If the Baltimore Ravens want to lock up Lamar Jackson before he becomes a free agent, the team will have to act quickly. Jackson implied Saturday he will cut off negotiations with the Ravens once the regular season begins.
Jackson was asked whether he had a deadline for getting an extension done. He replied, "Yeah, we coming up to it. It's coming up. Season's coming up. We're going to be good for the season." Jackson said he didn't have any updates to share regarding those talks. In June, Jackson — who does not have an agent — said he would keep his talks with the Ravens private.
Though things have been quiet so far, there's no way the Ravens will let Jackson hit the free-agent market. Jackson is a franchise-altering quarterback. In 3 1/2 seasons as a starter, Jackson has already won an MVP award, made an All-Pro team and two Pro Bowls. The Ravens made the playoffs in three of four seasons since drafting Jackson.
How much will Lamar Jackson get paid?
Jackson projects to make a boatload of money in his next contract. Using recent quarterback extensions as a guideline, Jackson can go a few different ways with his new deal. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers opted for a high annual salary, and will make roughly $50 million in each of the next three seasons. Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson got a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed deal, an unprecedented contract in the NFL. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray topped Watson's deal, getting $230.5 million, though Murray did not get as much guaranteed.
Jackson will likely seek to surpass Murray's $230.5 million figure. While Murray has shown flashes of brilliance, Jackson has performed much better over his career. He has a pretty good argument to get more money.
The Ravens open the season against the New York Jets on Sep. 11. Both sides have a little under a month to figure out Jackson's new deal.