What is preventing Lamar Jackson from signing a deal with the Ravens? How much-guaranteed money does the former MVP want? Is a trade likely if a deal doesn’t get agreed upon? What is next in this contract saga?
According to Jeremy Flower and Jamison Hensley, the Ravens are likely to trade Lamar Jackson if they are unable to agree to a contract extension. In what has seemed to be a battle over guaranteed money, the Ravens and Lamar Jackson have been unable to meet a contract extension.
According to the reporters, Baltimore has offered $133 million in guaranteed money and Lamar Jackson has wanted his deal to be fully guaranteed in the range of Deshaun Watson’s contract.
The Ravens will be likely to tag Jackson if they are unable to agree to a deal. It seems that Jackson does not want to play under a tag as he didn’t return from his injury when it was questioned by team sources whether he could have returned from his left knee if he had a secure contract.
While other teams know that Lamar Jackson is an MVP QB, teams have questioned whether giving up two first-round picks (which is the baseline for any deal and is the negotiating starting point for a nonexclusive tag) and giving him a fully guaranteed contract is worth it. If you had to fully guarantee a Watson-type contract, the hesitation makes sense with his durability issues.
The article also mentions that the Ravens might have an advantage in the fact that elite QBs deals might be more like Russell Wilson’s deal ($124 million guaranteed at signing) than Watson fully guaranteed $250 million deal. Depending on the market for other QB extensions, will determine whether Lamar Jackson gets a fully guaranteed deal or is close to it.
If QBs such as Joe Burrow and Justin Hebert get a huge percentage of guaranteed money in their deals, It seems like Lamar Jackson might be on his way out of Baltimore with them not being committed to offering that type of guarantee.
Despite the injury issues, the fact that Lamar Jackson is an MVP-level QB is the reason why he deserves a fully guaranteed deal. If you have to trade draft capital for him, it might not make sense to give him a fully mega-guaranteed deal. Still, it doesn’t distract from the fact that the Ravens should pay him a Watson-type deal. Even if that deal has injury clauses for the guaranteed money, it should be near Watson’s deal in terms of the money.