At a time when salaries for the highest paid NFL players are skyrocketing, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is taking a unique approach to contract negotiations. Despite the organization’s interest in signing Jackson to a long-term contract, the NFL star doesn’t want an extension right now.
It goes against the norm for many of his peers. Josh Allen and Deshaun Watson, signed long-term deals as quickly as possible. In a game where one injury could derail a career, many young quarterbacks want the security of a lucrative, multi-year contract.
- Lamar Jackson rushing stats (career): 3,673 rushing yards, 21 rushing touchdowns, 224 first downs
Jackson is taking a different approach. After backing off negotiations last year, the 2019 NFL MVP winner is again uninterested in signing a contract right now. The 25-year-old wants to play out his rookie contract, much to the dismay of the Ravens’ organization.
Related: Top NFL free agents of 2023 – Lamar Jackson, and Deebo Samuel lead the charge
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, multiple NFL executives are keeping an eye on Jackson’s situation in Baltimore. While both sides remain interested in a long-term deal in the future, rival clubs are waiting to see if things change because of Jackson’s unique approach to negotiations.
Baltimore has leverage right now. Jack will play out the final year of his rookie contract, making $23 million guaranteed in 2022, before he becomes eligible for free agency. In 2023, the Ravens will promptly apply the exclusive franchise tag to him and he’ll play on that fully guaranteed salary.
- Lamar Jackson career stats (passing): 64.1% completion rate, 84-31 TD-INT, 98.1 QB rating
NFL teams are hoping that Baltimore gets tired of waiting. If Jackson keeps drawing things out, refusing to negotiate an extension, the implication would be he is determined to become a free agent in 2025. If the Ravens believe that’s the only realistic outcome, their rivals think the organization might decide to trade Jackson at some point.
Related: Lamar Jackson won’t discuss contract extension until 2023
It seems extremely unlikely, but the 2022 NFL offseason proved crazy things happen. If Jackson ever becomes available, it will be one of the biggest trades in NFL history.