Lamar Jackson chimes in on contract negotiations with Ravens
As the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson close in on his Week One deadline for doing a long-term deal, Jackson has peeled back the curtain, a bit, on social media.
Responding to Twitter users who made comments about his status, Jackson dropped a few hints about what he may be looking for. And he seems to be looking for a Deshaun Watson-style fully-guaranteed deal.
After one user said the Ravens should give Jackson $250 million guaranteed and another responded by saying that “they already offered that” and Jackson wants more, Jackson said this: “No they didn’t.”
Then, after another user said, “As much as I love Lamar, a fully guaranteed deal would be bad business,” Jackson replied, “You don’t love Lamar.”
Clearly, the Ravens haven’t offered $250 million fully guaranteed to Jackson. The Browns gave $230 million to Watson, and that was enough to get Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to publicly grouse about the development.
Although Jackson didn’t come out and say it, his two tweets strongly imply that, to Bisciotti’s dismay, Jackson wants a fully-guaranteed contract.
Frankly, he should. Although contracts for franchise quarterbacks rarely are ripped up prematurely, Jackson plays the position in a more dangerous way than other quarterbacks. The physical risk for him is real. Without guarantees, he’s at risk of being released.
And while the Ravens can try to dismiss the Watson deal as an aberration, it also can be called a new high-water mark. Which is what groundbreaking contracts typically are. The people pulling the purse strings always want to disregard a market-changing contract as an accident, not a trend. Because of course they do. And the Ravens may be inclined to hold firm with Jackson because the Cardinals successfully did it with Kyler Murray.
Lamar has every right to push for a fully-guaranteed deal, if he’s willing to assume the risk of walking away from whatever the Ravens are willing to do and play for $23 million this year with no guarantees for 2023 and beyond. And if he’s willing to do that, there will be no new contract this year, or possibly ever, in Baltimore.
Eventually, that contract could come from another team. In response to a comment thatLamar, who grew up in South Florida, possibly wants to play for the Dolphins the same way a Baltimore native would want to play for the Ravens, Jackson said, “I grew up a Dallas fan but Dolphins were second no doubt.”
He could have said something like, “I’m a Raven for life.” He didn’t. And all that that possibly implies.