Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson has been away from all voluntary off-season workouts this spring and summer as the two sides deal with a contract stalemate.
More than anything, it seems as if Jackson is intent on playing out the fifth year on his rookie contract and dealing with things after the 2022 campaign.
There’s been no clear indication that the former NFL MVP would hold out of mandatory minicamp this week or training camp late next month. That was confirmed on Monday with Jackson reporting to camp. In the process, he had something to say to Ravens fans.
- Lamar Jackson contract: $23.02 million base salary in 2022; free agent in 2023
As you can see, Jackson is among the most-underpaid signal callers in the NFL right now. His $23 million salary for 2022 ranks 17th among active quarterbacks.
With that said, the former first-round pick from Louisville has pushed back against engaging in deep extension talks with Baltimore. Instead, reports indicate that he’d rather go year-by-year. That is to say, playing under the franchise tag in both 2023 and 2024 before hitting free agency in 2025.
Lamar Jackson contract and the complicated nature of the business
As of right now, Jackson does not have an official agent. His mother is representing him when it comes to the financial aspect of the game. It’s an outlier in the modern NFL.
Any new deal for Jackson would likely have to come in at north of $40 million annually. There are seven quarterbacks in the NFL earning that on a yearly basis right now. This includes veterans such as Aaron Rodgers, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford — all of whom have inked extensions during the 2022 offseason.
- Lamar Jackson stats (2021): 64% completion, 2,882 passing yards, 767 rushing yards, 18 total TD, 13 INT, 87.0 QB rating
As you can see, Jackson is coming off a down 2021 campaign. He missed multiple games to injury and was impacted by COVID-19 en route to Baltimore missing the playoffs for the first time in his four-year career.
On the surface, one might think that this would lead to Baltimore pushing back against a lucrative long-term deal for the dual-threat quarterback. That has not been the case.
This is going to be a situation to pay attention to with training camps quickly approaching. While there doesn’t seem to be a major rift between the two sides, any time a quarterback is playing out the final year oof his deal, it’s less than ideal for both sides.