Lamar Jackson deal sprang from offer Ravens made before 2022 season
During his Wednesday appearance on #PFTPM, Ravens G.M. Eric DeCosta was asked which contract had more of an impact on the contract to which quarterback Lamar Jackson agreed last week -- the Deshaun Watson deal or the Jalen Hurts deal.
“Oh, man. That’s a good question,” DeCosta said. “I mean, I think they were both kind of hovering overhead different ways. I mean, obviously, the Watson deal was really something that the media focused on quite a bit and was fascinated by any impact that would have on the negotiation with Lamar. And then I think that the Hurts deal, you know, it hit before we got the Lamar deal done.”
DeCosta ultimately pivoted to a different contact as the key -- the one the Ravens offered to Lamar last year.
“I would say that, you know the contract that we did with Lamar is not that dissimilar from the contract that we offered Lamar in September,” DeCosta said. “And I think that contract actually had the biggest impact of the whole thing, because we felt that the time that that was a strong contract offer. We had a small window to get that done. Lamar had put a self-imposed end of negotiation date before the season started. We felt like we were getting close to a deal at that point, but we ran out of time and so we decided to kind of revisit that contract. We augmented and added some money in different ways to that contract and fortunately we were able to get the deal done. But when we compare the two deals, the deal from September and the deal that we offered Lamar that Lamar accepted, you know the framework was there with that deal back in September and allowed us to get to this point.”
We’ve seen the differences from September to April, in the limited details that have surfaced. Instead of five years and $250 million, it’s five years and $260 million. Instead of $175 million guaranteed for injury at signing, it’s $185 million.
This also implies that the full guarantee at signing will be more than $133 million, and that the practical guarantee (the full guarantee vesting after one season) will be more than (as PFT reported last month) $168 million.
So what changed to get Jackson to change his position on the structure the Ravens offered last year?
“You’d have to ask Lamar that question,” DeCosta said. “You should try to get him on your show. I don’t know, I wouldn’t want to speak for Lamar. That’s a good question. I think just from our perspective problem solving we’re going to just kind of keep trying to solve these problems, keep offering deals, trying to keep the relationship alive. And we felt like it was our time last week to try to do it again and fortunately we got the deal done.”
Reporters will have a chance to ask Lamar that question later today, when he and DeCosta and coach John Harbaugh meet with the media for the first time since they reached their new contract.