MIKE BURKE

Allegany Communications Sports

Okay, good for Lamar Jackson. Great for Lamar Jackson, and I mean that. I’m a Baltimore guy. I root for the Orioles. I root for the Ravens.

I root for anything Baltimore – the former Bullets, the dead-to-me Colts, the old Skipjacks, Bays, USFL Stars and CFL Stallions, you name it.

So I’m happy for Lamar Jackson, and I’m happy for the Baltimore Ravens. I think they both won, although I believe, based on what little I know about finances (you could ask my financial adviser if I had finances), it seems as though the Ravens won a little bit more. But that doesn’t matter at this point. The deal is done, which is good; but it’s now on both the Ravens and on Lamar to win, and I mean win big.

Joe Flacco won, and he won big. He was one of the best postseason quarterbacks of his time (12-6 lifetime, three AFC title games and a Super Bowl), likely second behind only Tom Brady.

After a handful of close calls and tough breaks (see Lee Evans end-zone drop and Harbaugh’s Robert Conrad machismo), Flacco led the Baltimore Ravens to a Super Bowl championship and then received the big contract he had earned – the largest contract in NFL history at the time, which, given the time change in our lives, is not even half as much as what Lamar Jackson will now earn over the next five years, even though Lamar has quarterbacked a team to just one NFL playoff win.

But that’s fine. Never mind Baltimore ran Flacco out of town afterward, but good for Lamar.

Again, I really like the guy and I like the way the Ravens handled this situation. They were patient, yet adamant with him all at once; they could not flood him with enough love and accolades through the process, which they should have done – he is the most exciting player in the NFL, and Baltimore folk love him.

At the same time, the Ravens told Lamar they would not be nitwits the way the Cleveland Browns were when they guaranteed quarterback Deshaun Watson’s entire contract. Yet the Ravens offered him more guaranteed money on the original contract they offered him than they agreed to pay him on the deal they agreed to on Thursday.

So, whether we like them or not (and I wouldn’t know since I have never had one), This.Is.Why.You.Need.An.Agent.

That said, this is still a happy ending. We hope.

Even though Lamar asked for a trade, he didn’t really want to leave Baltimore, particularly when it became apparent no other team in the league was going to guarantee his entire contract either. Whether that is right or wrong, I won’t argue. Whether that is collusion or not, I will argue; but what’s the point? #NFLTheTVShow is what it is.

The Ravens have also gotten some better receivers for Lamar, Lyndon Baines Johnson being one of them … No, wait. That’s Odell Beckham, Jr. My bad. And maybe they added more last night, I don’t know. I watched baseball all night to avoid Mike Greenberg ruining what used to be a very watchable television show. And if you don’t believe me, ask Golic. But, I digress …

Anyway, the Ravens also brought in a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, which is good, because this is a guy who will have Lamar using the entire field, particularly on his passing. Monken has a great track record, as we saw the last two years at Georgia, but even when he was the offensive coordinator with the Cleveland Browns, even though the Browns had a successful offense, the Browns, as we know, are … the Browns. So, nobody noticed.

And, by the way, I lied. I did watch the beginning of the draft, but when I realized All About Greenberg All of the Time was hosting, or whatever it is he does other than talk about himself, I watched only a bit of the beginning.

And I was absolutely thrilled when Commissioner Roger Goodell was booed off the stage in friendly Kansas City as he came out to make his welcome remarks. It was sweet vindication, as the guy is booed in every city he shows his face in, which is just one of the many reasons “Draft Day” remains and will always be the dumbest movie ever made, beginning with the standing ovation Goodell received when he walked on stage for the first time in New York. They’re going to cheer for him in New York? No.

Pure fiction. That movie is so, so horrible.

God help me, I love it so.

Anyway, good day for the Baltimore Ravens, hopefully, and a great day for Lamar Jackson. Glad he’s sticking around.

But he needs to win, and he needs to win big. One playoff win in the next five years ain’t gonna do it.

Someone should mention that to Harbs, as well.

Mike Burke writes about sports and other stuff for Allegany Communications. He began covering sports for the Prince George’s Sentinel in 1981 and joined the Cumberland Times-News sports staff in 1984, serving as sports editor for over 30 years. Contact him at [email protected] and [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MikeBurkeMDT