Exposé: Lamar Jackson’s True Worth Devalued By Racist NFL

Lamar Jackson is the best-performing quarterback of all times

Photos: YouTube

This is not the sort of thing that is ambiguous. This is a Joe Friday, “Dragnet” kind of thing. Remove the speculation and dismiss the spin. Everyone! Enter the real world, believing what your eyes can see. If in 2018 you said that he was “more better” for wide receiver—or running back— detach from the conscious or unconscious bias and occupy your enlightened space in 2022. It will be alright.

After the 2021 season concluded with the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI, attention shifted to DeShaun Watson and all of the machinations which would lead to disciplinary action against another young Black quarterback on the cusp of his athletic prime as a professional football quarterback. Had it not been for the day-to-day reporting all about nothing related to the alleged sexual misconduct, Lamar Jackson’s name would have been at the top of the daily humdrum keeping the focus on the NFL during the 2022 off-season.

In August 2021, the Buffalo Bills signed quarterback Josh Allen to a six-year extension to pay $258 million—just $150 million is guaranteed. The chart below contrasts Josh Allen’s performance to that point in his NFL career with Lamar Jackson’s performance through the 2020 season.

Now compare Josh Allen’s compensation in comparison with other 2018 quarterback first round draft choices. Note that Lamar Jackson is at the bottom of the heap.

The Baltimore Ravens should conduct a poll asking fans to indicate if they think Lamar Jackson has been underpaid. Here is a prediction about the results of such a poll.

Back In 2018, NFL general managers, coaches, scouts, and owners all agreed that collegiately, Josh Allen played the quarterback position better than Lamar Jackson. Oh, yeah—they made it up and it stuck. Indeed, it was more than simply that Josh Allen was more competent. Those coaches, general managers, and owners all agreed that Lamar Jackson was inadequate—more likely, less than capable—to play the quarterback position in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills owner drank that Kool-Aid, too, and drafted Josh Allen from Wyoming instead of a Heisman Trophy- winning quarterback from Louisville. Only makes sense if you allow for racism. There is this quote, “Only the white man can allow racism to disarm his ability for rational thinking.”

In the first weekend of September 2016 I drove from Gainesville, Florida to Auburn, Alabama to check out DeShaun Watson as the Clemson Tigers played the Auburn Tigers in the first game of the season. I intended to check out Lamar Jackson playing Charlotte in Louisville on September 1st. I balked because Charlotte wasn’t strong enough to defend Lamar Jackson at all and I wanted to see Jackson against strong competition. Frankly, I missed seeing Lamar Jackson play ball in college—except on TV. As for Watson, he played lackluster, in my eyes, at Auburn. I saw none of the dynamism I had watched on TV the previous season. I remember thinking that he must be hurt. I know I didn’t leave Auburn thinking I would draft him if I had a first-round pick. I am certain, looking back, Watson had an injury that Auburn did not know about.

As for Lamar Jackson, I already knew.

Yet, I didn’t know. I never knew that my own university, the University of Florida, low key, only wanted to make Lamar Jackson a wider receiver or a DB. At that time, I did know that the University of Florida wanted Derrick Henry from Yulee, Florida. I saw Derrick Henry run over my high school, Gainesville High School on a night that I saw Will Muschamp at that high school game. I didn’t know Muschamp personally, but I saw him and I was about to go over and insist that we do everything to get this Derrick Henry boy. I didn’t go over because Muschamp had his two sons with him. I didn’t even know the Derrick Henry’s name, had never heard of the boy. I was talking to some old friends when I looked up and saw Henry breaking way for an 80-yard run. A few minutes later he ran a second long touchdown run over the same left side. I knew in an instant that this was the very best running back I had ever seen. No question. I later found out Muschamp was there scouting/recruiting Derrick Henry—only as a defensive end.

It’s a true story. In case you don’t know: Highly paid football coaches are really not that smart— sometimes.

I first noted Jackson in Louisville as a freshman and even though he was not starting at that time, I could see—even on TV–that he was a rare quarterback who would be indefensible in the NFL. On the first Saturday in October 2016, Louisville met Clemson in Clemson and lost the game 36- 42. If you check the box score from that game this is what you will find.

