Ravens and Lamar Jackson don’t agree to extension: What comes next?

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

The self-imposed Friday deadline has come and passed, and the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson have failed to reach an agreement on an extension.

It wasn’t due to a lack of trying, but this was always the expected outcome. This sets up a scenario where the Ravens will resume contract extension talks with their franchise quarterback next offseason.

For now, both sides are focused on the upcoming season.

The Ravens released a statement regarding the matter on Friday morning that acknowledged the effort both sides put into reaching the deal while also praising Jackson for his handling of the situation.

What comes next for Lamar Jackson and the Ravens?

So what comes next? Jackson is set to be a free agent at the end of the league year meaning that time is of the essence for the Ravens organization. Of course, they’re not exactly just going to let him walk.

The Ravens always have the option of placing the franchise tag on Jackson, and if they fail to reach an agreement again, that’s the route they’ll have to take. An exclusive franchise tag for Jackson would be valued at roughly $45 million right now, although that figure is subject to change.

That’s a massive amount of money to have on the books and it’s a scenario the Ravens will try hard to avoid. Unfortunately, reaching an agreement on an extension has proved challenging.

Jackson is reportedly looking for significant guarantees in his contract, perhaps a fully-guaranteed deal like the one Deshaun Watson received. Even if Jackson returns to his MVP form in 2022, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens agreeing to such a deal.

The Watson deal may be hanging over Baltimore’s head, but precedent has also been set with recent contracts awarded to the likes of Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray.

The Watson contract looks more and more like an outlier with every new quarterback contract that’s signed. Will Jackson back down and soften his stance? That much remains to be seen.

Either way, the upcoming season will determine a lot of what happens next spring. If Jackson stays healthy and plays well, his price will skyrocket. If he puts together another disappointing season, questions will be raised by both sides.

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There’s a lot still up in the air regarding Jackson’s future in Baltimore. For now, we’ll just have to wait until the offseason for the next chapter in this story.