October 1, 2022

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were unable to come to terms on a long-term extension prior to the quarterback’s self-made deadline earlier this week and will now pause contract negotiations for the rest of the season. While they couldn’t put pen to paper on a deal, it wasn’t without some serious offers being put on the table. 

The NFL Network reports that Jackson turned down an offer that eclipsed the one Russell Wilson recently inked with the Denver Broncos in key areas. Baltimore’s attempted offer was more than $49 million per year in average new money and is believed to have approached or beat Wilson in terms of guaranteed money. Wilson has 68% of his contract guaranteed. It was also in the range of the deal Aaron Rodgers signed with the Packers where the back-to-back MVP will now earn $50 million per season over the next three years with a majority fully guaranteed. 

Specifically, ESPN reports that Jackson rejected a six-year contract offer with $133 million fully guaranteed. In terms of guaranteed money, that is more than what Wilson and Kyler Murray received in their deals. 

However, this offer did fall short of the $230 million fully guaranteed contract that the Browns signed Deshaun Watson to after they acquired him in a trade with the Houston Texans. The report notes that fully guaranteed money is at the heart of the issue for Jackson and is looking to come as close to that $230 million guaranteed mark as possible. 

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Jackson is representing himself in these negotiations as he’s opted to not hire an agent, which has been the case throughout his career. GM Eric DeCosta said this week while announcing the inability to reach a deal before the deadline that the organization appreciates “how he has handled this process.”

“I’m confident that’ll happen when it’s time. Lamar is going to be playing quarterback here for a long time,” Head coach Jim Harbaugh told reporters. “He and I talked about it yesterday, ‘Hey man, let’s go be our best and go focus on football.’ That’s what he’s been doing all along.”

Jackson will now play on his fifth-year option, which will play him just north of $23 million for the 2022 season. Then, he’s looking down the barrel of being hit with the franchise tag next offseason, which would pay him roughly $45.5 million fully guaranteed if they choose the exclusive tag.

Of course, Jackson is taking on some risk by not signing a contract and entering the season as the possibility of injury looms for every player. That said, he noted earlier this week that he’s not too concerned with that scenario. 

“I haven’t thought about any injuries, or anything like that. I just came off one last season, and I’m feeling pretty good this season,” Jackson said. “I don’t even want to put that in the atmosphere.

“It was a pretty big risk last season, the year before. I wasn’t thinking about contract negotiations around that time. This season, it’s going to be the same thing, but I’m just playing football. Anything can happen, but God forbid the wrong thing happens, I’m keeping God first and just playing ball, like I’ve been doing.”

Jackson has spent his entire career with the Ravens after the team selected him with the No. 32 overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Since then, he’s blossomed into one of the greatest dual-threat quarterbacks in NFL history, rushing for the more yards in a season for a quarterback in 2019, the same year he was named league MVP. 

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