Eisenberg: Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson Will Get Along. Speculating Otherwise Is Wasted Breath


There's plenty for the Ravens to be concerned about as they move through their offseason. Is their overhauled wide receiver corps really improved? Can several of their young interior defenders take on more snaps? Can one of their first-round draft picks really start right away at tight end?

The list of questions is typical for any NFL team in the middle of the offseason.

At the same time, there's also a list of things they don't have to be concerned about, and it starts with the "issue" of whether Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson get along.

The possibility that they won't has become a hot talking point since the draft. But it's all just wasted breath.

Some are suggesting the Ravens' quarterback for the past decade won't offer to shake hands and help the rookie now in line to replace him. But honestly, that's just a silly, trumped-up scenario. Things aren't going to shake out that way.

Admittedly, Flacco now finds himself in a situation that calls for an adult response. If you lend a hand to your designated replacement, you could hasten the end of your tenure. Are you really going to do that?

The childish response would be to cold-shoulder him, and plenty of NFL veterans have done just that in this situation, taken what amounts to the low road.

I have little doubt that the Ravens' famously even-keeled, unflappable quarterback will take the high road.

If you really think Flacco might cause trouble along these lines, you haven't been watching him for the past decade.

He's always the same guy no matter what is happening to him or around him. Some fans want more fire out of Joe Cool, but his ability to tune out distractions of all kinds is legendary.

Also, he's been 100 percent consistent as a teammate and pro.

I've never heard him throw one teammate under the bus, not even when it was warranted. And win or lose, he has always stepped in front of the cameras and microphones and taken full responsibility for his performance without once snapping at a question or losing his temper.

Sure, this new situation is unlike any he has encountered. Privately, I'm sure Flacco isn't thrilled with the Ravens for drafting Jackson. It's only human nature to take umbrage when your employer starts planning for a future that might not include you.

But the same organization that drafted Jackson has also steadfastly supported Flacco while making him extremely wealthy, and regardless of how he feels about it privately, the Ravens should expect their highest-paid player by far to put aside those feelings and continue to be a team guy.

I think it's a no-brainer that he takes that high road. (A father of five acts like an adult. Duh!) Whenever Flacco speaks, likely at an OTA next week, I'm fully expecting to hear something like this: "Hey, I'm just focusing on winning football games. Lamar is a great guy and we're all in this together."

He's still the starter, remember, a locker room leader who will remain on the job as long as he performs and the team wins.

The conversation about them possibly not getting along started because Jackson, responding to a question, said Flacco hadn't texted a welcome, as if that were mandatory for two guys about to be joined at the hip through long months of practices.

The flame was fanned when Flacco told reporters at a draft event that he wasn't talking that day – actually a reference to the event's marketing schedule, not his whims.

In any case, the narrative swirled and became "a thing." But that doesn't mean it's real. Whatever Jackson's future holds, he's just a rookie now. But with his skill set, he could help the Ravens win immediately, and it would be the most un-Flacco-like thing ever not to help a teammate with that potential.

The reality is, this isn't "a thing" for Flacco or Jackson, or, frankly, the organization.

I'm sorry if that disappoints those who prefer controversy, and I'm not saying there won't ever be any, but you're not going to get it now.

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