Ravens QB Lamar Jackson says contract negotiations will stop Friday

The clock is ticking on the Ravens’ window to negotiate a contract extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Jackson said Wednesday that he expects discussions with Ravens officials to be closed on Friday, two days before the team’s season opener against the New York Jets.

“As of now, we are still talking,” said Jackson, who previously indicated his reluctance to negotiate during the season at Preseason. “The week is not over yet, but soon.”

Jackson is set to earn $23 million this season, the final year of his rookie contract. Contract negotiations intensified during the summer, but Jackson declined to comment on whether the sides had made progress.

“I have no clue,” Jackson said. “You have to ask the guy I’m talking to. Talk to the GM [general manager Eric DeCosta] About that.”

Speculation about a possible deal for the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player intensified over the summer. After Deshan Watson received a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million deal from the Cleveland Browns in March, officials and analysts around the league wondered whether Watson’s megadeal would set a precedent for seeking an extension for the quarterback. Will do

So far, it hasn’t happened. In July, the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray agreed to a five-year, $230.5 million extension with $160 million guaranteed over the lifetime of the contract. Last week, the Denver Broncos signed quarterback Russell Wilson for a five-year, $245 million extension with $165 million guaranteed.

Jackson, who said Watson’s deal would not affect his demands, said he is not concerned about the risk of playing in the final year of his contract. If the Ravens can’t agree to a deal until Jackson reaches unrestricted free agency next season, he is expected to receive a special franchise tag, which will assure him a one-year deal worth approximately $45 million,

“I mean, it was a huge risk last season, a year ago,” he said. “I wasn’t thinking about contract negotiations around that time. Something similar is going to happen this season as well. But I’m just playing football. Anything can happen, but god forbid, something goes wrong.” I’m putting God first and just playing ball, like I’ve been doing.”

This story will be updated.

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