Ben Roethlisberger might not be the only quarterback in the AFC North unhappy with his team for drafting a quarterback early in the 2018 draft.
The Ravens drafted dual-threat QB Lamar Jackson with the 32nd overall pick, something you don’t really do unless you plan on using the player in question in the near future. That would signal the beginning of the end for Joe Flacco’s reign as starting quarterback in Baltimore, and Flacco understandably doesn’t seem to be thrilled with that.
First, Flacco declined to speak with reporters during the Ravens’ Draft Fest about the pick, and now Jackson has told reporters he hasn’t even talked to Flacco yet.
Lamar Jackson says he has not talked with Joe Flacco yet pic.twitter.com/gPnVEkX68x
— Stephen Pimpo (@spimpojr) May 5, 2018
Both quarterbacks appeared at that Draft Fest during Day 3, but they apparently did not meet up for whatever reason. That was just about the only natural chance they would have had to see each other, as Flacco hasn’t been around for the Ravens’ rookie camp, where Jackson has been showing off his skills to fellow rookies and the Ravens brass.
However, this is something that could be easily done with a phone call, so Flacco is clearly not going out of his way to give Jackson a warm welcome. That’s at least less aggressive than Roethlisberger, who has openly questioned the Steelers’ third-round selection of Mason Rudolph despite also openly pondering retirement in the past.
Jackson has been a Raven for about a week, so it might be best to wait some time before sounding the controversy alarm. But each day of silence is another day the situation looks a little frostier.
As for the rest of the Ravens, they seem pretty pleased with their first-round pick.
Jackson is widely regarded as an elite athlete and running QB, but it was his arm that seemed to impress head coach John Harbaugh the most. People who insisted Jackson should move from quarterback to receiver were, well, wrong, but passing accuracy was a concern for Jackson coming into the draft.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 5, 2018
“The thing I was really impressed with was I thought he was accurate,” Harbaugh said. “You read the reports and stuff like that, but he’s a naturally talented thrower. He’s got natural arm talent. That’s something that I think people were questioning, so to see him out here throwing the ball naturally and very accurately, I thought that was a big plus.”
If Jackson continues to look the part of a quarterback ready to start in the NFL, there won’t be much holding back the Ravens from sitting Flacco. Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Flacco has no more guaranteed money on his contract after this season. That might be a tough pill for Flacco to swallow, who has started at quarterback for the Ravens since he was picked in the 2008 draft and led the team to a Super Bowl in 2013, but it’s a natural outcome given his play over the last few years.
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