The Baltimore Ravens have reportedly finally reached an agreement with their quarterback Lamar Jackson after franchise tagging him this offseason. The details coming in as the writing of this post include Jackson becoming the highest-paid player in NFL History (for now).
League source just added that the total "guaranteed" portion on Lamar Jackson's deal is $185M. https://t.co/L8FHaAxEIU— JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) April 27, 2023
This negotiation has been dragged out for years. Initially, it seemed like this deal would get done like many others, but a wrench was thrown into negotiations when the Cleveland Browns traded for quarterback Deshaun Watson and gave him an NFL record $230 million guaranteed. Jackson seemingly wanted at least a significant amount of his contract guaranteed as well, considering the number of hits had taken during a bargain of a rookie contract he played under.
This seemingly became a point of contention that may have been highlighted by the fact Jackson negotiated the deal himself as he is not represented by an agent. An agent may have been able to get a deal done quicker and less painfully.
Some progress may have been made when the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts were the first to ink their franchise quarterback, who is fresh off a Super Bowl appearance. Jalen Hurts, and the Eagles agreed to a five-year $255 million deal with roughly $180 million guaranteed.
Seeing as how the Ravens essentially added $5 million guaranteed to Hurts’ contract and extended it to Jackson, that must have been enough for Jackson and/or the Ravens to agree that what Hurts got is the market value there.
So, after one heartfelt goodbye from Jackson and Baltimore drastically overpaying Odell Beckham Jr. and the two sides are tied together for at least another five seasons.
One has to wonder how long Jackson will sit atop the highest-paid quarterback. The Cincinnati Bengals still obviously have to extend Joe Burrow, who has also taken his franchise to the Super Bowl in his young career. There is also Justin Herbert with the Los Angeles Chargers waiting for a deal that should also reset the market. Who will be first?
Either way, the battle of Burrow and Jackson for the AFC North should be going on for a long time now.