Richard Sherman says Lamar Jackson contract impasse is fault of Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes

Earlier this month, the Baltimore Ravens put the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson meaning he was free to negotiate with other teams.

If Jackson reaches agreement with another team, the Ravens can match the offer or let Jackson join the other club. If Jackson leaves, Baltimore would received two first-round picks from the team that signed Jackson.

So far, no team has made an offer to Jackson, who doesn’t have an agent. And the Ravens haven’t made an offer to Jackson’s liking. (Update: Jackson revealed Monday that he requested a trade from Baltimore)

What’s the reason for Jackson’s inability to get a new contract with the Ravens or another team? Former Seahawks/49ers/Buccaneers defensive back Richard Sherman put the blame on Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

How does Mahomes factor into this? Sherman said Mahomes never should have signed that half-billion dollar contract extension in 2020.

While talking with Calvin Johnson on “The Richard Sherman Podcast,” Sherman noted Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed a fully guaranteed three-year $84 million deal in 2018.

Mahomes’ deal with the Chiefs is not guaranteed and neither is the contract Josh Allen got from the Bills in 2021. However, the Browns gave quarterback Deshaun Watson a five-year, $230 million contract last year and all of the money is guaranteed.

That Watson deal apparently has affected the Ravens’ negotiations with Jackson.

“I don’t worry about what other people do, but our owner did say that (Watson) contract did create some problems,” Baltimore executive vice president Ozzie Newsome said on “The Bernie Kosar Show.” “What we have to figure out is if that’s going to be the norm or is that an outlier and we don’t know.”

In Sherman’s mind, that Watson deal wouldn’t be an outlier if Mahomes had forced the Chiefs to give him fully guaranteed money.

“What pissed me off is when Kirk Cousins got his guaranteed deal, I thought all the quarterbacks from then on were gonna be like, ‘Hey, if it ain’t guaranteed, I ain’t taking it,’” Sherman said. “Then Mahomes took that BS deal — just 10 years and wanted it to look like half a (billion), but if you get half of that fully guaranteed everybody’s happier.

“That sets precedent. But when he didn’t set it, then Josh Allen didn’t set it, now Lamar’s trying to set it after Deshaun’s already set it. And they’re like, ‘Nah. We ain’t letting that go.’”

Mahomes’ view

Mahomes told reporters in July that he was thrilled to see quarterbacks getting massive contracts, but he said there is more to life than money.

That’s why Mahomes was happy to have a contract that allows the Chiefs financial flexibility.

“I mean it’s awesome for not only the quarterback market but for just the market of players in general,” Mahomes said. “You want the salary cap to keep going up, you want players to keep getting more and more money. When I signed my deal, I knew I was going to be pretty set for life regardless of what the market kind of happens. But you just keep playing.

“I mean money is one thing but when you get those Super Bowl rings at the end of your career, I think that’s going to be the thing that you look back upon and I think I’ve made enough money from the football field and obviously off of it as well that it won’t matter at the end of the day.”