Lamar Jackson is the face of the Baltimore Ravens. He is the most important player on the franchise. Naturally, the Ravens want to get him locked up for the long-term. This is a former NFL MVP we’re talking about.
"“Two sources said Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have started talking about a contract extension, but the sides are far apart. One problem for Jackson is that he still has two years left on his deal and is only making $1.77 million in 2021.”"
Having some things to iron out shouldn’t concern the Baltimore Ravens fanbase. The Ravens have time to get this deal done. They know it. Jackson knows it. Negotiations seldom start with a handshake and an agreement right off the bat.
The Ravens showing the urgency to get talks of an extension started is a good thing. It means that the organization is committed to this. Eric DeCosta isn’t waiting to be more convinced, Jackson is his quarterback. This won’t happen overnight, but both sides probably want this to happen eventually.
Things aren’t bad between the organization and Jackson, at least there is no evidence that there is. The Ravens are a great organization, so it is doubtful Baltimore will ever have a problem as the Houston Texans have with Deshaun Watson.
Jackson may want more help around him on offense, though it’s clear that he has a chance to win in Baltimore. Without the best weapons around him at the wide receiver position, Jackson has done led the team to the playoffs in three consecutive seasons (Counting his fill-in for Joe Flacco in 2018).
One thing you have to remember is that the Patrick Mahomes deal with the Kansas City Chiefs may not come into play. Because it was such a landmark deal, it doesn’t set the market and is destined to be the outlier of quarterback contracts.
The biggest hindrance of a speedy extension is probably the starting point of the negotiating sides. Jackson’s camp is probably pushing as close to the Mahomes contract as they can feasibly go. Jackson’s going to secure the bag one way or another, he’s just not getting that kind of deal.
This isn’t a Jackson vs. Mahomes thing. Many pundits have pointed out that the Mahomes deal is going to be hard on the Chiefs. Mahomes was always going to break the bank, but he won that deal much more than the Chiefs did.
Jackson vs. Mahomes is irrelevant to these conversations about an extension. The good news for Jackson is they probably don’t weigh heavily on most negotiations.
We can safely assume that Jackson will get somewhere in between $30 and 40 million per season. If you look at the top cap hits from quarterbacks for 2021 on Spotrac.com, it’s easy to see that’s where the top quarterback market is.
If we can figure out at home, that the yearly money is going to be in the same ballpark no matter what, then it could boil down to something else. The two other major factors besides the base salary are the duration of the contract and the guaranteed money.
It’s worth noting that neither side is desperate to get a deal done at this second. The Ravens believed in Jackson and built their entire premise of their football team around him. Jackson and John Harbaugh have never been seen to have a trying relationship, There is no information either subjective or empirical that would suggest that this deal won’t get done.
The Bottom Line:
Whatever you think of Jackson, the Ravens have always viewed him as a franchise quarterback. Baltimore is not blind to the going rate of a franchise quarterback.
The sooner the deal gets inked the better for Baltimore because it could save them some money as the market gets changed by future contracts. That being said, they have two years to get this done and both sides understand that.
Jackson shouldn’t be concerned. While the Ravens have always been known for prudent and measured moves, they’ve always taken care of their core players. There is no player more essential to their franchise than Jackson.