The Baltimore Ravens are reportedly facing a "big, uphill battle" in getting a contract extension in place with Lamar Jackson before Week 1.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports provided an update on negotiations Sunday, saying the Ravens have eclipsed the five-year, $230.5 million extension signed by Kyler Murray.
"It's a really big, uphill battle, and the reason why, is because Lamar Jackson, he is representing himself," Glazer said. "That is so hard when you have to go up there [to the front office] and try to negotiate. ... They've already offered him more than Kyler Murray got. But the Deshaun Watson deal kind of throws things out of whack, because I'm sure [Jackson] wants a fully guaranteed contract. I don't see [the Ravens] wanting to do that."
The Cleveland Browns signed Watson to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract in March.
From Jackson's perspective, it's easy to see why he would want the Ravens to match that level of commitment. Jackson has an MVP on his mantle; Watson doesn't. Jackson has led the Ravens to three postseason appearances to Watson's two.
There is no resume-based reason for Jackson to make less guaranteed money than Watson.
Of course, these things are not always linear. The Browns were acting in complete desperation, mortgaging several future draft picks and lavishing a massive new contract on a player who was already on a long-term deal and who was dealing with well-publicized allegations of sexual assault and misconduct. Cleveland even structured Watson's deal to minimize the financial impact in the event he was suspended. (The NFL and NFLPA agreed on an 11-game suspension last week.)
There has arguably never been a sweeter contract given in NFL history, which is likely why there were reports of teams being angered by the Watson deal.
Murray's contract, by comparison, carries $160 million in total guarantees but only $103.3 million in full guarantees. It's unclear what the Ravens offered, but it's hard to see any justification for Jackson taking a contract that gives him less than half of what Watson got in fully guaranteed money.
Baltimore has its cross-division rival to blame for this stalemate with its star quarterback.