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#pounditSaturday, June 15, 2024

Ed Reed offers blunt advice for Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson on the sideline

Aug 11, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) walks on the sidelines during the first half Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson decided to gamble on himself by playing this season without a contract extension in place, and one Baltimore Ravens legend thinks the former MVP needs to be very, very careful.

Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed recently spoke with Kevin Clark of The Ringer about Jackson’s contract situation. He shared some very blunt advice for Jackson. Reed mentioned how Jackson’s style of play makes him more susceptible to injuries, noting that the quarterback did not play a full season in 2021. He said if that happens again the Ravens are going to “use it against you” in contract negotiations.

“He’s just got to be smart,” Reed said, as transcribed by Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “I’m not telling him to play scared or anything because I don’t think he’s gonna do that. He hasn’t displayed that, but he has to be smart because it is a business and they will use that s— against you whether you like it or not.

“You can think these people love you. They’re showing their true colors right now. And it’s no shot at the Ravens because they are an organization that’s a business. It’s a business first. It’s the NFL and it’s football to the players and we love that, but it’s a business first to the league.”

Reed said he dealt with a similar situation in Baltimore when he was entering the final year of his rookie deal. Though he did not go into detail, he admitted that he changed the way he approached the game until he had more long-term financial security. You can hear more of Reed’s comments below:

Jackson is off to a great start this year. He has 749 passing yards, 10 touchdowns and just two interceptions through three games. He is also averaging a whopping 9.3 yards per carry and has rushed for 243 yards and an additional two scores.

If Jackson stays on that pace, he will be negotiating from an even greater position of strength next offseason. Though, his refusal to hire an agent has made contract talks more complicated.

Some people in the sports world believe Jackson should have refused to play without a contract extension in place. The key, as Reed said, is avoiding injuries. That is easier said than done for a dynamic playmaker.

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