Joe Buck critical of Lamar Jackson negotiating without an agent: ‘I think it’s a mistake’

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Lamar Jackson has given the Ravens until Friday to meet his contract demands, otherwise, he plans to become a free agent after this season. The Ravens could then apply the franchise tag in lieu of an extension, kicking the can down the road another year. It’s an uncomfortable situation for all involved with Jackson’s price tag continuing to rise, the result of recent contracts signed by Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson.

Jackson elected not to hold out from training camp this summer (a tactic now seen as cost-prohibitive following the new CBA), though he’s made his displeasure known in other ways, frequently antagonizing the Ravens with passive-aggressive tweets, including “liking” a photoshopped image of himself in a Dolphins uniform. While staying with Baltimore remains the likeliest outcome for Jackson, Joe Buck wonders if he could have avoided all this drama by simply hiring an agent, echoing a sentiment shared by Mike Florio last week.

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“I think we’re reminded why God made agents,” said Buck, who will be on the call for ESPN Monday night when the Seahawks host the Broncos in Russell Wilson’s Denver debut. “I just think it’s a mistake.”

Jackson’s refusal to hire an agent, insisting on representing himself in contract talks, has, in Buck’s mind, created an unnecessary distraction, taking his focus away from what matters most—helping the Ravens win a Super Bowl.

“Yes, you’re an MVP in this league. You’re an incredible talent. But you’ve won one playoff game and it’s time to take that next step. We’re going to pay you handsomely, but it’s time for you to prove what you can do in the postseason now and get us what we ultimately all want, which is a championship,” Buck expressed to Mike Greenberg, opining Jackson is in danger of overplaying his hand. “That’s the big missing piece here and, if there was an agent, I think this might be done by now.”

Betting on himself worked for Dak Prescott, but Jackson’s uniquely physical style, routinely putting himself in harm’s way with daring runs and other heroics that rely on his speed and athleticism, makes him susceptible to injuries like the one that torpedoed his 2021 season. Still just 25, Jackson is due for a monster payday, the kind of generational wealth most of us can only dream of. That’s why it’s important for him to get every dollar he can, even if it means setting aside his ego and letting a paid professional handle his negotiations.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Joe Sargent, Getty Images