Harbaugh: Lamar Jackson's 5th-Year Contract Option Will Be Exercised by Ravens

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIIApril 27, 2021

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

The Baltimore Ravens haven't picked up the fifth-year option on Lamar Jackson's contract yet, but head coach John Harbaugh put any doubts to rest during an appearance Tuesday on the Rich Eisen Show.

"His fifth-year option will be picked up," Harbaugh said (at the 37-second mark). "I guarantee it." 

Rich Eisen Show @RichEisenShow

Is there a specific reason why the @Ravens haven't picked up @Lj_era8 fifth-year option yet? Could it possibly mean something? We took that question right up the Baltimore flowchart in head coach John Harbaugh: #NFL #NFLDraft https://t.co/LxCZp981Cb

Jackson is set to enter the final year of his rookie deal and will count for $3 million against the cap in 2021. Such a move would keep him on the roster until 2023, when he would enter unrestricted free agency. 

According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, teams have until Monday to exercise the fifth-year options on their first-round picks from the 2018 draft. The Ravens grabbed Jackson out of Louisville with the 32nd and final selection. 

While doing so would be important for the Ravens, it also will be costly. The 2019 first-team All-Pro would count for $23 million against the team's salary cap in 2022, per Spotrac

That's an indication of his value. According to Pelissero, Jackson would count for $18.6 million against the cap on his fifth-year option if he hadn't been named to any Pro Bowls. 

The 24-year-old is 30-7 in the regular season and has made the postseason in each of his three years. The 2019 Pro Bowler and league MVP threw for 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2020, a year after he led the NFL with 36 scores.

Harbaugh's verbal commitment to Jackson—though not surprising—comes as the Ravens prepare to make the No. 27 overall selection in the draft on Thursday.

In a draft that is top-heavy on quarterbacks, Bleacher Report's NFL Scouting Department has edge-rusher Jaelan Phillips ranked as the No. 27 overall player.