If the massive divide between the Baltimore Ravens and superstar quarterback Lamar Jackson were to continue to be insurmountable, there is a likely time frame when trade conversations with other teams would start to pick up steam.
Following a Divisional Round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last month, the Ravens made it clear their top priority this offseason is to lock Lamar Jackson into a long-term contract extension. While the 26-year-old will technically become a free agent soon, he isn’t expected to hit the open market with the organization planning to slap an exclusive franchise tag on the QB.
However, despite previous negotiations last summer, various reports claim that the Baltimore Ravens and Jackson — who does not have an agent and represents himself — have not gotten any closer on terms for a contract.
The major hurdle is the fact that Jackson is looking for a fully guaranteed deal. Something that is a rarity in the sport outside of the massive extension the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson last spring.
$100 million gap could set up Baltimore Ravens making pre-NFL draft Lamar Jackson trade
On Saturday, ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler reported on the situation, and in his report, he reveals the opinion of one AFC executive that feels the contract talks “could become a standoff because I wouldn’t expect him to sign the tag for a while. And they will be so far apart in the guaranteed money.”
Fowler mentions that the gap between the player and the team could be as much as $100 million. The insider speculates that if the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson can’t bridge the gap over the next couple of months, the franchise will likely start taking serious calls on a potential trade in the lead-up to April’s NFL draft.
- Lamar Jackson stats (2022): 2,242 passing yards, 764 rushing yards, 20 total TD, 7 INT
With several high-level quarterback prospects in this year’s draft class and a dozen teams in desperate need of a franchise QB, this could be the perfect time for the Ravens to get a massive return for Jackson while also landing an elite-level prospect to replace him.