ESPN: Lamar Jackson Rejected Ravens Contract Offer 'Believed to Be Worth About $250M'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 11, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 27: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens looks on after the preseason game against the Washington Commanders at M&T Bank Stadium on August 27, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reportedly rejected a contract offer worth "about $250 million."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the Ravens offered Jackson a deal that topped contracts recently signed by Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray, but the team fell short of offering a deal that approached the $230 million in guarantees given to Deshaun Watson by the Cleveland Browns.


Latest on the Ravens-Lamar Jackson contract talks, how the 49ers are trying to bolster Trey Lance as starting QB, and how the Cowboys dealt with a "scare" with Dak Prescott on Thursday.<a href="https://twitter.com/JayGlazer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@JayGlazer</a> has the latest: <a href="https://t.co/2TqUWLKIFK">pic.twitter.com/2TqUWLKIFK</a>

Jackson, the only player among the aforementioned quarterbacks with an MVP on his mantle, wanted a fully guaranteed deal similar to Watson's. The Ravens balked at making such an offer, leading to a stalemate that will see Jackson play out the fifth year of his rookie contract before likely being franchise-tagged next March.

"He and I talked about it yesterday a little bit, like, 'Hey man, let's go be our best, and go focus on football,'" Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "That's what he's been doing all along, so I know nothing will change with that. [We're] just focused on Sunday."

Jackson serves as his own agent and said he did not want to negotiate during the season. While he's been receiving counsel from his mother and the NFLPA, Jackson representing himself could prove to be a mistake in the long term.

From a logical standpoint, it stands to reason that Jackson would want to match Watson's fully guaranteed contract and eclipse his total contract. Jackson is the more accomplished of the two quarterbacks on the field and has no massive off-field concerns like Watson, who will serve an 11-game suspension for allegedly engaging in sexual assault and misconduct with more than 20 women.

From a practical standpoint, a veteran agent may have been able to explain the Ravens were never going to match that deal. NFL teams were incensed with the Browns for giving Watson the fully guaranteed deal, a move that arguably set up teams like the Ravens to fail in contract negotiations with their franchise quarterback.

Wilson and Murray ultimately caved and took more standard deals that did not include full guarantees. The Broncos gave Wilson only $124 million in full guarantees, while Murray got $103 million in fully guaranteed money from the Cardinals. While millions more are practically guaranteed given the structure of the respective contracts, those numbers pale in comparison to the deal given to Watson.

With Jackson wanting a full boat for himself and the Ravens hesitant to set a precedent, these talks were always bound to fail.