While extension talks didn’t progress much last summer, the expectation was that Jackson would get his new contract either during the 2021 season or sometime in the following offseason.
But the 2021 season has passed and Jackson still doesn’t have a contract. And if we’re going off what general manager Eric DeCosta said when speaking to the media on Friday, it doesn’t appear as though either side is in a hurry to get a deal done this offseason either.
Right now, by all accounts, extension talks have stalled. DeCosta seemed to point to complications of Jackson’s unique situation without formal representation and simply stated that they were “working at Lamar’s pace.”
That sure sounds like DeCosta is shifting the blame, at least partially, to Jackson. At this stage, it’s hard to say when a deal actually will get done. But there now remains a very real possibility that Jackson plays the 2022 season on his fifth-year option.
That’s something few would have considered plausible a year ago at this time.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson could play out his rookie contract without an extension
It’s hard to say exactly what’s causing this, although you have to figure that Jackson’s lack of an agent has made contract negotiations more complicated.
After all, it’s one thing to bargain with an agent who does that for a living. It’s a completely different situation to do so with your star quarterback, someone with who you already have an established relationship with on a personal level.
It’s awkward for everyone involved, and it’s fair to suggest complications have likely arisen from that. But are there any other reasons?
Perhaps the Ravens have some pause about paying Jackson what he’s asking for after a disappointing 2021 season that saw the former MVP battle a knee injury and play some of the worst football of his career.
Jackson remains the face of the franchise and any notion that suggests the Ravens don’t believe that to be the case is erroneous. He’s a 25-year-old who won NFL MVP just two years ago and is simply coming off a down season, that’s how the Ravens view the situation.
But the lack of progress with extension talks is noteworthy and will, rightfully so, prompt questions.
For now, it appears the Ravens have bigger priorities to concern themselves with. Lamar Jackson extension talks might just have to wait until the summer to be revisited.