Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will enter the offseason with plenty of motivation following another playoff loss. While the NFL MVP focuses on improving his game, the Ravens are turning their attention to ensuring he is part of their long-term outlook.
While Jackson is under contract for the 2021 NFL season and will have his 2022 fifth-year option picked up, Baltimore recognizes now is the time to get a longer deal done. Much like we saw with Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson last offseason, Jackson could be poised for a huge contract extension with his third NFL season now in the books.
Unsurprisingly, it seems the Ravens don’t plan to waste any time trying to make something happen.
Ravens to approach Lamar Jackson about contract extension before Super Bowl LV
On Monday, Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta revealed the organization’s early plan for the offseason. While it hasn’t officially begun, with Super Bowl LV still two weeks away, the Ravens intend to approach Jackson about a contract extension within the next 10 days.
“Certainly deserves a contract… My intention is to keep him in Baltimore for many, many years.”Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta, via Aditi Kinkhabwala
Baltimore has been preparing for this moment since Jackson won NFL MVP in 2019. When their start quarterback answered the critics and exercised his playoff demons in the wild-card victory over the Tennessee Titans, it further ensured the need to commit to him.
We’ll likely see the Ravens take the same approach the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans used a year ago. Both clubs exercised their fifth-year options when first allowed, securing their quarterbacks on their rookie contracts for one more season. Once that happened, it allowed the teams to make that year part of the long-term extension.
The same strategy is likely the plan for another perennial AFC contender. The Buffalo Bills plan to submit a massive offer to star quarterback Josh Allen. Conveniently for both signal-callers, the negotiations should lead to leaked reports detailing potential financial figures of the contract proposals and agents will use that to drive up their client’s asking price.
Jackson won’t come close to matching the historic contract Mahomes signed with Kansas City. However, they could seek to match or surpass the $39 million average Watson will receive under the life of his deal.
A new extension shouldn’t be Baltimore’s only commitment to Lamar Jackson this offseason. The Ravens need to devote cap space, which they have a lot of, and draft picks to upgrading this offense. If the 24-year-old quarterback further improves as a passer and the supporting cast around him is better, this team will be a Super Bowl contender in 2021.