Getting a top quarterback like Lamar Jackson should not be so difficult.

An NFL franchise’s ability to provoke public dissatisfaction over a quarterback seeking a well-earned payday is the greatest con in professional sports, which is a hell of a feat considering the prevalence of deception. Even though an elite quarterback is the most valuable commodity in football, he or she cannot negotiate a lucrative contract without persuading every salary cap novice to do the dirty work for billionaire owners by screaming that the compensation, while appropriate, would cripple an organization’s championship aspirations, even if those aspirations are overly dependent on keeping the quarterback.

It is the pinnacle team-driven ruse, creating the impression that the roster is being built, which skews the interpretation of a fair contract in the owner’s favor. Striking a deal appears more polarizing than celebratory due to the sour discourse. The goal is to challenge the worthy’s worth, and it is paying off.

This conflict is currently centered on Lamar Jackson. The most significant story of this offseason is his uncertain future. It could also end up being the worst transaction. Jackson, a former MVP who is only 26 years old but still ranks among the most original talents in football, is being considered for a possible move by the Baltimore Ravens.

After failing once more to reach an agreement on the terms of a new contract, the Ravens assigned Jackson the nonexclusive franchise tag on Tuesday. Despite two years of discussions, neither side appears to be any closer to reaching an agreement. According to reports, Jackson, who is his own agent, is still looking for a contract with full guarantees that is comparable to the $230 million deal that the Cleveland Browns foolishly gave Deshaun Watson. Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Ravens, thinks that the Browns’ offer, which they made to get Watson to accept a trade to Cleveland, is unusual.

Jackson and the Ravens are stuck in a strange stalemate. They dismiss each other with such respect. They have expressed their doubts in the most passive-aggressive manner: Jackson has played nice and limited his frustration to cryptic social media posts, and the Ravens have offered empty public praise. You would have thought that Jackson and the Ravens were having a great time shuffle their feet if a slew of anonymous sources had not leaked details.

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