The very last thing Ravens followers needs to be interested by two days forward of their season opener is whether or not that is the final they’ll see of Lamar Jackson in purple, however right here we’re. On Friday the group and Jackson failed to achieve an settlement on a long-term contract extension, pausing negotiations as sides missed a deadline Jackson set for a deal to be finalized.
Because it stands proper now Jackson will play out 2022, and is about to develop into a free agent. Clearly no person expects the quarterback will ever hit free company, with the most probably situations both being reaching a take care of Baltimore, or doubtlessly being traded within the offseason. The chance additionally stays that the crew will use its franchise tag on Jackson in 2023, just like how Dak Prescott was tagged by the Cowboys in 2020 and 2021, previous to inking an extension.
It’s unclear what the sticking level is between the perimeters proper now, although it’s believed the maintain up might be over assured cash. The idea of placing massive assured cash in NFL contracts is a reasonably current phenomenon, and negotiating quarterback contracts are exacerbated by offers like Deshaun Watson’s and Russell Wilson’s, which can give the participant $230M and $124M assured, respectively.
No matter emotions on assured cash, the genie isn’t going again within the lamp. That is the brand new regular of NFL contracts, and dragging toes on Baltimore’s finish will solely harm the Ravens sooner or later.
3 causes delaying Jackson’s extension is dangerous enterprise
No. 1: Contracts aren’t getting cheaper
Bear in mind when Josh Allen signed his extension with the Payments in 2021 and it was met with shock, even questions whether or not he was price it? A 12 months later it looks like a steal. Allen signed a 6 12 months, $258M extension with $100M absolutely assured. Allen was 25 on the time of signing, and the deal solely took him into his early 30s — removed from any concern he’d decelerate.
Quick ahead to 2022 and take a look at the offers older quarterbacks earned:
Aaron Rodgers: 3 years, $150M with $101M absolutely assured at age 39
Russell Wilson: 4 years, $245M with $124M absolutely assured at age 34
Deshaun Watson: 5 years, $230M with $230M absolutely assured at age 27
Subsequent season contracts will likely be ever dearer. The longer a crew delays earlier than signing a franchise QB, the more severe it will get for them. No matter hole there may be between the Ravens’ provide and Jackson’s magic quantity will likely be eclipsed by ready one other season — so it’s simply good to get it accomplished now.
No. 2: The top recreation is mindless
The one method this probably works for the Ravens is that if they don’t imagine in Jackson (which is inherently silly) and plan to attempt to commerce him within the offseason. Sure, there may be some salience to the concept that quarterback contracts and youth success might result in a passer churn sooner or later. Primarily that it’s finest to maintain drafting quarterbacks and have them play on a rookie deal, opening up the remainder of your wage cap.
This is sensible you probably have a middling participant, not with a former MVP who can take over a recreation by himself, and who has by no means scratched the highest of his potential as a consequence of an absence in receiving weapons.
Believing you possibly can merely discover one other Jackson is a idiot’s errand. Retaining any doubt that he’ll be again in 2023 damages the fanbase, morale, and all the group. Once more, that’s price no matter cash the perimeters are aside on proper now.
No. 3: It damages your future cap plans
All the things within the NFL with regards to the wage cap has to revolve across the QB place, and work down from there. Not figuring out what Jackson will value harms the power to increase different positions and look forward at cap house, as a result of the highest of the cap is unknown.
Principally every part financially is in a holding sample till the QB place is safe, and that isn’t a wise solution to function. Each NFL contract is getting dearer, so delaying prices you extra at different positions because of this.
What ought to the Ravens do?
GIVE JACKSON WHAT HE WANTS! This isn’t that tough. We don’t know for positive what he’s on the lookout for, but it surely’s mentioned to be within the realm of what Watson obtained from the Browns. That is completely truthful, as a result of final I checked:
Jackson has gained an MVP, Watson hasn’t
Jackson has been an All Professional, Watson hasn’t
Jackson has led a crew to the playoffs 3 times in 4 years, Watson led a crew to the playoffs twice in 4 years
Jackson is youthful
Simply do the deal and cease being dumb, Baltimore.
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