During an interview with ESPN's Sage Steele on SportsCenter, Jackson called the dollar value a "crazy number."
"No one has ever dreamed about that," the reigning MVP said (h/t Jamison Hensley of ESPN). "Probably dreamed about it but no one ever expected that. Especially half a billion dollars. That’s different. He deserves it."
Jackson added that his initial reaction to learning of the contract was that he's "gotta win a Super Bowl," per Hensley.
Many expected Mahomes to reset the quarterback market when he received his next contract, and that's exactly what happened. His $45 million annual salary is the highest in the league, $10 million more than Russell Wilson's annual earnings from the Seattle Seahawks.
Jackson might be the first player who can realistically eclipse Mahomes, though his comments Monday underscore how he has plenty of work ahead in order to match or eclipse that $45 million number.
Jackson threw for 3,127 yards and an NFL-best 36 touchdowns while running for 1,206 yards—the most ever for a quarterback—and seven scores in 2019. Like Mahomes, he collected an MVP in his second season in the league.
Having said that, Mahomes is a more traditional pocket passer. Jackson is more of an anomaly between his passing efficiency and running ability. His 323 carries are also the most ever for a quarterback through his first two seasons, per Pro Football Reference.
Jackson's current workload is probably unsustainable over the long term, leading to obvious questions about how he'll inevitably evolve.
Mahomes represented a pretty safe bet despite having made only 31 regular-season appearances so far. The same can't be said of Jackson just yet.
If he can emulate Mahomes and bring a Super Bowl title to Baltimore within the next few years, then the Ravens might have little choice but to reset the market again with Jackson.