To say that the Cleveland Browns shocked the world by trading for Deshaun Watson and then instantly proceeded to sign him to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract would be an understatement. Aside from the backlash coming from inside the Dawg Pound, you can count Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti as someone who’s not exactly thrilled about the latest events occurring within the AFC North, but it doesn’t have much to do with their division rivals, directly.
Steve Bisciotti notes how Deshaun Watson contract complicates future negotiations
Instead of focusing on the competitive differences between the two teams, Baltimore Ravens team owner Steve Bisciotti instead pointed out how Deshaun Watson’s contract is likely to impact all major quarterback negotiations moving forward.
“I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to play that game, you know? We shall see.”Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti speaking about Deshaun Watson’s new contract
There could be a lot that Bisciotti’s implying here, without saying it. Whether he’s taking a shot at Watson’s image, or the fact that he didn’t play a single snap a season ago, and basically stopped wanting to play for the Texans, remains to be seen. Either way, he’s up front about how the fully guaranteed part of Watson’s new contract with the Browns will only make player value discussions more difficult when it comes time to extend or re-sign high-end talent.
Otherwise, the last part of his quote is just as fascinating. He’s otherwise suggesting that if Jackson’s demands are similar to Watson’s, that the team may not cave, and try to continue operating in the same manner that NFL front offices have for decades.
The only issue with this approach is getting left behind in a perpetual rat race to reach the Super Bowl. If the Ravens aren’t willing to comply, surely some other team will gladly get in line for a chance to sign, or trade for a former MVP like Jackson.
Baltimore Ravens’ contract negotiations with Lamar Jackson not going well
Bisciotti’s comments are particularly noteworthy, being that they’re coming from the Ravens who actually happen to be one of a few teams needing to reach a contract extension with their young franchise quarterback.
- Lamar Jackson contract (2022): $23M (fifth-year option)
Though, Lamar Jackson doesn’t appear to be rushing to the negotiation table, instead, the dynamic dual-threat QB seems willing to wait things out, likely hoping to improve his overall value in the end, perhaps with a new, shiny Super Bowl ring on his finger. In other words, he’s betting on himself.
As you can see, the lack of a new Lamar Jackson contract isn’t for a lack of trying from Baltimore’s perspective. But we don’t know the specifics behind closed doors. There could be an offer on the table in which they’re not willing to budge, or drastically alter, and maybe Jackson knows that, and also isn’t willing to cave to their expectations. Who knows.
Steve Bisciotti calls Lamar Jackson talks “unique as hell”
What could be unique about Lamar Jackson’s asking price? With no further details revealed at this time we can only speculate.
Maybe Jackson too is angling for a fully guaranteed deal. Aside from matching, or likely topping Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract, maybe Jackson has his eyes on something far greater in the long run.
Could Jackson become the first NFL athlete to sign a contract that ties him to a certain, small percentage of the team ownership? Essentially making him a player/team owner. It could be a way to certify that Jackson is a Raven for life, or at least ensure he remains all in on the team and it’s future.
There’s no question both the Ravens want to continue pursuing a Lombardi trophy, they want to do so together. Whatever Jackson’s approach is at the negotiation table, the Ravens would be wise to pony up.