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Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson reports to training camp amid contract uncertainty

Vincent Frank

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been a major topic of discussion around Maryland this offseason.

The former NFL MVP has yet to sign a contract extension with his team and could technically hit free agency next March if that doesn’t come to fruition some time soon.

For his part, Jackson hasn’t necessarily engaged in talks with a Ravens organization that would like to lock him up long-term. Instead, the 25-year-old signal caller is seemingly ready to take his contract situation year-by-year.

This didn’t stop Jackson from reporting to Ravens training camp on Thursday. Baltimore sent out a social media post showing the quarterback arriving in Owings Mills.

It’s not too much of a surprise that Jackson reported. After all, he did attend mandatory minicamp earlier in the summer.

With that said, Thursday’s news that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray signed a massive extension changes the dynamics a bit here. Murray’s extension comes in at $230.5 million and makes him the second highest-paid quarterback in NFL history behind Aaron Rodgers.

Related: Lamar Jackson and the top NFL QBs of the 2022 season

How Kyler Murray extension impacts Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens
Dec 27, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the New York Giants at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

There’s now a chance that Murray’s extension could expedite talks between Jackson’s reps and the Ravens’ front office during training camp. After all, the former Louisville star is more-accomplished than his younger counterpart.

It stands to reason that Jackson will become the second $50 million per-year quarterback when he ultimately inks a new deal with Baltimore. At issue here is the fact that Jackson’s camp, led by his mother, has been unwilling to engage in lengthy contract talks with the Ravens.

“The Ravens, I can tell you are mystified. They’re just…they don’t understand the lack of engagement on a contract.”

Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports on Lamar Jacksn contract situation

The indications are clear. Jackson would rather play under the franchise tag in 2023 and 2024. The idea would be for him to bet on himself and earn a record-breaking deal as the NFL quarterback market continues to evolve.

The likes of Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow are eligible for extensions next offseason. Given how they have performed in two NFL seasons, each one would likely reset the quarterback market.

Despite Jackson’s unwillingness to fully engage in contract talks, there’s been some thought given to the idea that he might hold out. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards right now given that he reported for camp.

Related: Lamar Jackson and the top 2023 NFL free agents

For Baltimore, it’s all about getting some clarity on the situation. It would rather have this taken care of before Week 1 against the New York Jets.

“They believe if he wants to do that then they could go year-to-year here, sort of like a rental situation. They don’t want that; they want to sign him long term.”

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler on Lamar Jackson contract situation

This is certainly going to be something to pay attention to over the next few weeks. Jackson is coming off a down 2021 season that saw him throw just 16 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. In the process, Baltimroe missed out on the playoffs for the first time since it drafted him back in 2018.

Getting the contract situation settled would prove valuable for both sides. Whether that comes to fruition remains to be seen.