Jason Whitlock thinks Lamar Jackson could be raising a ‘red flag’ for NFL teams

– Whitlock, a red flag to you?

– Yeah. Unfortunately it is. This is Tom Marinovich’s dad, this is LaVar Ball, this is Eli Apple’s mom. It’s a parent doing too much.

And first– when I first read this, I spent about an hour trying to figure out, what does she do for a living? Is she a lawyer? I thought maybe this– and I can’t find out. I’ve read a lot of stories she doesn’t do interviews.

COMMENTATOR: Maybe it’s a good thing.



– But this is a red flag to me. Again, she’s a coach of football, and I don’t want to denigrate that. But if she’s the quarterback coach, now I know why he’s so inaccurate.


– Aw!

– Jeez. Brutal.

– Damn, it’s too soon, bro!

– But wouldn’t you say this, though? When is the last time any of us said, wow, I am so glad that parent stepped in to save their son’s professional career? I’ve never said that.


– No.

– That’s what worries me.

– I think it’s a little unfair to go the LaVar Ball route. Like, she’s not that–


– –outspoken. She’s not that crazy.

JASON WHITLOCK: She’s not outspoken, but she’s doing too much.

– Well, that’s not to say that– did he say he’s never going to hire an agent? Because at this point right now during a combine, you’re answering questions, you’re going through all the physical tests. So what’s the agent going to do for you, you know what I mean?

Other than the fact of maybe to–

– His position’s up in the air. Some people don’t think he’s a quarterback. You telling me you don’t want a agent advocating for you? Let’s say he was repped by Tom Condon, who’s repped a lot of great quarterbacks. He couldn’t use that kind of advice and help right now?

– He possibly could. But listen, the tape speaks for itself, right? So for Lamar Jackson, he’s going to have to put the owners, the GMs, the coaches’ minds at ease by the way he handles the testing.

The way he goes out and throws the football in the combine. The way he answers the questions in the interviews that he’s going to get from all these different teams. So that’s more so–

JASON WHITLOCK: Who he surrounds himself with professionally.

– Right, 100%. But when I look back on when I was coming out, my agent, I needed him to give me the biggest contract possible, right? And that’s it. You know what I mean?

And whatever else I use him for other than that, that was on me. But for the most part, I need my agent to go get me paid. That’s it. Other than that–

– You play running back, and you had a Heisman Trophy, and your talents were unquestioned.

COLIN COWHERD: Nobody doubted your talent.

– You’re right, you’re right. It’s a little different, you’re right.

JASON WHITLOCK: When you sign with an agent as a quarterback, they then get you with a quarterback guru to work out with before the draft. To work on your throwing motion, to make sure that anything they put you through in a workout, you’re prepared for. There’s a lot of benefits to signing with an agent.

JASON MCINTYRE: I was texting with a couple agents at the combine, asking what is this about? Why is Lamar doing this? And I know Annie Apple comes up, and I thought of it too.

The concern is the money aspect, OK? Lamar Jackson is going to be very marketable. He’s going to be a fan favorite wherever he goes. He’s going to have a lot of offers.

She’s not a professional to handle all the money that’s going to be thrown at him. We saw recently Trent Richardson, what happened with his family and the money. He’s bankrupt already. A lot of these athletes have their family involved in the money, and it gets ugly. That’s the big concern.

As for a red flag, though, let me take this angle. He’s been in kind of a bubble his entire career. He grew up– Lamar Thomas, the great receiver, was a Louisville wide receiver coach.

So he went from one bubble, Lamar Jackson in Boynton Beach, to Louisville. He’s always had good people around him. As long as he can go to a team where he’s got that support staff and his mom is close, I don’t think it’s going to be a major problem.


COLIN COWHERD: Yeah, to your point. She’s not LaVar Ball. It feels like–


It feels like protection, not promotion.

JASON MCINTYRE: But protection from what, Colin? That’s what I kept looking into. She will not let his youth football coaches give interviews about Lamar Jackson. Nobody talks about it.

It’s all like there’s some kind of either trust issue or they’re hiding something. I don’t understand why the mom–

COMMENTATOR: Well, I mean–

JASON WHITLOCK: You can go another– I’m sorry, go ahead.

– I think we also need to maybe give it a chance too, because I read somewhere that his dad died in a car accident. So at a very early age, this kid was forced to be what they were missing in that household. So there could be other issues or other things that are going to where– listen, having your mom there, it’s not the worst thing. It’s not the best thing, but it’s not the worst thing. So maybe if we give it a chance to see where it goes, because I know at some point, he is going to have to hire an agent.

– I’ve seen this thing backfire, and I’m trying to be careful here of what I say. But Jeff George, grew up with him. Very close with his family.

And some NFL teams had a problem with that. That his circle was in football people, it was his family. And Jeff George was criticized for being too close to his mother, even when he was at Purdue.

And so this isn’t the first time this issue has come up. And NFL executives and coaches and stuff like that– man, my parents divorced. I’m very close to my mother.

I’ve had to draw a line in the sand with my mama. My mama is the greatest mama in the history of mamas. But I’ve had to draw and say, no, no, no, no, no. I’m running this.

COMMENTATOR: And I think one of the things that happens is sometimes we look at history and we say, OK, that’s why that’s not going to work. Because history shows– but when you look at, for example, the situation with Philadelphia Eagles this year, right?

Carson Wentz went down. Everybody said Philly is done. Because history shows that the gap between the starting quarterback and the backup quarterback is so substantial that it can’t possibly work.

And look what happened. It worked, and he got the Super Bowl MVP. So all I’m saying is that it’s not to say that he’s not going to at some point hire an agent.

JASON WHITLOCK: Give hope a chance.

– Give hope a chance, that’s all I’m saying.


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