Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has gone in recent weeks from seemingly not wanting a long-term deal with the Ravens to seemingly wanting one now.
The question arose on Saturday whether Jackson would like to secure his second NFL contract before training camp begins.
“I hope so,” Jackson told Safid Deen about United States today, at Jackson’s fourth annual Funday event with LJ.
Jackson is entering the option year of his rookie contract, with a base salary of about $23 million for 2022. He has not committed to a new contract until camp begins.
“I’m not going to say ‘yes’ now,” Jackson told Deen. “Hopefully. But it’s God’s timing.
That said, it’s up to Lamar whether he can hold his own if God and/or the Ravens don’t pass.
“I don’t have that in mind,” Jackson said of a possible absence from training camp.
The Ravens tried for months to get Jackson’s attention. They apparently have it. But whether they can reach an agreement on a new contract remains to be seen.
Jackson won the league’s MVP award in 2019. Since then, the market has grown significantly. The current best contract, all things considered, belongs to Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, at $46 million a year for five years, fully guaranteed. This should be the starting point for Jackson. The Ravens may not want to make this their endgame.
Complicating matters is the fact that Jackson represents himself. It is difficult for him to say what needs to be said. This makes it difficult for the Ravens to say what needs to be said.
What ultimately needs to happen is a new fair deal for both parties. Otherwise, the franchise dance begins in early 2023.