In an unexpected turn of events, the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson failed to reach contract agreement. A contractual impasse has prevented the Ravens and their star quarterback from moving forward for the greater part of two seasons. Jackson, a former league MVP, is requesting a fully-guaranteed contract, similar to what Kirk Cousins and Deshaun Watson received from Cleveland and Minnesota, respectively.
According to ESPN, the Ravens would have given Jackson a $250 million agreement with a $133 million signing bonus that would have lasted through the 2027 season. After the Jets’ victory, when asked if he declined a quarter-billion dollars from the Ravens, Jackson responded, “Was that fully guaranteed?”
The quarterback’s deal is straightforward: place Watson’s $230 million, five-year, fully guaranteed contract on the table and request an extra dollar from the Ravens. However, Baltimore has rejected the notion of an agreement with a complete guarantee. Jackson does not have a representative and is negotiating on his own behalf. He thinks that this might be a sticking issue.
Jackson is aware that, barring the Ravens, another team will be willing to pay a Watsonian sum of money to have him serve as their starting quarterback in 2023. He can be readily pursued by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who was willing to flout league regulations in an effort to court Tom Brady. Jackson is highly interested in playing for the Dolphins as well.
“Respectfully, I’m done talking about it,” Jackson said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “I told you guys before, I was going to be done with it Week 1. Week 1 is over with. We’re done talking about it. I’m focused on the Dolphins now.”
There was a discrepancy between what Jackson sought in guaranteed money and what the Ravens were ready to pay due to Watson’s fully guaranteed contract, and the parties were unable to bridge it. When a reporter inquired about the money that was guaranteed, Jackson grinned and responded, “Like I said, I’m done talking about that, respectfully. Dolphin time, man.”