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Baltimore Ravens reportedly not close on Lamar Jackson contract extension

BILL INGRAM /THE PALM BEACH POST / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Baltimore Ravens made it clear this offseason that they are determined to sign MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson to a contract extension. But with December just around the corner, it seems the two sides still aren’t close to an agreement.

Drafted with the 32nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson has become one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. The 2019 NFL MVP and first-team All-Pro selection is enjoying one of the best seasons in his career, carrying Baltimore into the playoff hunt.

But even with both sides committed to getting a long-term deal done, Jackson is focused on his play and it’s resulted in negotiations between the two sides not progressing.

  • Lamar Jackson stats (2021): 2,447 passing yards, 93.1 passer rating, 14-8 TD-INT ratio, 639 rushing yards

NFL reporter Jason La Canfora provided an update on where things stand in contract negotiations between the Ravens and their franchise quarterback.

“Months of negotiation between the Ravens and former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson have produced no new paperwork to this point, as the sides head into the second half of the season with no contract extension imminent.”

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora on contract negotiations between Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson

It doesn’t come as much of a surprise that a contract isn’t imminent. Jackson is consulting with his family and outside counsel during his negotiations, taking full control of the situation and avoiding the costs that come from hiring an agent to handle the contract talks.

While that decision is impacting how long the negotiations are taking, Jackson’s efforts on the field are helping further boost his value.

Projecting a Lamar Jackson contract extension

While Jackson might not be leading the NFL in major passing statistics, he is arguably performing at a higher level than MVP candidates Tom Brady and Josh Allen. Both quarterbacks are in offenses with at least one All-Pro talent at wide receiver and playing in a scheme that maximizes pass production.

Jackson is Baltimore’s entire offense. The Ravens hoped J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards would play prominent roles this season, creating one of the best rushing attacks in the NFL. But both running backs suffered season-ending injuries before Week 1, meaning the Ravens entire offense depended on the quarterback.

Jackson is one of the most explosive rushers in the NFL and is doing even more through the air. Despite playing more than half the season without either Sammy Watkins or Rashod Bateman. According to Player Profiler, Jackson entered Week 12 ranked third in air yards per attempt (9.4), 11th in accuracy rating (7.8) and he ranks sixth in ESPN’s Expected Points Added (56.4).

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He’s doing all of this with a supporting cast that ranks far below the top quarterbacks in the NFL and has helped Baltimore overcome one of the worst pass defenses in the NFL.

  • Lamar Jackson contract prediction: 5 years, $220 million

Considering Allen landed a $258 million contract worth $43 million per season and Dak Prescott is earning $40 million per season, Jackson will likely push to top those numbers. With the NFL salary cap rising next year, it would be a surprise if Jackson isn’t the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL by 2023.