As Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson opts to proceed under the fifth and final year of his rookie contract, with $23 million in guaranteed money and no guarantees beyond that, he’s assuming the risk of an injury that would make the Ravens not want to apply the franchise tag to Jackson in 2023 — and that would make it virtually impossible for him to get a market-level deal in free agency.
Thus, as plenty of players have done, Jackson would be wise to have insurance. It’s unclear whether he does.
There are many different types of policies and protections. None are cheap, and some players have experienced real difficulties when it comes to cashing in.
Without an agent to guide Jackson through the process of finding proper coverage and selecting the right policy, he’ll have to make the decision on his own.
He may decide that it’s too expensive. He may decide that the policy has too many loopholes and exclusions. He may just decide to roll the dice and hope for the best.
Whatever he chooses to do, it’s yet another situation in which he needs to understand the various options and make an informed and reasoned decision. For his own sake, hopefully he has.
And, yes, there’s a chance that even a serious injury won’t derail his earning potential. Two years ago, Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott suffered a broken ankle, and he still got a massive deal from the Cowboys. (Dak nevertheless had an insurance policy.)
Of course, Jackson could possibly have a massive deal from the Ravens right now, assuming that the deal pays out more than $100 million in full guarantees at signing, with possibly much more in injury guarantees. That would make disability insurance unnecessary.
Without a long-term deal, a disability policy is crucial. For Lamar’s sake, hopefully he has one.