Analyst: Lamar Jackson Hasn’t Earned Patrick Mahomes Contract

Lamar Jackson Patrick Mahomes

Getty Lamar Jackson hugs Patrick Mahomes after a game in 2020.

The Baltimore Ravens seem primed to give Lamar Jackson a massive contract extension at some point, but should the team be rushing to do a deal with Jackson in the first place?

Most feel that’s a slam dunk given the talent of Jackson overall and where he stands in the quarterback hierarchy in the league, but others aren’t sure if this decision is the layup it seems to be. Dissenting opinions can be hard to find, but an interesting one has been pushed to the forefront.

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NFL Network personality James Palmer went on Good Morning Football and explained that it might make more sense to wait if you’re the Ravens to see if Jackson can impress you and get to the level Patrick Mahomes has been at the last few years.

He said:

“Let’s look at Patrick Mahomes, in three seasons as a starter, he’s been to two Super Bowls, won one of them, won an MVP, won a Super Bowl MVP and if he would have gotten the football in overtime against Tom Brady and the Patriots, he would have had three years as a starter and three trips to the Super Bowl and statistically he is doing things in the first three years nobody has done in the history of the NFL. There is no comp for Mahomes. Now is Lamar Jackson a great player? Yes. At the same time maybe you wait because Lamar Jackson even said it himself, I need to do those type of things if I want that contract. I’m not sure if you want to pay him right now or potentially pay next year. Maybe you want to see if his style of play is sustainable. The way they are built makes you maybe want to see if this is sustainable moving forward. I’m not saying don’t pay him, I think he is one of the best players in football. But it doesn’t hurt to wait a year. The only issue you have is the price goes up, but the cap in 2023 should drastically increase anyway.”

As Palmer says, the only downside is Jackson could hit it big in such a situation driving up the price, but price should be no obstacle for the Ravens anyway considering the cap is likely to move north in the years ahead.

While a lot of what Palmer says could make sense, it might not be the current reality for the Ravens at the moment.

Jackson Wants to Stay With Ravens

Regardless of what others think, Jackson himself doesn’t seem to have a wandering eye whatsoever. Would the quarterback want to stay with the team long-term or would he be looking to move on? Loyalty can be a foreign concept in today’s NFL, but it’s clear that Jackson is not a person who is looking to fly the coop to a new team and greener pastures simply because of money and money alone.

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Speaking with the media after OTA sessions, Jackson was asked where things stood with contract talks. As he said, things are still ongoing, but he wants to stay with the team well into the future and be a member of the Ravens forever.

He said:

“I spoke to (Eric) DeCosta a month or two ago, but you know, I would love to be here forever. I love Baltimore, I love the whole organization. I love everybody in the building. Hopefully we’ll be making something happen pretty soon or whatever.”

That’s quite a statement to make, and it only serves to prove just how much Jackson wants to stay with the team for the future and remain in the mix. In the end, the Ravens are likely to reward his loyalty.

Ravens Aren’t Likely to Wait on Jackson Extension

While Palmer’s take makes sense in some ways, it doesn’t mean the Ravens are going to be following it whatsoever. Reality says the team knows what Jackson is capable of, so there are no mysteries at all with him at quarterback. The team has also been working with Jackson on contract talks for months, which shows they are more than motivated to try and get things done the right way. All of this points to the fact that the Ravens are moving forward and trying to wrap a deal up with Jackson sooner rather than later. Whether they can get a deal done remains to be seen, but it sure looks as if that is the goal for the franchise rather than waiting.

What will happen in the end? It’s worth watching to see, even as some feel as if the team should be waiting on a new deal with Jackson.

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