How the Kyler Murray extension affects Lamar Jackson and the Ravens

Kyler Murray, Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Kyler Murray, Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

The Baltimore Ravens have wanted to extend star quarterback Lamar Jackson for a while now, at least that’s the indication that’s been given. The hesitancy has been on Jackson’s side.

The Ravens have insisted that they are “working at Lamar’s pace,” another indication that Jackson is the tentative one. And with every new QB contract that’s signed, it becomes clearer and clearer why Jackson is taking this approach.

This is once again evident following the massive extension Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray just signed on Wednesday. Murray has reportedly agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension with $160 million in guarantees.

That’s a hefty chunk of change for a guy who isn’t exactly a unanimous top-10 QB just yet. The Cardinals are banking on Murray reaching his potential with the hope of keeping their star quarterback happy.

As for Jackson, that Murray extension now has to be the floor. The Ravens know this. Jackson knows this. Everyone around the league should know this.

The Kyler Murray extension is the floor for a Lamar Jackson extension

Jackson’s contract situation has been one of the predominant headlines in what’s been a busy offseason for the Ravens. Those headlines don’t figure to slow down anytime soon until Jackson officially signs his extension.

Right now, he’s set to enter the 2022 season playing on his fifth-year option. He’s due to be a free agent at the end of the season, although the Ravens have the option to play the franchise tag game if need be.

The organization is obviously hoping it doesn’t come to that.

Jackson is betting on the QB market just as much as he’s betting on himself. He knows that every subsequent big-money extension further increases his value. Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, etc. have all paved the way for what Jackson will eventually be given.

The question now is timing. When does Jackson want to sign his extension? He appears dead set on playing out the remainder of his rookie contract, but what happens this offseason?

Is that when he signs an extension? Does he bet on himself further and opt for the franchise tag? Is he looking to eventually get paid as a free agent on the open market?

All of those questions remain unanswered. But in the short term, the Kyler Murray extension only serves as another reminder that Jackson knows what he’s doing.

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Lamar Jackson may not have an agent, but he’s taking a calculated risk. And it’s one that might just pay off — literally and figuratively.