The Baltimore Ravens entered this offseason with one main goal: sign star quarterback Lamar Jackson long-term. The former league MVP’s contract runs up this season and the self-represented quarterback has seen the price tag on star-level quarterbacks go through the roof in recent years, with the likes of Kyler Murray, Russell Wilson, and others lock in monstrous deals that pay them nearly $50 million per year.
That was, undoubtedly, where Jackson wanted the contract figure to land for his services, but the Ravens and Jackson went through this offseason without ever finding common ground. After Jackson told reporters the deadline for an extension was Friday after long proclaiming he wouldn’t discuss a deal during the season, the team announced on Friday morning that there would be no extension as the two sides simply could not agree on a deal.
Statement from General Manager Eric DeCosta. pic.twitter.com/HpaD2ccSp2
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 9, 2022
As such, Jackson will play out this year on his current deal, paying him $23 million, and the Ravens will almost assuredly put the franchise tag on Jackson next year while, again, trying to work out a new contract. With Jackson representing himself, it makes sense why he wouldn’t negotiate during the season to avoid the distraction (or at least, the perception of a distraction), but it does hinder progress that could be made.
After struggling with Jackson out of the lineup a year ago (despite solid play from Brett Huntley), there’s little doubt of the importance of Jackson to the success of the Ravens. If they have a bounceback this year with Jackson under center and he returns to the elite tier of QBs post-injury, he likely will only boost his position in negotiations and the Ravens may regret not locking him up sooner at what may end up being a cheaper (even if very high) price.