Can the Ravens prolong the 2019 MVP?

After lacking three weeks of voluntary group actions, Lamar Jackson is again within the Baltimore Ravens‘ facility forward of the group’s obligatory minicamp. Nevertheless, Jackson’s contract standing continues to be up within the air, as he’s set to play the 2022 marketing campaign on his fifth-year possibility. Will Jackson and the Ravens conform to a brand new deal earlier than the season will get underway? Right here’s what the star quarterback’s subsequent pact may appear to be.

Projecting Lamar Jackson’s contract extension with the Ravens

Jackson will acquire $23 million in 2022 underneath the ultimate yr of his contract. However with the highest of the QB market exploding over the $50 million threshold, the 2019 MVP certainly has his sights set on an enormous new deal.

Aaron Rodgers is at present the league’s highest-paid QB at $50.3 million yearly, and 6 extra signal-callers earn between $40 and $46 million. 4 of the highest seven highest-paid quarterbacks inked new accords throughout the previous 12 months, and Jackson must be the subsequent in line — if he desires a long-term deal, that’s.

The Ravens appear prepared to have interaction in negotiations, however it’s unclear the place Jackson sits when it comes to desirous to work out an extension. He’s one of many few NFL gamers that doesn’t have an agent, so talks between him and the group are extra difficult than most.

“I hope so, sooner or later we are going to,” Ravens normal supervisor Eric DeCosta stated in March when requested about his hope to strike a cope with Jackson this offseason. “I believe we’ve mentioned this at size. I stated this earlier than, we are going to work at Lamar’s urgency. He and I’ve had ongoing discussions, we’ve talked very just lately as effectively.”

Spotrac pegs Jackson’s market worth at $44 million per season, which might rank fourth amongst quarterbacks behind Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and Patrick Mahomes. Over a five-year time period, the overall worth would come to $220 million.

Does Jackson desire a absolutely assured contract?

After all, as with all negotiation, the satan can be within the particulars. Rodgers, Mahomes, and Josh Allen all obtained long-term offers with hefty signing bonuses and vital money up entrance over the primary three years. However Watson — regardless of the 20+ sexual misconduct allegations towards him — joined Kirk Cousins as the one quarterback to signal a completely assured contract.

Watson’s settlement with the Browns was a game-changer across the NFL. Entrance workplaces and possession teams from coast to coast are seemingly livid over the contract phrases, however Ravens proprietor Steve Bisciotti was one of many few to vocalize his displeasure.

“Acknowledging that it may have an effect is totally different than me worrying about it as a result of my opponents have all the time accomplished issues in another way than us, you understand what I imply?” Bisciotti stated in April. “So, I’m attempting to reply that after I had a response to it. And it’s like, ‘Rattling, I want they hadn’t assured the entire contract.’

“I don’t know that he ought to’ve been the primary man to get a completely assured contract. To me, that’s one thing that’s groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations more durable with others. However it doesn’t essentially imply that we now have to play that recreation, you understand? We will see.”

Jackson’s passing statistics don’t match up with Watson’s, however the Ravens quarterback has added loads of surplus worth by way of the bottom recreation. Jackson additionally has an MVP award underneath his belt, has skilled extra group success, and doesn’t include Watson’s off-field baggage. Provided that he’s appearing as his personal agent, it’s truthful to imagine Jackson desires to match Watson’s contract.

Can Jackson play the franchise tag recreation?

Cousins has managed the enterprise facet of his profession higher than any quarterback in NFL historical past. He refused below-market provides from Washington and compelled them to franchise tag him in consecutive seasons earlier than signing a completely assured cope with the Minnesota Vikings. Cousins earned far extra money over the previous six seasons than he would have had he accepted a long-term pact on Washington’s phrases.

Jackson has the leverage to execute the identical technique. Two consecutive non-exclusive franchise tags in 2023 and 2024 would seemingly price the Ravens $75 million or so. But, the non-exclusive tag would give different groups the choice to signal Jackson to a suggestion sheet. Different golf equipment must sacrifice two first-round picks to accumulate Jackson, however based mostly on the value tags for different QB trades, that wouldn’t be a lot of an impediment.

Extra seemingly, Baltimore can be compelled to deploy the unique franchise tag, growing the two-year price to round $100 million. Jackson would possibly fear a couple of catastrophic damage tanking his worth and like to lock in assured cash. Nevertheless, Dak Prescott landed an enormous deal final yr whereas nonetheless recovering from a ugly leg damage.

Are the Ravens reticent to increase Jackson?

The Ravens, a minimum of publicly, look like merely ready on Jackson to return to the negotiating desk. However may they be cautious of a long-term deal for his or her star quarterback?

The obvious concern is Jackson’s well being. He runs greater than any QB within the league, and whereas he’s wonderful at avoiding devastating hits, he’s going to take extra put on and tear than the common signal-caller.

Jackson was fairly sturdy over his first two seasons as Baltimore’s starter, however he missed the ultimate quarter of the 2021 marketing campaign after struggling an ankle damage. If the Ravens consider Jackson is an damage danger, they may very well be cautious as they focus on a brand new contract.

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