Ravens' Lamar Jackson Sets Week 1 as Deadline to Complete Contract Extension

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 13, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 11: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on from the sidelines against the Tennessee Titans during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on August 11, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson does not plan to negotiate a new contract once the 2022 NFL regular season begins.

According to Ryan Mink of the team website, Jackson said Saturday that Week 1 is his cutoff for contract talks.

Per ESPN's Jamison Hensley, Jackson responded, "Yeah, for sure," when asked if he wants to get a deal done before the start of the season.

Jackson, whose rookie contract is set to expire at the conclusion of the 2022 season, also noted there were no updates regarding where talks stand.

Since the end of last season, Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray have signed huge contract extensions, making them two of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL.

Jackson has enjoyed more success than both of them, which has undoubtedly given him leverage and perhaps made it even more difficult for the Ravens to sign him to a deal they feel comfortable with.

The 25-year-old Jackson was the No. 32 pick in the 2018 draft, and he has far exceeded expectations.

In 49 starts over four seasons, Jackson is 37-12 and has led the Ravens to the playoffs three times. He has completed 64.1 percent of his passes for 9,967 yards and 84 touchdowns with 31 interceptions while rushing for 3,673 yards and 21 scores.

His best season came in 2019 when he threw for 3,127 yards with a league-high 36 touchdowns against just six picks. He also rushed for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns en route to being named a Pro Bowler, a first-team All-Pro and the NFL MVP.

Jackson hasn't duplicated that performance since then, though, and is coming off a season in which he missed four games with an ankle injury and one with an illness.

Even when Jackson played, he wasn't as productive as usual, going 7-5 as a starter and throwing 16 touchdowns compared to a career-high 13 interceptions.

Jackson's style of play makes him more susceptible to injuries than most quarterbacks, which may have something to do with why the Ravens haven't made an offer to his liking yet.

In an apparent effort to preserve him for the start of the 2022 season, the Ravens did not play Jackson in their preseason opener Thursday.

According to Hensley, Jackson suggested Saturday that he could appear in one of the Ravens' remaining two preseason games, saying: "I don't know. I might give it a shot. I don't know yet."

He also didn't take kindly to a reporter noting that New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson suffered a knee injury Friday, saying, "No, you're not wishing that on me."

Whether or not Jackson plays during the preseason, the main focus leading up to the regular season will be if the two sides can come to an agreement on a new deal.

If not, Jackson will play on an expiring contract and potentially risk millions of dollars, though he could secure an even bigger pact if he comes close to his MVP play from a few years ago.