August 13, 2022

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Mike Preston: The ‘all in’ strategy is spreading throughout the NFL. Can the Ravens make it work? | COMMENTARY

The NFL is a copycat league, so the Los Angeles Rams are in vogue.

The Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, on Feb. 13 to win Tremendous Bowl 56, and so they did it by buying high-priced gamers like broad receiver Odell Beckham Jr., cornerback Jalen Ramsey, quarterback Matthew Stafford and out of doors linebacker Von Miller through the previous two years.

It’s known as the “all in” strategy. Mainly, win now and fear concerning the penalties later.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers did it two years in the past once they introduced in quarterback Tom Brady, tight finish Rob Gronkowski, receiver Antonio Brown and working again Leonard Fournette and received a title.

Then got here Tuesday, when the Inexperienced Bay Packers reportedly made Aaron Rodgers the NFL’s highest-paid quarterback and the Denver Broncos traded 5 draft picks, together with their first and second-round choices in 2022 and 2023, and three gamers for disgruntled Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Can we now say that “all in” is trending all through the NFL?

The motion is deeper than simply taking part in musical chairs with franchise quarterbacks. It actually brings up conversations about quarterback Lamar Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens, regardless that the staff doesn’t should be in any hurry to provide the fourth-year sign caller a brand new deal.

The Ravens have already picked up the fifth-year possibility on Jackson’s rookie contract, which pays him $23 million in 2022, and so they can place the franchise tag on him in 2023 for an estimated $40 million. The tag is calculated by taking the typical of the top-five salaries at a participant’s place, and that solely stands to extend when Rodgers’ deal — which may very well be price $50 million yearly — is accomplished.

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In fact, there are some who recommend that Rodgers’ contract will have an effect on Jackson’s negotiations as a result of each are franchise-caliber quarterbacks.

That’s humorous. Like, “come on, man” humorous. Aaron Rodgers versus Lamar Jackson.

Within the historical past of the NFL, there has by no means been a greater pure passer with a faster launch than Rodgers. Some quarterbacks might need been extra astute, and others have received extra titles, however Rodgers continues to be on the high of his recreation at age 38. In addition to successful Tremendous Bowl 45, Rodgers has been the league’s Most Helpful Participant 4 occasions and is coming off back-to-back MVP seasons.

Jackson has received one MVP award and one playoff recreation.

Granted, Jackson has been within the NFL for simply 4 seasons, however he’ll by no means have the ability to throw the ball like Rodgers. Proper now, Rodgers is the exception to any of the quarterback guidelines. Plus, Jackson is a runner first and a quarterback second. You ever surprise what his physique may really feel like at age 38?

The Seattle deal was made as a result of Seahawks administration merely bought bored with Wilson complaining each offseason. The 33-year-old veteran needed out, and the Seahawks made the very best of a foul state of affairs because the Broncos gave up two first-round picks, two second-round picks, a fifth-round choose, quarterback Drew Lock, tight finish Noah Fant and defensive lineman Shelby Harris in return for Wilson and a fourth-rounder.

With Wilson gone and extra draft picks coming in, Seattle can put some pleasure again right into a staff that went 7-10 final 12 months, its worst season ever beneath Wilson. The previous third-round choose missed three video games with a damaged finger, however the Seahawks solely went 6-8 within the video games he began.

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In the meantime, Denver went “all in” as a result of it takes too lengthy to construct groups today.

Since Corridor of Famer Peyton Manning retired after successful the Tremendous Bowl in 2015, the Broncos have gone via as many quarterbacks as former coach Brian Billick did when he was with the Ravens from 1999 to 2007. However the Broncos imagine they lastly have the participant who can put them over the proverbial hump in Wilson, who received the Tremendous Bowl in 2013, misplaced one other in 2014, has been to the Professional Bowl 9 occasions, has a profession document of 104-53-1 and can be throwing to gifted receivers Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy.

The addition of Wilson makes the Broncos a contender. With him now within the AFC, will the Buccaneers lure quarterback Tom Brady out of retirement? The Rams are the defending Tremendous Bowl champions, however they don’t scare anybody. The one severe menace to Brady and the Bucs within the NFC is Rodgers and the Packers.

Now, that brings us again to Jackson.

If the Ravens are good, they’ll let him play out his present deal and see the place that takes them. If he can lead the staff to a Tremendous Bowl or deep into the playoffs and keep wholesome, then it’s time to pay him market worth. If not, then it’s time to half methods. Regardless, the Ravens can nonetheless take sufficient measures to avoid the wage cap and signal a big-name free agent. Keep in mind, it’s only a matter of when a staff desires to pay the invoice.

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Jackson is rolling the cube, hoping he can take the Ravens to a title after which money in on a profitable contract. If I have been Jackson, and the Ravens agreed, I’d take a three-year deal proper now price roughly $40 million a season. While you run the ball as a lot as he does, it will increase the prospect of struggling a severe damage.

In his case, it’s higher to be paid now and never have to fret about getting paid later.

The “all in” mantra is working in loads of NFL cities, however not in Baltimore. Not but anyway.