him with.
One negative takeaway from Belichick’s compliment is that the Patriots coach is meticulous with his wording. When Belichick compliments a player on an opposing team, that’s usually the weapon he’s hoping to take away from his opponent.
Sunday will reveal whether or not Belichick will be able to successfully counter Jackson’s capabilities, but at the very least, Belichick is putting pressure on the Ravens to answer that question: how much does Lamar Jackson mean to them?