Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is negotiating his own contract extension, cutting out the middle man to land one of the richest contracts in NFL history. While some are concerned about the negotiations, projections look promising for the 2019 NFL MVP.
The moment the 2020 NFL season concluded, Baltimore made its intentions clear. The franchise was determined to make Jackson one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL and even head coach John Harbaugh is certain something gets done.
As Jackson negotiates his deal, the likes of Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen await to see what the market for young quarterbacks will be set at moving forward. With the NFL salary cap expected to soar in 2022, a huge contract is coming.
ESPN’s Dan Graziano spoke to multiple people around the NFL and there was consensus that Jackson’s deal will come in around $40-$45 million per season.
- Lamar Jackson passing stats (2020-’21): 24-6 record, 5,884 passing yards, 62/15 TD INT ratio, 1066 passer rating and 65.3 percent completion rate
- Lamar Jackson rushing stats (2020-’21): 2,211 rushing yards, 14 rushing touchdowns and 6.6 yards per carry
Heading into training camp, only two quarterbacks average $40-plus million per season. Patrick Mahomes signed a historic 10-year. $450 million extension last year and the Dallas Cowboys signed Dak Prescott to a four-year, $160 million deal in March.
Jackson likely won’t surpass Mahomes’ deal in average salary or total value, but he stands a great shot at becoming the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL. While both signal-callers have just one playoff victory early in their careers, Jackson has an MVP award and is succeeding with less surrounding talent than Prescott.
While a long-term deal means eating into the salary cap, the Ravens are in a comfortable position. Baltimore is projected to have $29 million in cap space next spring and that rises to $107 million in 2023.
While some might see genuine financial risk from Lamar Jackson negotiating his own deal, he is consulting with advisers. Most importantly, he holds all the leverage as the Ravens know they can’t afford to lose one of the best players in the NFL.