Bill Belichick doesn’t talk about contracts.
Never has, never seemingly will.
Not his own. Not his players’.
So many an ear perked up this week at Gillette Stadium when, during his Wednesday press conference, Belichick brought up the contract of Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson while responding to a question about whether the former MVP has answered critics’ questions about his ability to play from inside the pocket.
“Without a doubt,” Belichick said with a smirk. “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.”
After failing to come to terms with Baltimore on a contract extension this offseason – when the QB market continued to explode with big-money deals for Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson – Jackson is currently playing out the fifth-year option of his rookie deal.
When and how much he gets paid – he technically could hit free agency this coming offseason, though Baltimore could technically use its franchise tag on Jackson the next couple years – remains to be seen.
But the fact that Belichick brought up a contract, especially that of an opposing star quarterback the week his team must defend that player, is unprecedented.
One of those who took note of the comment in Baltimore, was 105.7 The Fan host Jason La Canfora.
“Talking about somebody else’s’ contract? Trust me, we played that clip on my show repeatedly,” La Canfora said on the latest edition of WEEI’s “6 Rings” podcast. (At the 9:00 mark of the clip above.)
The Audacy NFL insider also feels pretty confident that the comment got the attention of those in the Baltimore organization, in fact he thinks Belichick was targeting those very people with his remark.
“Of course. Everything he says and does is closely monitored here,” La Canfora said. “So, yeah, there’s a thing here. There’s respect but there is also an edge. And I took it as shot at [Ravens owner] Steve Bisciotti and their front office, like ‘You clowns, everybody else who can play that position gets paid after three years and you are going to have this kid on a franchise tag next year.’ You can only do that one more time and he might be gone. I looked at it as a kind of a mismanagement kind of thing, like wow this kid…boy he still doesn’t have a real contract yet. He’s playing out his fifth-year option! He’s Lamar freaking Jackson! What more is he supposed to do? ‘What are you clowns doing over there?’ That’s how I took it.”
Add this to the longstanding rivalry between the Ravens and Patriots that will continue Sunday afternoon at Gillette Stadium.