When Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson won the league MVP for the 2019 season, he set himself apart from the rest of his 2018 NFL Draft classmates. While Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen has signed a mega-extension, the rest of the highly touted class of quarterbacks are all on different teams than the ones who drafted them.
To add layers of intrigue, two quarterbacks from the 2019 NFL Draft class have also signed huge extensions, bypassing Jackson; the New York Giants re-signed Daniel Jones before 2023 NFL Free Agency opened and last July, the Arizona Cardinals extended Kyler Murray to a large extension.
So why have the Ravens and Jackson not agreed to terms on a new deal? It depends on who you ask.
The two sides negotiated all summer, with the QB acting as his own agent. Jackson reportedly turned down a pretty big deal, trying to get a fully-guaranteed long-term contract in the model of Cleveland Browns’ Deshaun Watson. Jackson placed a Week 1 deadline on contract negotiations in 2022, and when no agreement happened by that deadline, they were going to wait until after the season. In October, a fan held up a sign during a Baltimore contest, poking the Ravens to “Pay ‘em now” and Jackson signed the poster after the game.
When the 2023 offseason hit, we didn’t get a ton of new information. They were negotiating, but there never seemed to be optimism. Ultimately, the Ravens placed the franchise tag on Jackson, but at the lower of two levels. By using the non-exclusive franchise tag, Baltimore ensured they would pay Jackson less money in 2023 than if they had used the exclusive tag. If another team signs him, they need to give up their first-round picks in 2023 and 2024 or work out some sort of other trade package with Baltimore.
Now Jackson is free to negotiate with any team in the NFL (though they aren’t banging down his door) and will get a somewhat better sense of what his market really is. The two first-rounders will obviously dampen his market, but it could provide parameters for an eventual contract with Baltimore.
All of our coverage of the Jackson contract situation is below. Click through to read the details on all of our coverage.