The Ravens have become the rare team to go four seasons with a star quarterback tied to a rookie contract. Lamar Jackson played the 2021 season for $1.8MM and is going into his fifth-year option season still attached to his 2018 rookie pact.
Ravens GM Eric DeCosta indicated the young quarterback has not been especially aggressive in pursuing an extension, one the team is ready to discuss.
“I think it takes two sides to actively put their heads together and get a deal worked out,” DeCosta said, via ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley. “We are ready to be there for Lamar at any point when he decides that he really wants to work on it, we will be.”
Last month, DeCosta labeled these as unusual extension talks due to Jackson being without an agent. DeCosta has spoken with Jackson via text just once over the past month. The Ravens have gone from treating this extension as a formality in 2021 to being less certain here, Hensley adds, due to the lack of progress. John Harbaugh said back in January 2021 a Jackson extension would occur during the 2021 or ’22 offseasons. We are now on the back half of that timeline.
While Baker Mayfield joins Jackson as an un-extended 2018 first-round QB, Jackson resides on a different tier in terms of ability. Josh Allen landed his extension before the start of his fourth season, following many recent young QBs on that timetable.
By virtue of his accomplishments, Jackson’s cap number will spike from $3MM in 2021 to $23.1MM in 2022. The sides began negotiations in April of last year, and Jackson said last May he wanted to be a Raven for the rest of his career. He is positioned to approach Patrick Mahomes‘ $45MM-per-year accord, though this is rather an interesting negotiation due to Jackson’s skillset. Although other mobile quarterbacks have signed big-ticket extensions since Mahomes’ contract came to pass, none reside in Jackson’s league regarding run-game usage. That adds a key wrinkle here regarding the potential length of Jackson’s prime. Jackson’s 615 carries since 2018 pace the quarterback field by nearly 200 in that span, compiling that total despite not taking over as Baltimore’s starter until midway through his rookie year and missing five games in 2021.
The 2019 MVP has established himself as one of the NFL’s top QBs, though the Ravens were only able to win one playoff game during one of the best bargain periods in modern NFL history. Jackson will no longer reside as a bargain in 2022, and the Ravens will have the franchise tag at their disposal in 2023.
6 comments on “Ravens GM: Lamar Jackson Not Actively Pursuing Extension”
Dude just call Drew and get paid your mom ain’t cuttin it.
Stick with Mom, Lamar…Drew is the Devil’s spawn.
Could it be a strategy to wait until the franchise tag comes into play? Sure worked for Kirk Cousins…
Personally I like the move and his approach. I see the NFL as greedy blood suckers anyway. His play warrants another contract and the market dictates that amount. Why be a jerk about it some have? This way he gets his money, plenty of it and doesn’t hand over a percentage to some guy in bed with the owners anyway? I’d be more proud to say I’m represented by my mom than ANY agent. So caps off to him for his family above football approach. He can be a multi millionaire AND a class man at the sametime. Rare these days but he’s showing us it can be both!
Given his style of play, though, going year-to-year is risky. He gets hit about as much as a running back. Cam was wise enough to get paid before the punishment took its toll.
Is Jackson really in a different tier than Nayfield in regards to ability? Jackson and Mayfield are both good quarterbacks, but neither had a great season last year. Both still need extensions but have plenty to prove after injuries impeded their play and rendered them ineffective at times during the season.
Jackson did have a laudable campaign two years ago, but his long term prospects look less steady than Mayfield’s so long as he operates as a run first quarterback. Some of that change needs to come from him ability wise, but a lot needs to come from Baltimore playbook wise. The Roman scheme was perfect to allow Jackson to get settled into the league early, but now it’s time to allow him to develop as a passer so the Ravens can have him long term as a starter.
Both Jackson and Mayfield, despite some good early success, need more stability to prove that they can have sustained long term success. Despite that, they both seem like they can have the potential to do so, and I think that we’ll see them both with extensions eventually.