Although Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have stored particulars of their contract negotiations personal, the star quarterback turned down a five-year extension supply price over $250 million with $133 million guaranteed at signing, sources instructed ESPN.
The extension, which ran by the 2027 season, would have elevated the entire worth of Jackson’s deal to only below $274 million over six years, in accordance with sources. Jackson would have performed out the $23 million fifth-year possibility on his rookie deal earlier than the extension began in 2023.
The extension years within the Ravens’ proposal would have paid Jackson a better common wage than the offers signed this summer time by Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray and likewise included extra money guaranteed at signing, in accordance with sources.
But sources instructed ESPN that the Ravens additionally balked at Jackson’s want for a deal that was fully guaranteed at signing, much like Deshaun Watson’s, prompting the perimeters to announce Friday that that they had scheduled contract talks till after the 2022 season.
Wilson signed a $242.5 million deal earlier this month that averaged $48.5 million yearly and included $161 million guaranteed, about six weeks after Murray obtained a $230.5 million deal that averaged $46 million per 12 months and included $189.5 million guaranteed.
But the difficulty for Jackson wasn’t Wilson’s deal or Murray’s a lot because it was Watson’s, in accordance with sources. The Browns signed Watson to a $230 million contract that was fully guaranteed at signing. The Ravens’ supply of $133 million fully guaranteed at signing was greater than each Wilson’s ($124 million) and Murray’s ($103.3 million) however nicely wanting Watson’s.
Jackson acted as his personal agent within the negotiations whereas leaning on the assistance of his mom and the NFL Players Association, whose job it’s to supply stats, data, steering and to be a sounding board, which it was throughout this course of.
The union suggested Jackson, 25, that based mostly on his efficiency and age, he was justified to demand a fully guaranteed contract, sources mentioned.
Union sources framed the Ravens’ talks with Jackson as “good religion,” though the staff included $2.5 million in annual de-escalator clauses if Jackson didn’t attend a excessive share of offseason exercises.
Jackson will make $23.016 million in his fifth-year possibility however has no guaranteed cash after this season. He hopes to land an extension after this season with the Ravens, who’re anticipated to use their franchise tag on Jackson and forestall him from hitting true free company if the perimeters nonetheless are unable to succeed in a deal.
Jackson is making the largest guess in soccer on himself, much like what former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco — who’s beginning in opposition to Baltimore on Sunday for the Jets — did within the 2012 season. Flacco’s deal was set to run out, and he led Baltimore to a Super Bowl title earlier than turning into one of many highest-paid gamers within the NFL.
Jackson, who has taken extra hits (737) than some other quarterback since 2018, was requested final week whether or not he feels it is a danger to play with no guaranteed cash past this season.
“It was a reasonably large danger final season. The 12 months earlier than,” Jackson mentioned Wednesday. “I’m simply enjoying soccer. Anything can occur. God forbid the unsuitable factor occurs.”
Jackson has confirmed to be one of many NFL’s prime playmakers and winners over the previous 4 seasons. Since he grew to become the Ravens’ starter halfway by the 2018 season, Baltimore is 37-12 (.755) with him and 2-5 (.286) with out him. He was the unanimous NFL MVP in 2019.
But Jackson is coming off his most difficult season in 2021, when he threw a career-worst 13 interceptions and missed a career-high 5 video games, together with the final 4 due to an ankle harm.
ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.