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Recent DeMaurice Smith interview made it clear that Lamar Jackson wants a fully-guaranteed deal

Mike Florio and Myles Simmons discuss Lamar Jackson as the QB tries to avoid being the 'bad guy' as he worries about his financial future with his Ravens contract in question.

On Friday, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith claimed after speaking with someone from Lamar Jackson’s camp that the Ravens quarterback never asked for a fully-guaranteed deal. The surprising claim contradicted months of conventional wisdom that Lamar wants the same thing that Deshaun Watson got from the Browns.

The sudden notion that Lamar Jackson doesn’t want a fully-guaranteed contract directly disputes the content of an important interview that NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith recently had with The Pivot podcast. The entire premise of the conversation regarding guaranteed contracts was that the NFLPA is helping Lamar Jackson get a fully-guaranteed contract that will “bookend” (as Smith said it) the Watson deal, and in turn lay the foundation for other quarterbacks to secure fully-guaranteed deals, too.

There are three possible explanations for the recent report. One, the information provided to Smith is incorrect. Two, Jackson wants a fully-guaranteed contract, but is claiming otherwise for P.R. reasons. Three, Jackson has changed his mind about wanting a fully-guaranteed contract.

If the last point is the truth, then maybe he and the Ravens will work out a long-term deal before March 7, the deadline for applying the franchise tag. If not, and if the Ravens choose to use the non-exclusive tag, maybe another team will sign him to an offer sheet that isn’t fully guaranteed -- and maybe the Ravens will match it.

Regardless, it’s important to note that this claim Jackson never wanted a fully-guaranteed contract cuts against everything that everyone was led to believe for months, up to and including the things that the head of the union publicly said, just last month. If that has truly changed, it potentially changes everything.