Lamar Jackson is taking a massive bet on himself this season, and the latest details on his negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens reveal just how big.
Everyone loves a story of someone betting on themselves and their abilities, but when it comes to Lamar Jackson, you have to be a little nervous about the magnitude of the bet he’s making on himself this season.
Jackson, who represents himself instead of an agent acting on his behalf in regards to contract negotiations, has halted contract extension talks with the Baltimore Ravens as of Friday, meaning he’ll enter this year without money locked in for the future. It puts him at risk of being franchise tagged next season as well.
New reports on Sunday morning revealed just how much money Jackson left on the table. Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter released information on ESPN on Sunday morning about the contract talks that, to this point, have been relatively secretive in terms of actual reported dollars.
Here’s what Jackson turned down according to Mort and Schefty:
- 5 year contract, $250 million
- $133 million guaranteed at signing
- AAV of $50 million
The main hangup? Baltimore did not want to grant Jackson’s wish of a deal that was as guaranteed as Deshaun Watson’s with the Browns. Watson got an astonishing $230 million guaranteed by Cleveland this offseason.
$133 million guaranteed would have been more than the guaranteed money received by any quarterback other than Watson. Here are the guaranteed dollars for other QBs according to Over the Cap:
- Russell Wilson: $165 million
- Kyler Murray: $160 million
- Patrick Mahomes: $141 million
- Dak Prescott: $126 million
- Matt Stafford: 120 million
- Aaron Rodgers: $101 million
- Josh Allen: $100 million
Jackson clearly wants the next mammoth deal in the quarterback market. If he can prove his worth this year, he just might get it, but if things go poorly this season he could be looking at what was offered this offseason and wish it was still available for him.
Lamar Jackson is putting all his chips on the table for the 2022 season with the Ravens
It’s a bet that has been likened to what Joe Flacco did with the franchise about a decade ago. Flacco would go on to lead the team to a Super Bowl victory that season, securing the largest contract in the quarterback market at the time.
It worked for Flacco, will it work for Jackson?
Jackson, who is a mobile quarterback, is certainly in harm’s way due to his mobility more than other quarterbacks. Quarterbacks are almost always at risk, but those who move out of the pocket more frequently certainly are at risk of serious injury than those who stay in the pocket, especially the way the NFL’s rules have been redesigned to protect quarterbacks while in the pocket.
You have to hope Jackson stays healthy and that he can cash in the chips next offseason. Only time will tell at this point. Who knows, maybe he could even end up playing for another team in 2023.