The Baltimore Ravens have been the early winners of the Lamar Jackson negotiations. With no bidders stepping up to the plate Lamar Jackson basically has to decide to come back for a one-year deal worth under $33M or take $45M or so per year, with over $50M coming in the first year.
Could Baltimore Ravens still lose Lamar Jackson?
Even the contract he leaked is fully guaranteed, just for three years, and not five. So, as of now, while Jackson is turned off by it, that is the best deal for him. He could play the season on the tag, but now he is turning money away.
Of course, things can change, and teams' interest may peak as we get closer to the NFL draft. One name to keep in mind appears to the Tennessee Titans. Below is an excerpt from Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.
"They mention Tennessee, who just cleared some cap space. They have a new GM Ran Carthon, who's working on the roster. They could use a running quarterback; they have experience with that in the past. And even a wild card like Minnesota. Kirk Cousins has one year left on his contract if they want to reestablish their identity there.""- ESPN's Jeremy Fowler
It would make sense that the Titans could clear even more cap space by trading Tannehill and then move on to Jackson. Beyond that, while a team like the Colts would have to give up the number four overall pick, the Titans are giving up the 11th. We saw it took two firsts to move up from 11 to four, so the Titans could view it as just trading up to get the Colts' pick, while this is a much costlier deal for the Colts.
The Titans have been run-heavy under Mike Vrabel. They hired a former running back to be their GM, and he seems to be aligned with Vrabel on this idea. The Baltimore Ravens may be feeling good about where they stand right now, but they could be having to worry about the Tennessee Titans soon.
Now that the rumors of his contract offer have been leaked it will be interesting to see if a team does come in above that, and when they do, whether it be right before or after the NFL draft.