Lamar Jackson deserves to be in ’40 million-plus crew’ in 2022

Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson, Ravens (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

As Lamar Jackson’s contract talks drag on, the Baltimore Ravens have to ask themselves one question: How much is Jackson worth to the team?

Whatever that quantifiable amount is, pay him. And move on.

Baltimore already picked up Jackson’s fifth-year option, but the team wants to finalize an extension to secure the franchise quarterback long-term and lessen Jackson’s cap hit for the 2022 season.

Jackson has made it clear that his priority this offseason is getting healthier rather than inking a new contract, but even if he doesn’t seem worried about contract negotiations, others are feeling a little antsy.

NFL analyst Ryan Clark believes the Ravens should pay Jackson the amount he’s worth, which could be somewhere around a five-year, $200 million or more deal.

The Ravens need to extend Lamar Jackson as soon as possible

Clark emphasized that Jackson should be taking every precaution to stay healthy this offseason, as even the slightest injury could sabotage his future contract.

Jackson’s situation is more unique than most since he doesn’t have a formal agent, but there’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that he is the franchise quarterback for the Ravens and should get compensated as such.

Clark compares Jackson to the “Dak Prescotts and the Josh Allens and the Patrick Mahomes of the world,” all elite quarterbacks who have already secured long-term futures with their respective franchises.

In the wake of Kyler Murray’s statement to the Arizona Cardinals in which Murray demands financial security, Jackson is in a much better position to haggle for those extra zeroes.

Whereas Murray’s maturity and ability to lead a team remain in question after Arizona’s Wild Card loss to the Rams (a game where he threw two interceptions and zero touchdowns), Jackson’s relationship with Baltimore has only grown stronger.

Despite a disappointing 2021 season, Jackson has proven these past four years that he has the talent and leadership to lead the Ravens, and he’s not too far removed from his 2019 MVP season.

Lamar Jackson doesn’t seem like the type of player who will hold out of training camp until he gets paid, but the Ravens have no reason to wait that long to finalize his deal, anyway.

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So far this offseason, only a few murmurs have trickled out of Ravens camp regarding the status of Lamar Jackson’s contract extension. We hope the radio silence isn’t a bad sign.