A recent video drew the ire of Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio, who urged Lamar Jackson to not risk his health playing football on concrete amid contract negotiations.
“If Lamar Jackson currently had a good agent, Lamar would be receiving a phone call with a very clear and direct message: Stop playing defensive back or receiver on an asphalt basketball court,” Florio wrote. “A video has emerged of Jackson doing both. And while he wasn’t injured while doing either, there’s simply no reason to take that risk while on the brink of signing a life-changing contract with the Ravens. A broken ankle, torn ACL, ruptured, Achilles’ tendon, or other similar injury would end those talks, immediately.”
“This isn’t hard, and it shouldn’t be controversial,” Florio continues. “No player closing in on $40 million or so per year should be taking these risks just for kicks. Setting aside the question of whether the Ravens would declare any mishap a non-football injury and not pay his salary for 2021, the bigger issue here comes from the fact that his contract still isn’t finalized. Get injured playing DB or WR on a basketball [court], and it won’t get done.”
Some of Jackson’s current and former Ravens teammates did not appreciate what Florio had to say, so they took to Twitter to defend Jackson and blast Florio.
Lamar Jackson is set to make just over $3 million this year and $23 million in 2022, if no long term deal is signed. Spotrac says his market value at four-years, $171.1 million, which would slide him ahead of Dak Prescott for the second-most annual money in the league, behind Patrick Mahomes.
The 24-year-old, who is fresh off his first playoff win, won league MVP in 2019 and finished last season with 2,757 yards passing with 26 touchdowns.
He is also expected to become the first quarterback to have more than 1,000 yards rushing for three straight seasons.