Ravens’ Lamar Jackson seems unbothered by Deshaun Watson’s contract

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

The bad news for the Baltimore Ravens is that Lamar Jackson still hasn’t extended his contract, but the good news is that he likely won’t use other quarterback deals as leverage.

Jackson doesn’t seem like the type who would sit on the bench until he gets paid, but his contract talks have continued to stall this offseason. In 2022, Jackson will be playing on the fifth year of his rookie contract in 2022, earning $23 million this season, per Spotrac.

Jackson represents himself and doesn’t have a traditional agent, which likely factors into why he and Baltimore haven’t agreed to a deal yet. He told reporters early on in the offseason that he was more focused on getting healthy for the 2022 season, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that past 2022, with no current contract in place, he will become an unrestricted free agent.

The Ravens obviously aren’t going to let their franchise quarterback walk out the door, though.

Head coach John Harbaugh recently spoke out about Jackson’s situation and said that it won’t be a problem if Lamar Jackson didn’t get a new deal before the start of the 2022 season but added that a deal done “sooner would be great.”

At least it appears that Jackson isn’t paying heed to Deshaun Watson’s groundbreaking contract with the Cleveland Browns, and that he’s truly just taking his sweet time.

Jackson holds all the chips in these contract negotiations, but will he use them?

The Ravens and Lamar Jackson have made no headway in contract talks

This offseason, Tyreek Hill used the Davante Adams trade to make himself the highest-paid wide receiver in the league. Whether or not Hill bided his time on purpose, he played his cards extremely well, and Jackson’s decision to hold off on signing a contract extension could also pay off in a monumental way.

After Watson signed that ridiculous $230 million dollar contract (with the full $230 million guaranteed) with Cleveland, Jackson’s leverage skyrocketed, though Jackson likely won’t receive that much in guaranteed money.

Watson wasn’t the only quarterback to reset the market, with Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford signing blockbuster extensions on their respective teams. The new deals signed by Rodgers, Stafford, and Watson give six quarterbacks an average annual salary of at least $40 million, compared to just three quarterbacks making that salary in 2021.

Jackson could always go down the Kirk Cousins franchise tag route if he and the Ravens can’t agree to a long-term deal, and that worked well enough for Cousins.

As of this offseason, Kirk Cousins’ career earnings of roughly $161 million dollars make him the 17th-highest-paid player in NFL history.

In 2022, Cousins signed an extension with the Minnesota Vikings that will put him at more than $231 million in career earnings through the 2023 season, breaking into the top-10 of all time.

Now imagine what a quarterback of Lamar Jackson’s caliber could command.

Amid all of the earth-shattering quarterback moves this year, Jackson sits still. He sits, and he waits, and he keeps his future with the franchise under a slightly ominous cloud of uncertainty. He seems unbothered by Watson’s mega-contract extension, but it’s impossible to tell what he’s thinking.

Next. 4 remaining free agents that are perfect targets for the Ravens. dark

Jackson will, without a doubt, stay in Baltimore for 2022, and he almost certainly will stick around for many more years. The only question is for how much.