Lamar Jackson Discussed New Contract with Ravens GM Eric DeCosta This Offseason

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 19, 2021

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass against the Buffalo Bills during the first half of an NFL divisional round football game Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

Lamar Jackson is going to be the quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens for a long, long time. But with Jackson entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, questions will start to emerge regarding his next deal with the team. 

Consider those questions at least somewhat addressed. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta told reporters Monday the team has held contract discussions with Jackson this offseason:

"That's ongoing. That's definitely a fluid thing. Lamar and I have had a discussion about that. I think it's important to us and it's important to him. I think Lamar is obviously a very patient guy. He wants to be the best he can be. He wants this team to be the best it can be and he wants to win very badly. So we're aligned that way. I'm confident that we'll continue to discuss this and I think at some point, hopefully we'll have some good news for everybody."

Barring an extension occurring before May 3—the deadline for teams to pick up a player's fifth-year option—Baltimore will pick up the fifth year of Jackson's rookie deal. Per Spotrac, Jackson's salary for the 2022 season is a projected $23 million.

Granted, Jackson has a much bigger payday than that coming. Market value for quarterbacks has continued to skyrocket given some of the recent deals signed by players at the position:

  • Dak Prescott: Four years, $160 million (signed 2021)
  • Deshaun Watson: Four years, $156 million (signed 2020)
  • Russell Wilson: Four years, $140 million (signed 2019)
  • Jared Goff: Four years, $134 million (signed 2019)
  • Carson Wentz: Four years, $128 million (signed 2019)
  • Matt Ryan: Five years, $150 million (signed 2018)

Jackson won't get Mahomes money, but you can bet he'll try to settle into the Prescott or Watson range.

He has a strong argument. The 24-year-old is a three-time Pro Bowler, a 2019 first-team All-Pro selection and the 2019 MVP. He's thrown for 7,085 yards, 68 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions in his three seasons, completing 64 percent of his passes and dispelling the notion that he's simply a running quarterback.

And he's pretty good at that whole running thing too, rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons. 

So yes, Jackson's big payday is coming. It remains to be seen if it will happen this offseason, but talks have at least commenced.