After more than two years of often tumultuous negotiations with the Ravens, Jackson agreed to a five-year deal with the Ravens worth $260 million at a hefty $52 million per season. The guaranteed amount is $185 million.
Previously sources informed ESPN that Jackson was looking for a deal worth $230 million in guaranteed cash, which would have equaled Deshaun Watson’s deal with the Cleveland Browns.
Jackson represented himself in the negotiations and secured the deal just a week and a half after Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts extended for $255 over five years. The deal came at the perfect time for both Jackson and the Ravens. With the start of the NFL draft on Thursday, the Ravens focus would likely have been a quarterback in the first round had Jackson not signed.
After the Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson last month, he was free to negotiate with other teams with the understanding that the Ravens could have matched any offer.
Despite little to no interest from other teams, Jackson still looked like he’d leave the Ravens. A month ago, Jackson announced he wanted a trade, stating that the Ravens “had not been interested in meeting my value.”
Jackson still has a chance to come good on his promise of a Super Bowl title with the Ravens when the team selected him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Although the team has yet to win a Super Bowl under Jackson, he has a 45-16 record. His .738 winning percentage is among the best in the Super Bowl era.
Jackson appeared in seven games as a rookie and won the NFL MVP in his first entire season after throwing for a league-leading 36 touchdowns and 1206 yards on the ground. He ran for over 1000 yards again in 2020 and threw 26 touchdowns. However, Jackson has missed nine games combined over the last two seasons while compiling a less than impressive 33-to-2o touchdown-to-interception ratio. He remained a threat on the ground, rushing for over 1500 yards over the past two seasons with five touchdowns.
Even when contract negotiation talks hit a standstill over the past couple of years, the Ravens front office was quietly optimistic that a deal would be completed. General manager Eric DeCosta feels that Jackson is the right quarterback to lead the team to a Super Bowl title.
The Ravens have finished first or second every season since 2016 but are just 1-4 in the postseason during that stretch. Their last Super Bowl title was following the 2012 season.
In addition to their six games each season against division rivals Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, the Ravens 2023 schedule features home games against Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle, Miami, and Detroit. The Ravens hit the road against Arizona, Jacksonville, San Francisco, Tennessee, and Los Angeles Chargers.
Whether the Ravens can ascend to the top remains to be seen. One thing is certain, Jackson will be in Baltimore for the next five seasons.
While the Ravens are celebrating the extension of Lamar Jackson’s contract, the baseball world is dealing with setbacks, as Jose Altuve will miss significant time following surgery.