Ravens' John Harbaugh on Lamar Jackson Contract Talks: 'There's Really Not a Hurry'August 9, 2021
The Buffalo Bills signed quarterback Josh Allen to a six-year, $258 million extension last week, with a record $150 million guaranteed in the deal.
But Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh doesn't believe that pact will speed up negotiations between the team and its own star quarterback Lamar Jackson.
"There's really not a hurry for us," he told reporters. "He’s going to be our quarterback for years to come."
Whatever figures Jackson ends up on in an extension, he's going to get paid in a major way. In his three seasons he's already been an MVP, a Pro Bowler, a first-team All-Pro selection and led the Ravens to the playoffs three times.
While he didn't replicate his 2019 MVP form last year, he was still excellent, throwing for 2,757 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes. He also ran for 1,005 yards and seven touchdowns, remaining arguably the best and most productive rushing quarterback in NFL history.
Arguments will be made for Michael Vick in that regard, and fair enough. But Vick only had one 1,000-yard rushing season in his career. Jackson, in three campaigns, already has accomplished the feat twice.
As for a new contract, heading into the season with the situation unresolved isn't ideal. The Ravens already picked up the fifth-year option on Jackson's rookie deal, meaning he's locked into place with the team through the 2022 campaign.
And even after that, Baltimore has the option to use the franchise tag on Jackson for up to two years, though doing so is both expensive and risks souring the relationship between the parties.
More than likely, an extension will happen within the next year. Harbaugh and the Ravens may not be in a rush, but Jackson likely will want the situation addressed sooner rather than later. Allen's megadeal only upped the market value for players of his caliber.