We need to talk about Tyler Huntley and Lamar Jackson.
Look, I’ve been on the Huntley train for over a year. I’m not the conductor. On my Pac-12 Apostles Podcast I used to balk at how special Utah fans claimed Huntley was as both a passer and a leader. But if I can hop on the train after it’s already moving, so can you.
For the second preseason in a row, Tyler Huntley has shown us that he has the potential to be a very good quarterback in this league, and if it was any other situation of a backup flashing potential, I’d be the first to say the Baltimore Ravens should cash in on the backup if there’s a desperate enough team to put together a package for multiple picks.
But the Baltimore Ravens have hesitated far too long on making Lamar Jackson the future of the franchise. It’s been over a year since the Buffalo Bills committed to Josh Allen, and we’ve reached the point where Kyler Murray, drafted a year after Jackson, already has his extension from the Arizona Cardinals.
I like Lamar Jackson. You’d have to be stupid not to. And while Tyler Huntley is no Lamar Jackson, at least not yet, what do you think sets the Ravens up for the future better? Letting Lamar Jackson hit the open market, or offloading him at a massive premium, and spending a measly $60 million over three seasons to lock up Huntley and surround him with the best talent that money can buy?
If you think this is a ridiculous take, fine. But don’t blame me for having it. Blame the Baltimore Ravens front office, or Lamar Jackson’s decision to not be repped by an agent for creating a situation in which takes like this can have oxygen.
Imagine if the Cleveland Browns got word that Lamar Jackson was available during this last offseason. You saw what they gave up for Deshaun Watson despite not being sure he’d ever play again- what do you think they’d have given up for Lamar Jackson? The key to the city? A generation of unborn children? A certificate of forgiveness to the ghost of Art Modell?
You can’t tell me that it hasn’t crossed Ravens GM Eric DeCosta’s mind that Huntley, who rushed for 300 yards in 7 games as a backup last year, and has completed all but three of his passes in the 2022 preseason, is a decent fallback plan if he can’t get a deal done with Jackson.
You don’t have to like my take to admit that if the Ravens thought Lamar Jackson was really the guy in Baltimore, his deal would already be done.
Let that sink in.