Quarterback Market: Misdirection is the perfect play when it comes to decisions about the NFL’s most valuable position

You can get yourself into trouble in this league taking people seriously. Especially at this time of year.

We’re in the midst of pre-draft season, every word is carefully chosen and analyzed at multiple levels, and secrecy, resourcefulness and smokescreens reign supreme. Especially when it comes to men who play the most important position in all professional sports. quarterback. You’ve probably heard of them, since they’re all mad in this league and we’ve seen more deals, (irrational?) deals and contract extensions with them in the past few weeks than ever before.

They’ve made this league go, and we’re on the cusp of another fertile time for the QBs on the NFL calendar, with the Draft up front and it’s very likely that four of them will be picked in the first round alone, not to mention anything from other deals involving well-established quarterback players who don’t. They still loom (Baker Mayfield and Jimmy Garoppolo, for starters).

You have to tread carefully when decision makers talk about quarterbacks these days. Not everything is as it seems, or certainly not everything that happens is revealed by those who talk about them. There are delicate situations and unique circumstances surrounding the many young passers-by in this league, and there is leverage that can be gained or lost depending on how teams manage to deal with some of these. Words matter, and they often resonate more loudly than they are actually expressed.

Nobody wants to walk their hand in a way that might give away too much money or spoil a potential deal and/or give others a read about the club’s actual intent regarding the draft. People in this league have been working long and hard to do just the opposite. Which brings me to three of the most interesting interactions between NFL policymakers and the media regarding their quarterbacks this past week.

And I’m here as a public service to decrypt and explain what’s really going on here. Consider me a translator of some sort. I will say what these men cannot say in public and shed some light on it. I will explain where, for the most part, they prefer to attribute the “less is better” philosophy, for obvious reasons. And feel free to play with you at home (or at work, or wherever you’re reading this):

Lions coach Dan Campbell, who holds the second overall pick, on the need for the modern NFL quarterback: “No, I don’t think you need to. I think these guys are obviously special. They can definitely give you a better shot. But no I don’t think you have to have one of those people to achieve continued success.”

what does it mean: Hey, I’m also the guy who told you we were going to eat your knees, and you didn’t take that literally, did you? We just came up with a brutal contract on a QB borderline a year ago to extract as much of the draft selection value as possible in return. Follow what we do, not what we say. I might be stuck with Jared Goff for another year, and even if we recruit a second kid, he’s probably not ready to play right away. So I have to click dance a little bit here (maybe a lot).

And since this draft doesn’t have the same QB appeal as some of the recent drafts, what do I gain by talking about Malik Willis, Kenny Beckett, or anyone else? Why do you throw any flowers that way? Chances are no one is even trading 2 to get it, but if we make it look like we’re not in the QB market, maybe someone is trading to get a solution or skipping the rush and we get more demo capital and still get our QB there? What is this, you say I’m a dreamer? Yes, well, I’m not the only one. But don’t be shocked if we get a QB somewhere in the first round.

Packers chief Mark Murphy on the future of Jordan Love’s pick at Green Bay in the first round: “We think he could be a good player, but we haven’t seen enough. So I think that prep would be good for him.”

what does it mean: It would be good for us if we could get anything in return for him in a deal that is very close to what we gave in to in order to go up and pull him out in the first place. Yes, with any luck, that would be a huge progressive reason for him…trying to win an initial job in Seattle or Carolina or Atlanta or somewhere. Do you think Panthers and Hawks definitely take QB in the top ten, by the way?

Well, anyway, I’m assuming you watched the regular season game he started, right? Do you think there is a way we can process this game movie? And if you keep talking enough about our rich history of developing quarterbacks and how we were able to go from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers, and how our backup is often better than your rookie, some GM might actually buy that talk and give us 2 for that kid? Because we all know he’s not going to be cool when he sits outside his starter deal supporting our curious starter. Dude, Rodgers gave us $102 million over two years; He may fantasize about himself kung fu walking the floor and solving problems, but he doesn’t shy away from that money. This takes us at least until 2024. What first round will you have for four years? So, yeah, about that game movie…

Ravens coach John Harbaugh talks about the team’s ability to strike a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson while participating in the fifth year option: “He’s a one-of-a-kind guy. People have been scratching their heads trying to figure out Lamar probably for a long time, you know, Since he was a kid. And he’s got his way of doing things. But that’s what you like about him, and that’s what I like about him. Bring him here and ask him. He might tell you.”

what does it mean: I want nothing more than to win the Super Bowl with Lamar. Heck, we changed our entire identity on the fly to try and put him in and we’re in the best position to do it ASAP. But this is higher than my salary. Deshaun Watson may be suspended for half the year and has just earned $230 million fully guaranteed over five years. Jimmy Haslam is putting $180 million in an escrow account just for the right to spend enough money on Watson to finally convince him to go to Cleveland.

Now Derek Carr earns more than $40 million a year. Kirk Cousins ​​gets another $70 million fully guaranteed. So what is Lamar’s value – $240 million fully guaranteed? 250 million dollars? Do you think I have that kind of money? This is all about Steve Bisciotti. I do a lot here, and everyone knows what I think of Lamar and how much I want him here for as long as possible, but I’m not the guy who would have to do that check. And if Lamar doesn’t want an agent, and his focus is on being the best Qatar player he can be and not on negotiating a new contract right now, and he’s willing to continue to gamble on himself, it’s not out of my place to try to convince him otherwise. My job is to win as many football matches as possible with him, and we’ve done a lot of that together. I have a draft to prepare for and a season to prepare for, and the only way you’re going to have it in this conference is by stellar play in QB. Lamar gives us that. But I don’t negotiate contracts. And the guys who seem to have their work cut out in this case.