The very last thing Ravens followers ought to be enthusiastic about two days forward of their season opener is whether or not that is the final they’ll see of Lamar Jackson in purple, however right here we’re. On Friday the group and Jackson failed to achieve an settlement on a long-term contract extension, pausing negotiations as sides missed a deadline Jackson set for a deal to be finalized.
Because it stands proper now Jackson will play out 2022, and is about to turn out to be a free agent. Clearly no person expects the quarterback will ever hit free company, with the almost definitely eventualities both being reaching a take care of Baltimore, or doubtlessly being traded within the offseason. The likelihood additionally stays that the staff will use its franchise tag on Jackson in 2023, much like how Dak Prescott was tagged by the Cowboys in 2020 and 2021, previous to inking an extension.
It’s unclear what the sticking level is between the edges proper now, although it’s believed the maintain up might be over assured cash. The idea of placing large assured cash in NFL contracts is a reasonably latest phenomenon, and negotiating quarterback contracts are exacerbated by offers like Deshaun Watson’s and Russell Wilson’s, which is able to give the participant $230M and $124M assured, respectively.
No matter emotions on assured cash, the genie isn’t going again within the lamp. That is the brand new regular of NFL contracts, and dragging toes on Baltimore’s finish will solely damage the Ravens sooner or later.
3 causes delaying Jackson’s extension is dangerous enterprise
No. 1: Contracts aren’t getting cheaper
Keep in mind when Josh Allen signed his extension with the Payments in 2021 and it was met with shock, even questions whether or not he was price it? A 12 months later it looks as if a steal. Allen signed a 6 12 months, $258M extension with $100M absolutely assured. Allen was 25 on the time of signing, and the deal solely took him into his early 30s — removed from any concern he’d decelerate.
Quick ahead to 2022 and have a look at the offers older quarterbacks earned:
- Aaron Rodgers: 3 years, $150M with $101M absolutely assured at age 39
- Russell Wilson: 4 years, $245M with $124M absolutely assured at age 34
- Deshaun Watson: 5 years, $230M with $230M absolutely assured at age 27
Subsequent season contracts will likely be ever dearer. The longer a staff delays earlier than signing a franchise QB, the more severe it will get for them. No matter hole there’s between the Ravens’ supply and Jackson’s magic quantity will likely be eclipsed by ready one other season — so it’s simply good to get it carried out now.
No. 2: The top sport is not sensible
The one means this probably works for the Ravens is that if they don’t consider in Jackson (which is inherently silly) and plan to try to commerce him within the offseason. Sure, there’s some salience to the concept that quarterback contracts and youth success may result in a passer churn sooner or later. Primarily that it’s greatest to maintain drafting quarterbacks and have them play on a rookie deal, opening up the remainder of your wage cap.
This is smart you probably have a middling participant, not with a former MVP who can take over a sport by himself, and who has by no means scratched the highest of his potential as a consequence of an absence in receiving weapons.
Believing you possibly can merely discover one other Jackson is a idiot’s errand. Holding any doubt that he’ll be again in 2023 damages the fanbase, morale, and the whole group. Once more, that’s price no matter cash the edges are aside on proper now.
No. 3: It damages your future cap plans
The whole lot within the NFL in terms of the wage cap has to revolve across the QB place, and work down from there. Not figuring out what Jackson will price harms the flexibility to increase different positions and look forward at cap house, as a result of the highest of the cap is unknown.
Principally every part financially is in a holding sample till the QB place is safe, and that isn’t a sensible solution to function. Each NFL contract is getting dearer, so delaying prices you extra at different positions consequently.
What ought to the Ravens do?
GIVE JACKSON WHAT HE WANTS! This isn’t that tough. We don’t know for positive what he’s searching for, but it surely’s stated to be within the realm of what Watson received from the Browns. That is completely honest, as a result of final I checked:
- Jackson has received an MVP, Watson hasn’t
- Jackson has been an All Professional, Watson hasn’t
- Jackson has led a staff to the playoffs thrice in 4 years, Watson led a staff to the playoffs twice in 4 years
- Jackson is youthful
Simply do the deal and cease being dumb, Baltimore.