That Clemson team beat Alabama for the national championship. The Clemson defense had no answer for Lamar Jackson and Jackson was barely 20 years old in 2016. Only in an irrational world could Lamar Jackson sink to the 32d pick in the 2018 NFL draft.

When DeShaun Watson was taken in the first round—pick number eleven in the 2017 NFL draft— I was very certain that Lamar Jackson would be an early first round draft choice in the 2018 NFL draft. Rather suddenly, after the end of the 2017 season I began to hear very disturbing speculation about Lamar Jackson’s unsuitability to play the quarterback position in the NFL. Pundits and commentators joined in the not very silent conspiracy, suggesting that Lamar Jackson would do himself a favor and embarrassment if he opted to play wide receiver in the NFL. Of course, as a wide receiver candidate Jackson would not be considered in the early rounds of the NFL draft and might be allowed to join a team as an undrafted free agent.

I never saw any evidence of Josh Allen’s capability to play quarterback at the NFL level, but the white people associated with the NFL were generally in agreement that he was a great candidate for NFL success. It was quite puzzling to me, being completely in the dark about Josh Allen’s ability and skill as a quarterback. These NFL experts—including the draft gurus—seemed to have purposely ignored a relatively low pass completion percentage for Allen at Wyoming. This was completely baffling in that for Lamar Jackson the gurus pegged him as an inaccurate passer at Louisville at 57%. For the experts, Allen’s 56.2% against relatively low-grade competition somehow signaled that he would be just fine as an accurate NFL passer. Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson was incorrigible as a passer and while he was at or above 60% for the entire 2017 season except for the bowl game, he was disqualified as “inaccurate.”

In Josh Allen’s first NFL season, he managed to complete only 52.8% of his 320 pass attempts. In his second season Allen completion percentage elevated to 58.8%. Meanwhile Lamar Jackson improved on his college mark of 57% in his first season, completing 58.2%, increasing to 66.1% in his professional sophomore season.

Internet reports characterized Lamar Jackson’s 2021 season as “a struggle.” The pundits and commentators were unanimous in convincing the football public that Jackson turned in a subpar performance, particularly when contrasted with his 2019 MVP season. It didn’t seem to matter that Jackson played the quarterback position better than ever in 2021 while leading his team to four comeback wins in the fourth quarter before sustaining an injury early in his twelfth game. As often is the case, the commentators manipulated statistics to reflect average or mediocre performance. They were intent to overlook how three of his 13 interceptions happened in a less than three-minute span in a four-interception game which he and the team managed to win anyway. Another pass directly to the chest of a rookie receiver bounced off his hands as the receiver nonchalantly continued running while a Los Angeles Chargers defender dove to the ground to snare the ricochet pass inches from the ground. They did not bother to explain that his deep threat wide receiver dropped three touchdown passes in one game, and another TD pass to his All-Pro tight end was called back because of a penalty called away from the action. The called penalty was not an actual rule infraction. These writers portrayed Lamar Jackson as having “regressed” without using the word. And without believing what their eyes could see.

Even as these articles were being pumped out it was very clear that these pundits and commentators were aiding and abetting the well-conceived playbook which has contributed sufficiently to the early attrition of record-setting Black quarterbacks. In the case of Lamar Jackson, his complete elimination from the NFL is likely unlikely but, if not early attrition, then mitigation of his future salary would benefit the owner of the Baltimore Ravens. Steve Bisciotti has already treated Lamar Jackson as a second-class citizen.

Leading to the start of training camp for the 2022 season, any honest appraisal of Lamar Jackson’s record of performance will necessarily lead to Lamar Jackson being paid as the highest paid player in the NFL. The evidence is so overwhelming that had it been proven that the Baltimore Ravens were financially unable to pay Jackson more than Aaron Rodgers, the remaining 31 teams would take up a collection plate to raise however many millions it would take to put Jackson far above the $51 million Rodgers takes every year from the Green Bay Packers.

