NFL Super Agent Believes He Could ‘Get a Deal’ for Lamar Jackson

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson

Getty NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus believes that he could get a deal done between the Ravens and QB Lamar Jackson.

The ongoing contract negotiations between the Baltimore Ravens and unanimous MVP-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson or rather lack thereof have dominated headlines and sports talk shows all offseason.

What was once thought to be a foregone conclusion that the two-time Pro Bowler would be the face of the franchise for the next decade has now cascaded into doubts about whether he’ll ever take another snap in a Ravens uniform.

Since Jackson is without legal representation through an NFLPA-certified agent, the two sides appear to be at a stalemate with no signs or reports or recent progress.

On an appearance on the Pat McAfee Show on April 5, 2023, renowned NFL agent Drew Rosenhuas shared his thoughts on the situation and expressed his confidence that he’d be able to “get a deal worked out” for Jackson if he was his representative.

“I wish I was the agent for Lamar Jackson because he is a great football player and I’m confident I could get a deal worked out for him,” Rosenhaus said.

As far as his thoughts on fully guaranteed contracts, he said that  “they’re amazing” and as an agent, he’d love to see every contract in the league include full guarantees on a consistent basis. Although, he doesn’t think the five-year fully guaranteed contract that Deshaun Watson received from the Cleveland Browns in 2022 needs to be the template for those of its ilk.

“What if you did four years fully guaranteed at signing and you had the final year guaranteed based on an injury guaranteed or one that becomes fully guaranteed based on performance,” Rosenhaus proposed.

He believes that “there should be a comprise” when it comes to negotiations and a lesson that he learned early on in his career is to “try to stay away from extremes”.

“Deshaun Watson has a very good contract but that doesn’t mean that in order to get a great deal, you have to the same deal,” Rosenhaus said. “Maybe you get more money overall than Deshaun Watson, maybe you get more money than Deshaun Watson in the first year, the second year, the third year, through the fourth year, and maybe the fifth year isn’t guaranteed but you offset that guaranteed by getting more money overall in the first four years.”

He supports Jackson’s right to represent himself but also believes that there are “ways to get deals done”.

“As a 35-year veteran in this business, I’m confident I could get with the Ravens and their general manager Eric DeCosta and work out a deal,” Rosenhaus said. “If not that, I’m confident that I could find another team to work out a suitable deal for a franchise player and try to set up a deal for two first-round picks.”

Jackson has countless supporters that believe in him and his ability to negotiate on his own behalf including head coach John Harbaugh who despite being ambushed with his viral trade request tweet at the annual league meetings, still said that the 26-year-old is “doing a nice job” in contract talks.

“Lamar is a great guy, and Lamar is doing a nice job with the negotiations and I think that needs to be said,” Harbaugh said. “People need to understand that he’s doing a good job.”

However, there are many more that believe he has and continues to hurt himself by not having certified representation such as Rosenhaus who know all the tricks of the trade and is lauded for consistently getting the best possible deals for his clients.

“I’m not shilling for him to hire somebody, I’m trying to make him aware of a lot of these problems he’s facing today is because he lacks representation not because somebody has a vendetta against him,” former NFL GM Michael Lombardi said on the GM Shuffle podcast.

Ravens Could Still Address QB in Later Rounds

While the team’s top decision-makers didn’t rule out the possibility of taking a quarterback in the first round, their most likely course of action will be to address the position later in the draft given that they still hold Jackson’s rights under the nonexclusive franchise tag.

Even though the top four prospects at quarterback are projected to come off the board before they’re slated to be on the clock, the Ravens believe there are more starting-caliber and high-level backup signal callers to be had outside or at the tail end of the first round.

“I would say there’s probably more than four guys that can be significant quarterbacks in this league in this Draft class,” DeCosta said. “We think you can get a quarterback in the first round, or the third round, or the fourth round who we’d have a chance to develop.”

He cited notable examples from the past in which they drafted quarterbacks in later rounds that they developed and wound up having success in NFL.

The Ravens drafted Tyrod Taylor in the sixth round of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Virginia Tech and while he didn’t play many meaningful snaps in Baltimore, he went on to start 53 games from 2015-2021 and is still a valued journeyman backup in the league.

Years before him the team selected Derek Anderson in the sixth round of the 2005 NFL Draft out of Oregon State and while he never appeared in a regular season game for them, he had a long NFL career as a backup and stop-gap starter. Both players had at least one winning season as a starter and they both made a Pro Bowl.

