Lamar Jackson's upcoming contract extension is a pivotal moment for the Ravens as they chart their way forward with their MVP quarterback.
Quarterbacks tend to get paid more than any other position in the NFL, and judging by the QB market as a whole, Jackson's next deal could be a pricy one.
"It wouldn't surprise people around the league if Jackson's deal came in behind Mahomes' $45 million-a-year average and ahead of Prescott's $40 million," ESPN NFL Insider Dan Graziano wrote Wednesday.
If Jackson ultimately surpasses $40 million annually, he'd become the second-highest paid quarterback (and player) in the NFL. Dak Prescott ($40M), Deshaun Watson ($39M) and Russell Wilson ($35M) currently trail Mahomes as the league's best-paid field generals.
Jackson has been a model of consistent production since he was named the Ravens' starting quarterback midway through his rookie season. He's accumulated over 7,000 passing yards, 68 touchdowns and 18 interceptions to go along with nearly 3,000 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. Baltimore is 30-7 with Jackson at quarterback.
When Watson signed his extension after the first three years of his career, he had 9,716 yards, 71 touchdowns and 29 interceptions as well as 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns running the ball. Similar to Jackson, Watson had just one playoff win in three seasons.
Playoff success has been the challenge for Jackson and the Ravens over the last three years. A wild-card exit in 2018 and an upset loss to the Titans in the 2019 divisional round left the young quarterback winless in the postseason until finally getting over the hump against Tennessee in 2020.
Still, the Ravens have yet to make it to the AFC title game with Jackson, a fact that will continue to hover over the organization no matter how much regular-season success they experience.