The last thing Ravens fans have to think about two days before the season opener is whether this will be the last time they see Lamar Jackson in purple, but here we are. On Friday, the organization and Jackson failed to reach an agreement on the extension of a long-term contract, and negotiations were interrupted because the parties missed the deadline set by Jackson for the conclusion of the contract.
In its current form, Jackson will play in 2022 and become a free agent. Obviously, no one expects the quarterback to ever get into free agency, with the most likely scenarios being either a deal with Baltimore or possibly an offseason trade. There’s also a chance the team could use its franchise tag for Jackson in 2023, similar to how Dak Prescott was tagged by the Cowboys in 2020 and 2021 before signing an extension.
It is unclear what the current problem is between the parties, although it is assumed that the burglary may be related to guaranteed money. The concept of putting a lot of guaranteed money into NFL contracts is a relatively new phenomenon, and quarterback contract negotiations are compounded by deals such as those of Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson, which give a player million guaranteed, respectively.
Regardless of the feelings about the guaranteed money, the spirit does not return to the lamp. This is the new norm of contracts with the NFL, and if Baltimore pulls its legs in the end, it will only hurt the Ravens in the future.
No.1: Contracts don’t get affordable
Remember when Josh Allen signed his extension with the Bills in 2021 and it was met with surprise, even with questions, was it worth it? A year after, it looks like a theft. Allen signed a 6-year, million extension with a full million guarantee. At the time of signing, Allen was 25 years old, and the deal did not bring him almost 30 years — this is not all the fears that he will slow down.
Fast forward to 2022 and take a look at the deals that senior quarterbacks have made:
Contracts for the next season are becoming more expensive. The longer a team hesitates before signing a franchise QB, the worse it gets for them. Whatever the gap between the Ravens’ offer and Jackson’s magic number, waiting for another season will overshadow it—so it’s just smart to do it now.
No.2: The endgame doesn’t make sense
The only way this could work for the Ravens is if they don’t believe in Jackson (which is inherently silly) and plan to trade him in the offseason. Yes, the idea that quarterback contracts and youth success can lead to an outflow of passers in the future has some significance. Basically, it’s better to keep recruiting quarterbacks and let them play on the rookie deal to open up the rest of your salary cap.
This makes sense if you have a mediocre player, not a former MVP who can handle the game on his own and who has never reached the maximum of his potential due to a lack of weapon techniques.
To think that you can just find another Jackson is nonsense. Any doubt that he will return in 2023 is damaging to fans, morale and the organization as a whole. Again, it’s worth the money on which the pages just diverge.
No.3: It hurts your plans for the future
Everything in the NFL when it comes to the salary cap has to revolve around the QB position and work from there. Not knowing how much Jackson will cost makes it impossible for him to expand other positions and look at the limited space, since the upper part of the restriction is not-known.
Basically, everything is financially suspended until the QB position is determined, and this is an unwise way to work. Every NFL contract gets more expensive, so a delay in other positions will cost you more.
What were the crows supposed to do?
GIVE JACKSON WHAT HE WANTS! It’s not that hard. We don’t know exactly what he’s looking for, but it’s said to be within what Watson got from the Browns.