People in Lamar Jackson’s inner circle are claiming the various rumors and reports of him requesting a fully guaranteed long-term deal from the Baltimore Ravens are fake news.
Along with Aaron Rodgers’ future, what happens between the Ravens and Jackson are the biggest stories heading into the NFL offseason. He is a former league MVP and one of the best players in the most important position in the sport. However, his rookie contract has officially come to a close, and he is set to be a free agent for the first time.
However, Baltimore has no intention of letting their best player test the open market and is expected to franchise-tag the 26-year-old. Yet, while in most cases that means another season with the team, it’s likely they trade Lamar Jackson if the Ravens can’t come to terms on a long-term pact after slapping a franchise tag on him.
When negotiations do begin, it won’t be the first time the player that represents himself and the team has talked about a new deal. Progress on discussions that started last year isn’t looking great because various recent reports claim the quarterback wants a contract similar to the five-year, $230 million deal the Browns gave Deshaun Watson in 2022.
However, people close to him say there is zero truth to those guarantee requests.
Lamar Jackson’s camp claims Baltimore Ravens have only offered $133 million in guaranteed money
On Thursday, NBA insider and ESPN talking head Stephen A. Smith had a bold report on the Lamar Jackson and Ravens contract talks on “First Take.”
“I was connected to Lamar Jackson’s camp yesterday, and I was absolutely emphatically assured Lamar Jackson has never asked for a fully guaranteed deal. … I’m not questioning anybody’s reporting. I would never disrespect anybody like that. I’m echoing what Lamar Jackson’s camp said because they reached out to me personally and they said, A: They have never asked for a fully guaranteed contract. B: The number that the Baltimore Ravens stopped at was $133 million guaranteed.”– Stephen A. Smith
- Lamar Jackson stats (2022): 3,006 total yards, 20 TDs, 17 INT, 91.1 rating
Obviously, Jackson’s camp is trying to reshape the narrative around negotiations because it has not been favorable to him. But it is believable that the Ravens would stop at $133 million guaranteed since Watson’s fully guaranteed deal was a major outlier for NFL contracts throughout the league’s history.
Baltimore has until March 7 to place a franchise tag on Lamar Jackson.