Lamar Jackson has turned down a $250m extension offer from the Baltimore Ravens and wants a fully guaranteed deal upon signing

Lamar Jackson has turned down a $250m extension offer from the Baltimore Ravens and wants a fully guaranteed deal upon signing

Although Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens kept details of his contract negotiations secret, the star quarterback turned down a five-year extension offer worth more than $250 million with $133 million guaranteed at the signing, sources told ESPN.

The extension, which lasted the entire 2027 season, would have increased the total value of Jackson’s contract to just under $274 million over six years, sources say. Jackson reportedly played the $23 million fifth-year option on his rookie contract before the start of the extension in 2023.

The extension years in the Ravens’ proposal would have paid Jackson a higher average salary than the deals signed this summer by Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray, and also included more money guaranteed upon signing, sources said.

But sources told ESPN the Ravens also balked at Jackson’s desire for a fully guaranteed deal upon signing similar to Deshaun Watson’s, prompting the sides to announce on Friday that they had postponed the contract negotiations until after the 2022 season.

Wilson signed a $242.5 million contract earlier this month that averaged $48.5 million a year and included $161 million guaranteed, about six weeks after Murray received a $230.5 million contract that averaged $46 million per year and included $189.5 million guaranteed.

But the problem for Jackson was not so much the treatment of Wilson or Murray as that of Watson, sources say. The Cleveland Browns signed Watson to a fully guaranteed $230 million contract at the time of signing. The Ravens’ offer of $133 million fully guaranteed to sign was higher than Wilson’s ($124 million) and Murray’s ($103.3 million), but well below Watson’s.

Jackson acted as his own agent in the negotiations while relying on the help of his mother and the NFL Players Association, whose job it is to offer statistics, information and advice and to be a source of reference. throughout the process.

The union advised Jackson, 25, that based on his performance and age, it was justified in demanding a fully guaranteed contract, the sources said.

Union sources called the Ravens’ discussions with Jackson “good faith,” though the team included $2.5 million in annual de-escalation clauses if Jackson missed a high percentage of offseason practices.

Jackson will earn $23.016 million on his fifth-year option, but he has no guaranteed money after this season. He hopes to get an extension after this season with the Ravens, who are expected to apply their franchise tag to Jackson and prevent him from reaching free agency if the sides still can’t reach an agreement.

Jackson is making the biggest bet on himself in football, similar to what former Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, who starts against Baltimore on Sunday for the Jets, did in the 2012 season. to expire and led Baltimore to a Super Bowl title before becoming one of the highest-paid players in the NFL.

Jackson, who has taken more hits (737) than any other quarterback since 2018, was asked last week if he thought it was a risk to play with no guaranteed money beyond this season.

“It was a big risk last season. The year before that,” Jackson said Wednesday. “I just play football. Anything can happen. God forbid anything bad happens.”

Jackson has proven to be one of the NFL’s best playmakers and winners over the past four seasons. Since becoming the Ravens’ starter midway through the 2018 season, Baltimore is 37-12 (.755) with him and 2-5 (.286) without him. He was the unanimous NFL MVP in 2019.

But Jackson is coming off his toughest season of 2021, when he threw a career-low 13 interceptions and missed a career-high five games, including the last four due to a stomach injury. ankle.

ESPN’s Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.

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