I think there are multiple factors affecting Lamar, some of which have nothing to do with him specifically.
- The owners in general are unhappy with Cleveland for giving Watson a fully guaranteed contract. No one wants to be the next owner to do it.
- The initial returns for Watson and Russell (probably the next highest in guarantees) have been very subpar. They kind of expected it in Cleveland with the suspension but I think Russ' contract and results have made owners really leery of locking themselves to a single player.
- The percentage of cap going to QBs is expanding faster than the cap, and it really limits the ability to build the rest of the team.
- Russ and Geno. Overpay for Russ and fail. Pay a Geno, a journeyman, and win. Not every backup is Geno, clearly, but you know teams are looking around and wondering which of the long term backups might have put some pieces together and could be a viable starter for a LOT less $$$. I really hope that Geno's case influences teams to start emphasizing QB development again instead of just pushing for a high draft spot (through failure or trade) for the next "sure thing" QB. QB is probably the single most complex position in sports. It's crazy to expect very many 21 year olds to be all that good at it.
Regarding Lamar himself:
- He's missed the final quarter of the year the past two years. "The best ability is availability" and Lamar lacks it.
- There's some suspicion that he could have played in the most recent playoffs but chose to extend his rehab because of the lack of contract. Obviously I don't know if that's true or not, and I can understand not wanting to risk his health right before a potential huge payday.....but if true it does show a me-first attitude. If you're paying a dude 200 million+, you'd like to think you can count on some loyalty.
- I kind of wonder if teams are getting a little fed up with the divas in general. Rodgers is a headache for the Packers every stinkin' year. Russ was a headache for us, and is now a headache for the Broncos. Obviously talent is gonna get paid regardless, but I truly think a lot of teams are looking at Lamar and thinking he could someone else's problem as much as he could be (is) a star.