Lamar Jackson’s future contract will alter Ravens franchise and make NFL history

Lamar Jackson, Ravens. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson, Ravens. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Heading into the 2022 season, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson still doesn’t have a long-term contract. When he finally gets one, expect it to be astronomical.

Jackson has made it clear he will stop contract negotiations before Week 1, choosing to focus on the regular season instead. That hasn’t stopped every NFL pundit from speculating on his future beyond 2022, though.

Most believe Jackson won’t get the chance to hit free agency as he’ll either be re-signed by Baltimore, slapped with the franchise tag, or the wildest possibility, traded to another team.

Assuming it’s the first, Jackson will command one hell of a contract. Alex Kirshner from Slate recently broke down how Jackson’s potential contract will shape the future of the NFL as much as Patrick Mahomes’ or Deshaun Watson’s contracts have.

Kirshner touches upon Jackson’s “uniqueness” and his relatively clean bill of health that buoys his chances of securing a top-dollar extension in the future. Baltimore already offered him more than what Kyler Murray received from the Arizona Cardinals, and Jackson, holding all the negotiating power, turned it down.

"To what extent has that kept the Ravens’ number and Jackson’s number apart? I don’t know, but I do not think it’s a complete coincidence that the most down-to-the-wire negotiation of this sort in years involves the NFL’s most prolific running QB since Michael Vick."

Ravens and Lamar Jackson could make history in 2023 with a mega-deal

It’s impossible to tell what each side is feeling given how little has been reported in Ravens camp, but the least plausible outcome is that Baltimore lets Jackson walk next year.

"The Ravens are either going to lose Jackson within a year or two or make him an offer he deems acceptable. Jackson, one way or another, is poised to get a lot of money, and the remaining questions are about degrees of magnitude and the contract structure."

We’re not going to get into the specific numbers, yet it’s only inevitable that Jackson’s future contract will change the NFL. The quarterback market continues to inflate with each new contract signed, and considering the circumstances, the Ravens have no reason not to pay Jackson.

If Baltimore want to stay competitive for the next several years, the franchise can’t risk an identity crisis, not when the other AFC North teams have their own elite quarterbacks or elite quarterbacks in the making.

When Week 1 rolls around, the contract talk may get shoved under the rug, but make no mistake, Lamar Jackson is going to get his bag one day.

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A generational talent like him deserves it.