As a result, Lamar Jackson is taking a chance on himself this year rather than accepting a contract extension from the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens stated on Friday morning that they and the quarterback had been unable to reach an extension agreement before the quarterback’s self-imposed deadline.
General manager Eric DeCosta of the Baltimore Ravens said in a statement, “Despite best efforts on all parties, we were unable to agree to a contract extension with Lamar Jackson.”
We sincerely appreciate how he has handled this process, and we are pleased about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work toward a long-term contract following the season, but in the meanwhile, we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign.”
When the preseason was winding down, Jackson, one of the few NFL players who represent himself, requested a halt to contract negotiations. He said on Wednesday that the deadline will be next Friday.
— Baltimore Orioles ➐ (@Oriooles) September 9, 2022
“I’m optimistic that’ll happen when it’s appropriate,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said following Friday’s practice. “Hey dude, let’s go be our best and go focus on football,” Lamar said to me yesterday, “and that’s exactly what he’s been doing all along, so I know nothing will change with him and we’re just focused on Sunday.”
An agreement between the two sides before the start of the season was not anticipated. Steve Bisciotti, the owner of the Baltimore Ravens, admitted in March that the $230 million contract that Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns would make future contract talks with quarterbacks more difficult. In terms of guaranteed money, Watson has a $40.5 million advantage over Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.
Baltimore would have to use the franchise tag on Jackson to prevent him from becoming a free agent if a new contract wasn’t reached by March 7. Dak Prescott, the lone quarterback in the last five years to be placed on the tag, signed a long-term contract with the Dallas Cowboys.
Jackson, who will turn 25 next year, will earn $23.016 million in his fifth-year option, but his salary after this season is not guaranteed. Three quarterbacks have inked contracts worth more than $165 million in the last six months.
This week, Jackson was questioned if he thinks it’s risky to continue with no guaranteed money beyond this season, despite taking more hits (737) than any other quarterback since 2018.
Jackson admitted on Wednesday that the move was “quite a huge gamble” the previous year. If something bad were to happen while I was playing football, I would just say, “I’m just playing football.”
Over the course of the last four seasons, Jackson has established himself as one of the league’s most reliable playmakers and most successful players. After making the switch to him as their starting quarterback in the middle of 2018, the Ravens went on a 37-12 run (.755) when he started and 2-5 without him (.286). In 2019, he was voted the NFL’s most valuable player by every single voting outlet.
On the other hand, Jackson just finished his toughest season to date. He threw 13 interceptions, which is more than he ever has, and he missed a season-high five games, the last four of which were due to an ankle ailment.
Prior to Joe Flacco in 2012, the last quarterback to play out his rookie contract rather than sign an extension with the Ravens was Joe Flacco. As a result of his efforts, Flacco led the Ravens to the Super Bowl victory, and the following year he received the largest contract in NFL history.
To kick off the new season, Jackson and the Ravens will take against Flacco and the New York Jets on Sunday.
In order to secure Jackson’s services for the 2022 season, the Ravens picked up his fifth-year option, which comes with a $23 million guarantee. Near the beginning of preseason, Jackson was diagnosed with COVID-19 for the second time.
Jackson had 235 passing yards, 86 rushing yards, and a passing touchdown in the Ravens’ Week 1 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, but he also lost two of three fumbles, and the team ultimately lost, 27-33 in overtime.
Jackson led the Ravens to a 36-35 victory over Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. Jackson threw for 239 yards, ran for 107 yards, threw two interceptions, and scored three total touchdowns.
Jackson threw for 287 yards and rushed for 58 more while also scoring a score as the Baltimore Ravens edged the Detroit Lions 19-17 thanks to a game-winning field goal from Ravens kicker Justin Tucker that was the longest in NFL history at 66 yards.
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