The case of Lamar Jackson was given to Black men by white men for the lessons it brings about exploitation. Of course, the NFL is already and from the beginning, the most public of all private, corporate entities inside the United States. Lamar Jackson has to be the most gifted, talented, and smartest person to play the quarterback position. Add to that, Jackson is the hardest-working individual to ever play NFL quarterback and instantly we have what should have been the most marketable person to be the face of the NFL for the next ten or fifteen years. The NFL had one main disqualifier to bar Lamar Jackson from taking over that elevated position as Tom Brady leaves the field of play. Lamar Jackson—he Black. Unmistakably, Black and not identifying in any way whatsoever with white men. MAGA white men, incapable or unwilling to see. White men who represent the NFL’s most favorite demographic—cannot like Lamar Jackson or admire him any more than a white cop observing a Black man in a red Corvette with tinted windows. They do not like Lamar Jackson, and they cannot stand it that their ten-year-old son wants to emulate Lamar Jackson.

It’s not just the owners who do not want to pay him as the highest paid quarterback in the League. The agents really don’t like it that Lamar Jackson is showing all these young brothers how stupid they are for handing off 3% or whatever amount it is to a young Jewish fella who can’t even buckle up a chin strap. Ezekiel could tell you. The Jewish agent—white—is connected to the owner—ten of them are Jewish, and white, themselves—are connected to the journalist who may have gotten journalist license from Northwestern and as a reporter for ESPN he is connected to the head coach, the redneck from—well, one of them southern states. Of course, the redneck from Mississippi or Texas is white.

There are many reports found on the Internet where the writer uses football experts to set up the premise repeated in scores, maybe hundreds of pieces with an overall theme declaring, Lamar Jackson is not good enough to be paid like the most elite quarterbacks in this National Football League.

The entire thrust of the articles written about Lamar Jackson in the summer of ‘22 was devaluing Jackson. In that way, these reporters for ESPN, Sports Illustrated, NFL.com, and all the rest were discharging their responsibilities as surrogates for the establishment, you know what I mean? Yes, the owners, most especially Baltimore’s Bisciotti. And of course, they have a nonfiduciary responsibility to average white fan who feels kinship with Donald Trump and the mediocre select group known as MAGA. You must see the contract talks between the owner and Jackson as a real signal that the Ravens’ owner as very much intentional when it comes to exploiting Jackson.

There are few euphemistic ways of saying this, but we will put it as succinctly as it can be put— authentically. If Lamar Jackson was a white quarterback who had been named an MVP at 22 years old and the youngest MVP ever named to that distinction and he had become the first two- time one thousand yard runner as a quarterback in the National Football League; and except for Dan Marino, if he had exceeded all other quarterbacks in the history of the NFL in combined running and throwing touchdowns in his first 49 games as a starting quarterback; Lamar Jackson would have been chillin’ at South Beach on his $51+ million dollar a year salary long before reporting to training camp, 2022.

As it were, we are into September 2022 without an extension or new contract for the most underpaid player in the history of the NFL.

We are left with these daily reports of speculation about this contract and the filler is the devaluation of Lamar Jackson. No, not like when he was being introduced to this NFL-version of American racism. In that iteration Bill Pollan was the primary spokesman—recommending that Jackson move to wide receiver as if changing from a football position of starting quarterback for which he had been training since high school and as a minor league professional at Louisville to running routes and catching the football instead of throwing the damn ball made any sense at all. Like telling a Harvard Med graduate to switch and become a CNA. Or recommending the Chief Justice should switch out to paralegal or maybe a clerk for the district court judge.

Further in this text, we will highlight this one article as indicative of almost imperceptible—to the untrained eye—micro-aggressions practiced today. Unfortunately, not only are brothers in the game not too hip to the game, but so are major numbers of all the brothers who never played ball but indulge themselves in uninformed soliloquy reminiscent of Stephen A. Smith in barbershops or on blogs all over the Internet.

It’s no different than what you see in the political game. The masters of the mindset are controlling the target audience and part of the methodology requires activation of a kind of echo chamber. Inside the loop, the lie must take root and be repeated, almost ad infinitum. The lie must drown out any contrary spirit of disbelief. The basic lie concerning the topic at hand is this: Black athletes playing quarterback are inferior to white quarterbacks playing the game the right way. You should have peeped it long ago. When you first heard it before it became the drumbeat. Did you hear it inside your head white when they said, “the right way?” Right?

Early on—even before McNabb, Culpepper, and Smith in 1998—the first attack against the Black quarterback was the ole “not accurate.” I mean, they couldn’t just outright say, “He’s too dumb to play quarterback.”

