Lamar Jackson Rumors: 'No Major Momentum' on Contract; Execs Predict $40M Per Year

Adam WellsJune 16, 2022

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 05:  Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens in action during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 5, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens fans anxiously awaiting news of a Lamar Jackson contract extension may need to take a deep breath.

Appearing on ESPN's Get Up, Jeremy Fowler said there is "no major momentum on a new contract" for the 2019 NFL MVP.

Fowler added league executives predict Jackson will receive $40 million per season on his next contract, but neither Jackson nor the Ravens are "sweating it right now."

Jackson is with the Ravens this week as they go through mandatory minicamp.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley reported on Wednesday that the Ravens "hope" their star quarterback's return would spark contract talks, but there is "not a lot of optimism" anything will get done before the start of the regular season.

The 2022 season marks the final year of Jackson's rookie contract. He is set to earn $23.016 million, per Spotrac.

There's no indication at this point of what Jackson might be looking for on his next deal. The 25-year-old could slow play things in an attempt to hit free agency.

Kirk Cousins took this approach when he was with Washington. Rather than sign a long-term extension, he played on the franchise tag in 2016 and 2017. The Michigan State alum parlayed his value into a historic three-year, $84 million fully-guaranteed deal with the Minnesota Vikings in March 2018.

Dak Prescott didn't do the exact same thing, but he came close with the Dallas Cowboys. The 28-year-old played the 2020 season on the franchise tag. The team placed the franchise tag on him for the 2021 season, but the two sides eventually agreed to a four-year, $160 million deal that included a record $126 million guaranteed.

Jackson would likely have to play two seasons on the franchise tag, which Henley noted is projected to "well exceed $30 million" in 2023 before possibly hitting free agency after 2024.

The six richest quarterback contracts by total value have been signed in the past two years. Patrick Mahomes leads the pack with a 10-year, $450 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Aaron Rodgers is the highest-paid quarterback by average annual value ($50.3 million).

Deshaun Watson reset the quarterback market when the Cleveland Browns gave him a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract in March.

If Jackson takes the franchise-tag approach, he risks suffering a potentially serious injury that could impact his value. Prescott signed his extension with the Cowboys after suffering a compound fracture and dislocation to his right ankle in Week 4 of the 2020 season.

Last season was the first time Jackson suffered a significant injury in his NFL career. The two-time Pro Bowler missed the final four games in 2021 with a bone bruise in his ankle.

Jackson has been one of the most productive quarterbacks in the NFL over the past four seasons. He has thrown for 9,667 yards, run for 3,673 yards and accounted for 105 touchdowns in 58 appearances since 2018.

The Ravens made the playoffs in each of Jackson's first three seasons from 2018-20.