Lamar Jackson, Ravens fail to reach deal setting up one of biggest gambles in NFL history

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens will enter the final season of their rookie contracts without a contract extension, a standoff that is one of the biggest gambles in NFL history by both a franchise and an NFL player.

The two sides failed to reach a new deal by Friday, with Jackson set a deadline earlier this week. That means the Ravens’ franchise quarterback will now play through a fifth-year option on his rookie deal, earning just over $23 million for the 2022 season, qualifying for free agency the next offseason. However, a league source told Yahoo Sports on Friday that the Ravens plan to put an exclusive franchise tag on Jackson next season, keeping him in the fold until 2023 as the two sides continue to work on a new deal. .

“Despite the best efforts from both sides, we have not been able to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement Friday morning. “We greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we are excited about our team under Lamarr’s leadership. We will continue to work towards a longer-term contract after the season, but for now we Looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are at an impasse over a contract extension. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The development represents significant risk for both sides, as Jackson now shoulders the possibility of injury without a lucrative extension in 2022, while the Ravens will now face two more quarterback talks (with the Los Angeles Chargers of Justin). Herbert and Joe Burrow with the Cincinnati Bengals) weigh in on talks in 2023.

As it stands, Jackson would currently be considered the market-setting player out of that trio. However, it’s possible that either an MVP performance or Super Bowl driven by Herbert or Burrow in 2023 could set the stage for quarterbacks to demand a fully guaranteed extension similar to the one signed by Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. It’s also possible that Herbert or Burrow could push into their new deals to become the NFL’s highest-paid players, or reach a contract tied to a percentage of the salary cap, one of the biggest negotiated wins in league history. there will be a.

That’s a lot of scenarios without even considering Jackson’s leverage with a strong 2022 campaign. As it stands, he is believed to be more closely tied to Watson’s fully guaranteed deal, along the lines of Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals or Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos. Neither Murray nor Wilson landed fully guaranteed contracts.

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