In the public relations back and forth, the harmful racist tropes are not only intentional but strategic. Why else would FOXNews publish the following anonymous fairy tale so easily debunked by a look at the facts—at the numbers portraying the performance of an NFL quarterback when the raw performance numbers are so readily available online? These detractors are certain that people will accept the lies and the exaggerated lies and not look up the widely published numbers at espn.com, nfl.com or profootballreference.com (my Sources).

Here is an excerpt from a July 25, 2022 FOXNews presentation on the Internet.

Lamar Jackson won an MVP and won 37 games as the team’s starting quarterback since he took the reins in 2018 and is next in line to receive a lucrative contract extension. However, he’s still receiving criticism from figures in the NFL. One anonymous defensive coordinator wasn’t completely sold on him or his abilities as a quarterback and suggested he would never be considered as a Tier 1 type of quarterback.

“If he has to pass to win the game, they ain’t winning the game,” the defensive coordinator told The Athletic in a story published Monday. “He’s so unique as an athlete and he’s really a good football player, but I don’t (care) if he wins the league MVP 12 times, I don’t think he’ll ever be a 1 as a quarterback.

“He’ll be a 1 as a football player, but not as a quarterback. So many games come down to two- minute, and that is why they have a hard time advancing even when they are good on defense. Playoffs are tight. You have to be able to throw the ball, and he is just so inconsistent throwing the ball. It is hit or miss.”

We lifted this excerpt from an article found on the Internet and we cannot imagine a clearer piece of written evidence of the racism used to limit, restrict, and even prohibit Black men from full participation in America’s enterprise to achieve significant wealth. This is an example of the more sophisticated forms of propaganda and lies—21st century microaggressions designed to induce low-level anxiety replacing the lynchings of the early 20th century. Similarly, these low-level microaggressions are sufficiently camouflaged to operate against Black men, phantom-style. They (we) don’t even know what hit them.

It is worth pulling apart each sentence—each phrase in this commentary—supposedly from two NFL coaches—defensive coordinators no less.

First, the writer mentions in his preface to the coordinators’ comments that Jackson is “next in line to receive a lucrative contract.” In other words, “I am here to do and say all I can to make sure that Lamar Jackson does not get a contract equal in value to a real, American quarterback.” He is putting the reader or the listener on notice that what he is about to say should be understood to denigrate Lamar Jackson as an NFL starting quarterback because, well, he’s Black and not a real quarterback.

At bottom, the words are intended to confirm that Jackson is not a good enough passer. To be sure, the writer’s task is relatively easy to achieve because this has been a consistent theme concerning Jackson since before the 2018 NFL draft where in the lead-up the NFL and the media joined forces to devalue Lamar Jackson, Heisman Trophy and all. In this most recent iteration of unmerited criticism, the haters refined their attack, stipulating that Jackson, if put in a position where running is not an option because of being behind by multiple scores and time running out, would not be able to help his team make a comeback and win via the pass.

It is such a ridiculously outrageous proposition to make given Jackson’s entire professional performance but especially his 2021 performance. During Jackson whole NFL career—they should play this sound every time he steps on the field:

“All I do is win, win, win, win, win, win.”

“And they stay there!”

We could watch the tape to see how the Baltimore Ravens completed four comeback wins trailing by multiple scores in each—even losing by up to 16 points in the fourth quarter. That is fun because you can see a rather spectacular display of passing prowess. Oh, it’s # 8 for the Ravens. That might be the process for the two defensive coordinators, especially the one claiming Jackson could never be a “Tier 1” quarterback, or that “if Jackson was forced to pass when trailing in the score, the Ravens would never win.” Or we could simply consult a data source such as profootballreference.com and ask, “How many attempts, completions, yards gained passing and running and how many touchdowns and interceptions did Lamar Jackson make when trailing by up to 16 points?”

Jackson’s 2021 seasons included six fourth quarter or overtime come-from-behind attempts. He was successful in four of the six. Unfortunately, Jackson lost the first game of the 2021 season for his team by losing a fumble attempting to pass in his first and only possession of overtime. The Las Vegas Raiders scored a touchdown and won the game three plays later. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers Jackson orchestrated a potential game-winning drive but lost the game when Mark Andrews failed to grab a ball with one hand. The Ravens missed that two-point conversion and lost the game 19-20.

