Lamar Jackson Reveals Ravens’ Latest Contract Offer

Lamar Jackson

Getty Lamar Jackson has cleared up confusion about latest reports on his contract status.

Lamar Jackson still has gotten a new and fully guaranteed contract from the Baltimore Ravens, but the quarterback has cleared up recent reports about what’s been offered and whether or not he’ll play all of the 2022 season on his fifth-year option.

Jackson still needs a new deal, but the absence of one isn’t going to impact his performances. Not based on how well Jackson played against the New York Jets in Week 1, when 2019’s NFL MVP threw three touchdown passes to spark a 24-9 road win.

Afterwards, Jackson was naturally asked about the status of contract negotiations. His response revealed the exact nature of the proposal he rejected.

Jackson Clears Up Reports About Guaranteed Sum

When asked about whether he turned down a guaranteed contract worth $250 million, Jackson replied: “Guaranteed? No. No, there’s no truth to that”

The Baltimore Sun’s Jonas Shaffer posted a video of the exchange:

However, ESPN’s Dianna Russini provided some clarity when she tweeted the following:

Those last words, “we’ll see,” still leave the door ajar for the Ravens to get a deal done with Jackson and avoid the franchise QB being eligible for free agency next year. While using the franchise tag would still be an option in that scenario, it would prove an expensive and short-term compromise fraught with risk for the Ravens.

The amount of guaranteed money Russini mentioned exceeded what was earlier reported by her colleague, Chris Mortensen:

Whether the Ravens offered $133 million guaranteed or “roughly between $160-180 million,” they still aren’t paying Jackson on a par with Deshaun Watson. The latter landed a record deal with the Ravens’ AFC North rivals the Cleveland Browns this offseason, a development that reset the quarterback market.

Watson hasn’t played since 2020, when he led the league in passing, amid facing numerous allegations of sexual misconduct. Jackson, meanwhile, has missed just six games and thrown 42 touchdowns the last two seasons.

The Ravens can’t run the risk of letting Jackson bet on himself this season and possibly the next. Not when he’s playing at the peak of his powers, the way he was against the Jets.

Jackson Already Wowing Potential Suitors

Jackson’s stat line for Week 1 wasn’t exactly awe inspiring. Not when he completed just 17 of 30 passes, tossed an interception and suffered two sacks.

Those modest numbers were just part of the story. In typical Jackson fashion, he still managed to make the big plays, including throwing a pair of touchdowns to Devin Duvernay and adding this strike to Rashod Bateman:

It’s significant all three of those scoring passes landed in the hands of Jackson’s wide receivers. The position group is the most suspect on the roster because the depth chart is populated with relatively unproven players like second-year pro Bateman.

Jackson is widely expected to lean on his tight ends, particularly All-Pro Mark Andrews and rookie Isaiah Likely. While Andrews continued to be his QB’s favorite target, snaring five passes for 52 yards in Week 1, the fact Jackson’s wideouts exceeded expectations will have a greater impact on the Ravens this season.

Ironically, the catch-22 for general manager Eric DeCosta is the better those receivers help Jackson perform, the more leverage he’ll gain for contract negotiations. The longer he thrives, the more Jackson will be tempted to bet himself this season and force the Ravens into applying the franchise tag a few months from now.

All signs point to DeCosta having to up his offer sooner rather than later.

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