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Dan Orlovsky comes to Lamar Jackson’s defense amidst contract controversy

The ESPN analyst defends and reiterates the impressive resume and pedigree of the former league MVP.

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

It seems that almost every offseason, especially during the slow period after the draft and before training camp, an annual NFL media tradition is to obsess over the contract status of a prominent quarterback. The two offseason prior to this one, headlines were primarily dominated by if, when, and how big of a deal the Dallas Cowboys would offer their standout signal-caller Dak Prescott.

Now that he is locked up, the hot take and clickbait members of sports media have seemingly turned all of their attention to Baltimore Ravens star quarterback, Lamar Jackson. The team has made it clear that they are willing to pay Jackson whenever he is ready, even though the 25-year-old has said that he is solely focused on the upcoming season.

However, the national media remains unrelenting in their nauseating discussion, speculation, and dissection of the ongoing situation. Some members have taken the lack of action on the negotiation front and absence of a new deal as a sign of hesitancy on the part of the organization. They have gone as far as to question Jackson’s ability and aptitude as a complete player at the position.

Days after his colleague, Dianna Russini appeared on ESPN’s morning show ‘Get Up’ to deliver a poor excuse for a hot take based on “reporting” she gathered from “league sources”, Dan Orlovsky came on the very same show and refuted the notion with stone-cold facts.

Not that he needed it, Jackson received some well-deserved praise and acknowledgment of the generational talent he is and how important he is to any amount of success the Ravens hope to have from the former NFL quarterback turned analyst.

Russini may very well have talked to several players, coaches, and executives around the league about how Jackson is perceived, but that doesn’t give her narrative about the former unanimous league MVP being an inadequate passer from the pocket any merit. Those were likely part of the same contingent that believed he should’ve switched positions coming into the league and still view him as a running back masquerading as a quarterback.

According to both Orlovsky and the sheer numbers that Jackson has put up since he became the full-time starter, he deserves “as much money as his asking for”. As far as the question about whether the Ravens can win and compete at the highest and most efficient level with an offense built around his style of play, Orlovsky believes it’s a no-brainer and an emphatic yes or rather “duh”.

“He is one of the most electric and indefensible players in all of the league,” Orlovsky said. “I understand his style is a little bit nontraditional but the proof is in the pudding and he is as good as a football player as we have in the NFL.”

He wholeheartedly believes that whatever Jackson’s current or eventual asking price is, the Ravens “will and should pay him” even if it resets the quarterback market again. Orlovsky believes that Jackson proved he could carry a roster that is subpar due to “financial allocation” elsewhere or depleted due to injuries during the 2021 season.

“Through 12 weeks of the season when Lamar Jackson was the MVP of the NFL and the Baltimore Ravens were the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a team that was dealing historic injury issues,” Orlovsky said.

Jackson elevated his play and was the catalyst for their early success before injuries claimed him as well. He answered almost every lingering question about his ability to lead a team as well as a passer, outside of performing better in the playoffs because the team didn’t make it before he could return to action. Orlovsky doesn’t view a new deal between the two sides as a question at all but rather as an inevitable eventuality.