OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson isn’t afraid to engage on social media.
He has been particularly active this week.
First, Jackson denied a rumor about his contract negotiations with the Ravens, denying that the team offered him $250 million in guaranteed money.
Later, a fan snapped an image of Jackson wearing a Dolphins jersey. Jackson apparently and jokingly (?) “liked” the photo, which sparked a media frenzy.
Jackson hails from South Florida, so playing for Miami would be a homecoming for him and revitalize the storied franchise.
Later, former Ravens quarterback Robert Griffin III, who backed Jackson, offered a new contract offer that would get the deal done: six years, $318 million fully guaranteed, which equates to approximately $53 million per year.
“Highest paid player ever. Unanimous MVP. Winner. Does the job. Team Guy. Stop messing with him,” RG3 tweeted.
Jackson claimed the Ravens had until the regular season opener on Sept. 11 against the New York Jets to finalize a new contract.
Then, Jackson will close the discussions.
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“It’s coming. It’s coming. The season is coming. We’re going to be good for the season,” Jackson said.
Neither side is giving details of the standoff, but it’s obviously about the money.
If the two sides can’t reach an agreement, the Ravens can retain Jackson in 2023 by placing an exclusive franchise tag, which is currently at $45 million, but is expected to drop as top quarterbacks restructure their deals to lower levels. capping purposes.
A simple franchise tag won’t be secure because other teams can negotiate with Jackson and the Ravens would receive two first-round picks as compensation if he leaves. The Ravens could also match that offer to keep him.
This market was basically defined for Jackson.
Kyler Murray has agreed to a new deal with the Arizona Cardinals worth $230.5 million over five years. Murray is now the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL, earning $46.1 million per season behind Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million).
Deshaun Watson was able to negotiate a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns after securing a trade from the Houston Texans. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes makes $45 million a year.
Those deals further define the market for Jackson, who plays under a fifth-year option that earns him just over $23 million per season.
Jackson will likely seek a deal closer to $50 million per season.
And he has a strong argument for winning this type of contract.
Baltimore is 37-12 in the regular season with Jackson as the starter. Since his first NFL start in Week 11 of 2018, Jackson’s 37 wins are tied with Josh Allen for fourth among quarterbacks, behind only Aaron Rodgers (41), Patrick Mahomes (40) and Tom Brady (40).