More than merely interesting, the writer and the defensive coordinator cited in the article deliberately chose to feed the people a piece of propaganda already proven by Jackson to be patently false. In 2021, circumstances surrounding the Baltimore Ravens demanded that Lamar Jackson throw the football significantly more often than in his previous three seasons. It was not only the season-ending loss of the top two running backs that slowed the Ravens’ running attack, but the unavailability of top-shelf running talent forced Jackson to run more often as well with greater responsibility to gain first downs in the short down and distance situations. The opposing defenses changed defensive strategies against the Ravens and Jackson was forced to throw the ball against extreme blitz pressure, especially during the early portions of games. Injuries to the front five presented additional difficulty and lack of familiarity—offensive linemen unfamiliarity with each other—exacerbated the task of producing more than before in the passing game in the absence of Baltimore’s primary running backs. It was a lot. In those six games, the Ravens found themselves behind in the score ranging from being tied to down -16 in the fourth quarter.

Table 2’s results reflect a 79% passing completion percentage; 10.1 yards passing per attempt; and 6.4 yards per rushing attempt.

Very few MVP, All-Pro and Pro-Bowl level quarterbacks on what are generally considered good teams, with good defenses find themselves trailing average or better teams by –16, -14, -11, -7. -1, and tied late in the fourth quarter. For Jackson it was six of the eleven games he played into the 4th quarter during 2021. Jackson helped his team win four of the six games. He lost one game when he lost a fumble in his first and only possession of overtime—virtually in the red zone. And, in his game against the Pittsburgh Steelers he brought his team back from 13-20 to 19-20 when his coach opted to try for the 2-pt conversion with 12 seconds remaining.

The second unidentified defensive coordinator emphasized Jackson’s performance in the playoffs as his basis of assurance that Lamar cannot pass muster for the label, Top Tier 1. (What is that?!) The claim is so bogus as to be a criminal offense. Of course, we must acknowledge Lamar Jackson very hurtful mistake in the red zone and the pick six against the Buffalo Bills in the 2020 playoffs. That pick six was devastating. However, there were 58 seconds remaining in the third quarter and plenty of time enough for Jackson to lead a comeback. It is not beyond the scope of possibility that Lamar Jackson could lead his team to a victory in that one. However, when we consider his three other playoff games we are confronted with a very serious deficit in the performance of the Ravens’ receivers—the pass catchers.

In the 2020 playoff game against the Tennessee Titans, Lamar Jackson ran the ball 48 yards to the end zone and that running touchdown was the difference in the ball game (20-13) Ravens won. Lamar Jackson had won his first playoff game.

The year prior, in the 2019 playoffs, consider Jackson’s stat line against the Tennessee Titans.

In this game, Jackson threw a 74-yard TD pass to Seth Roberts on a first and ten at the Baltimore 31 after his team fell behind 0-14. It did not help the Ravens win the game because Roberts dropped a perfectly well-placed ball in his hands at his waist some 18 yards downfield in full stride. There is no DB in range to touch him. Clear path to the goal line. You could watch the highlights right now. They gon’ take it down one day but you could see usually dependable Willie Snead dropping another pass at the first down marker later in that game. Here’s Lamar Jackson’s stat line in a playoff game at the age of 23 if we put in the six drops and the at least 84 additional passing yards. The pundits refused to point out that Lamar Jackson played a masterful game given the difficult circumstances faced. They could have easily pointed out how often his receivers failed to “help the quarterback out.” As you know, they usually always do. We included yardage from only two of the seven drops in that game, but if just those two balls had been caught, then Lamar Jackson would have gained more total yards—449 passing, 143 running for a total of 592 yards and more than any of the top ten quarterbacks in the history of the NFL playoffs. Even so, when you consider that Lamar Jackson actually did gain 508 yards running and passing in a playoff game at the age of 23 only an irrational person would claim that Jackson is not good enough to win in the playoffs or the Super Bowl. Here is the top 10+ quarterbacks in yards passing and their most prolific game passing in the playoffs.

For the benefit of Lamar Jackson and the pundits who make money commenting on the most minute details of Lamar Jackson professional life and otherwise, enlightenment begins with assessment of how salaries are determined for the second and subsequent contracts. Lamar Jackson, facing a 5th year without an extension, was due to make $23 million in 2022.