Back in 2018, the Baltimore Ravens selected Lamar Jackson 32nd overall out of Louisville. It was a shocking move at the time that has greatly paid off ever since, especially considering Jackson won NFL MVP in 2019.
In many ways, the Ravens were betting on Jackson, who clearly the NFL didn’t widely view as a first-round prospect, being that he slipped to the final pick in the opening round. Despite an exciting and productive college career that led to a Heisman Trophy in 2016, Jackson wasn’t strictly being viewed as a quarterback, with some even wanting him to work out as a receiver at the combine.
Boy how they were wrong. Now years after the Ravens chose to bet on Jackson, we could be reaching the point where the QB bets on himself as he continues contract negotiations with the Ravens.
Lamar Jackson was offered $133 million, but what else?
The Ravens have long been well aware of their upcoming need to re-sign Jackson and have been trying to do so for months, dating back to last offseason. Back during Week 1, ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported Jackson had turned down a contract offer that included $133 million in guarantees.
While this report is interesting, it lacks a lot of detail. We know how much Jackson’s contract guaranteed, but how much was the total value of the agreement worth? How much would he get paid in the first year or two? Basically, the report means zilch without having the full contract parameters. Plus, 133 million? That’s still far less than Deshaun Watson’s $230 million, fully guaranteed contract from the Cleveland Browns. Why is the Ravens’ offer so much lower for their franchise player? No wonder Jackson didn’t sign.
While Mort’s report came back in September, former NFL safety Ryan Clark, who makes regular appearances on ESPN’s ‘First Take’, confirmed the guarantee amount. Clark also noted that the Ravens initially offered Jackson $113 million before raising the bar to $133, but as far as he knows, that is the most the Ravens have offered their QB so far.
We don’t know the full story, we’re only hearing bits and pieces, but if what Clark suggests is true, the Ravens may have a hard time agreeing to a long-term extension with one of the most electrifying playmakers in football.