Ravens QB Lamar Jackson is wisely betting on the QB market

Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is and always has been a unique individual. He marches to the beat of his own drum and plays football to the sound of his own whistle.

He is unorthodox, nonconforming, and avant-garde in every sense of each phrase. And Ravens fans wouldn’t have it any other way.

There has never been another NFL player quite like Jackson. Even the “comparable” players to Michael Vick pale in comparison to what Jackson has been able to accomplish in such a short period of time.

Just as Jackson is unique on the field, he’s just as distinct off it. The 25-year-old doesn’t have an agent. Instead, he opts to represent himself with the help of his mother. That’s just who he is.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta famously referred to him as a “unique cat” earlier this offseason. But just because Jackson is different, doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what he’s doing.

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson knows exactly what he’s doing in contract negotiations

Jackson’s ongoing contract negotiations have been unlike anything the modern NFL world has seen. A young, franchise QB with an MVP already under his belt at age 25 negotiating directly with the general manager of his organization.

Such a situation was always bound to cause complications. With that in mind, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that Jackson is still without a new contract as he enters training camp of his fifth-year option season.

The hesitancy hasn’t been on the part of the Ravens, however. Instead, it’s reportedly Jackson who’s been tentative with negotiations. The Ravens seemingly confirmed this when they insisted they were “working at Lamar’s pace” this offseason.

They aren’t trying to rush their superstar QB, and from Jackson’s point of view, he’s not looking to rush into any deal either. He’s taking a very calculated risk.

Jackson knows that he’s coming off the worst year of his NFL career. While the former All-Pro started off hot and was arguably an MVP frontrunner early in the season, Jackson tailed off and struggled mightily down the stretch before suffering an ankle injury that ended his season prematurely.

His value isn’t nearly as high as it could be. Jackson knows this, and he’s partially betting on himself to increase that value this season.

But that’s not all Jackson is betting on. In fact, the “risk” associated with waiting is curbed significantly as a result of one specific wager being placed.

Jackson is betting on the quarterback market, even more than he’s betting on himself. Over the last 6 months, we’ve seen the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, Derek Carr, and now Kyler Murray, among others, sign big-money extensions.

With every new QB extension that’s signed, the quarterback market only continues to inflate. Jackson is well aware of this, and so too are the Ravens. That’s why the Baltimore front office has been pushing to get an extension done sooner rather than later.

They know that Jackson’s price tag will only continue to go up, especially if he returns to his MVP form in 2022.

Next. How the Kyler Murray extension affects Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. dark

Lamar Jackson is betting on himself, sure. But more importantly, he’s betting on the market. And that’s a wager that will pay off more often than not, both figuratively and literally.