DeCosta also cited the most recent example of a lowly drafted quarterback that had an immediate success for another team. Brock Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and after injuries to veteran Jimmy Garopollo and 2021 third overall pick Trey Lance created a pathway to the starting lineup, he helped lead the San Fransisco 49ers to the NFC championship game as a rookie.

“It’s quite possible to get a good quarterback at any point in the Draft,” DeCosta said. “Obviously, the ‘G.O.A.T.,’ as my son would say, Tom Brady, was a sixth-round pick. So, they’re all over the place in the Draft. You have to have good scouts; you have to have conviction, and in some cases, you have to get lucky, too.”

Potential Late-Round QB Targets for Ravens

In order to project possible fits, an evaluation of what skillset is needed to excel in the team’s offense is needed first and foremost. Since the Ravens hired Todd Monken as their new offensive coordinator after Greg Roman stepped away, it’s likely safe to assume that they won’t be relying as much on the designed quarterback run game and condensed formations.

At his introductory press conference, Monken talked about how much the team will emphasize getting their best playmakers on offense in space including the quarterback. Having the closest thing to a carbon copy of Jackson in terms of athleticism they can find won’t be necessary or possible for that matter given how generational his rushing abilities are but above-average mobility will still be preferable if not required.

With all that in mind, here are three quarterback prospects that the Ravens could potentially target in the mid to late rounds where they hold No. 124 overall in the fourth, No. 157 overall in the fifth, and No. 199 overall in the sixth:

Stetson Bennett, Georgia

This one makes the most sense of any of the prospects outside of the projected first-rounder simply for the mere fact that he is the quarterback that Monken just got done winning back-to-back national championships with at the collegiate level. Bennett went from walk-on to Heisman Finalist in his last season as he led a high-powered Bulldogs offense that was as explosive and virtually unstoppable as any in the nation the past two years.

According to Sports Reference, He threw for 6,990 passing yards and 56 touchdowns to just 14 interceptions in the past two seasons combined and regularly unleashed his underrated athletic ability to rack up 464 rushing yards and 11 scores over the past two years as well.

He attended and showed out at the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine with the way he uncorked and perfectly placed several deep shots and ran a respectable 4.67 in the 40-yard dash.

His age at 25 years old and some minor off-the-field transgression are the only things likely preventing him from being at least a second or third-round pick but that might actually benefit the Ravens in the end if they can get in the fifth or sixth.

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA

The former Bruin is perhaps the next-best dual-threat quarterback in the entire class after Florida’s Anthony Richardson and arguably more dynamic than Kentucky’s Will Levis both of which are projected first-round selections. Thompson-Robinson diced up Pac-12 defenses with both his arm and legs during his collegiate career and set career highs across the board in his final season with 3,169 passing yards and 27 touchdowns to 10 interceptions and added another 645 yards and 12 touchdowns rushing per Sports Reference.

He is regarded as one the top sleeper picks in the draft regardless of position and would be an ideal backup for Lamar Jackson to potentially replace Tyler Huntley in a year since the former undrafted free agent turned Pro Bowl alternate will be in the final year of team control in 2023.

Holton Ahlers, Eastern Carolina

The former Pirate boosted his draft stock exponentially from what was likely going to be a late-round flyer or priority free-agent bid to a legit developmental draft pick after he shined bright in the first stage of the pre-draft process. He was named the MVP of both the Hula Bowl and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl with standout performances in consecutive weeks in the two all-star games.

During his last college season, he threw for 3,708 passing yards and 28 touchdowns to just five interceptions and rushed for 386 yards and 12 touchdowns in his final two seasons combined according to Sports Reference.

Malik Cunningham, Louisville

The former Cardinal eventually replaced Jackson at his alma mater and broke several of his records during his five-year career. He is a gifted athlete who is much more of a project than the other prospects listed above and will likely go undrafted unless a team takes a flyer on him in the seventh.

Nevertheless, his talent as a playmaker with the ball in his hands as a runner is apparent every time he takes off from the pocket on a scramble or on a designed run. Cunningham ran for a combined 1,591 yards and 32 touchdowns over his final two college seasons per Sports Reference.

If he goes undrafted, the Ravens will likely be the first team that comes calling and will probably be the most appealing to him given his playing style and the uncertainty surrounding Jackson and his future in Baltimore.