On Lamar Jackson’s contract, all options are on the table for Ravens

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The situation between the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson came to a head this week. After the season, the relationship could explode. Or implode.

Or everything could work out.

At this point, all options are on the table for the offseason. The Ravens intend to resume negotiations with Jackson whenever the playoff run ends. But those negotiations have gone nowhere in the past, for two important reasons. One, Jackson doesn’t have an agent (and he refuses to hire one). Two, Jackson has insisted on a five-year, fully-guaranteed deal.

The Ravens recently showed that they’re capable of working out a fair deal with an unrepresented player, via the contract done with linebacker Roquan Smith. Jackson, however, has refused all prior offers the team has made.

The contract signed by quarterback Deshaun Watson with the Browns cemented Jackson’s expectations for a five-year, fully-guaranteed deal of his own. But Watson created leverage, by telling the Texans he didn’t want to play for them again, by having them agree to trade him, and by working the various options to the point at which the Browns offered a package that most other teams won’t.

Jackson has yet to draw a line in the sand with the Ravens. After recent events, maybe he will.

If the Ravens and Jackson can’t work out a long-term deal, the Ravens will have to decide among the various options — exclusive franchise tag (which could be as much as $45 million for one year), non-exclusive franchise tag (which could be in the range of $32 million for one year), or transition tag (roughly $30 million). They won’t let him simply become a free agent, even though that would be the ultimate test of his value on the open market.

So they’ll either keep him or they’ll get value for him. At this point, it’s very unclear what will happen.

Here’s what else is unclear. When it’s time to make another long-term offer to Jackson, will the Ravens offer the same? Will it be more? Or will it be less?

It could be less. Which would make it much harder to get a long-term deal done. And perhaps make it more likely that Jackson will tell the Ravens he wants out.

68 responses to “On Lamar Jackson’s contract, all options are on the table for Ravens

  1. How do you pay an ijured running QB big bucks without seeing if he can still run? My guess is that Jackson will regret not signing last year.

  2. Giving a guaranteed five-year deal to any player is pretty much lunacy; giving one to a player who has been unable to finish two straight seasons is outright insanity.

    Whatever ceiling Jackson has, he’s shown that he’s unreliable. He had already fallen off the pace set by the likes of Mahomes, Allen & Burrow, and now he’s being passed by newcomers like Hurts and Purdy (the latter now having as many playoffs wins as Jackson). Players grumbling while he spends a month at home with a strain seems to show he’s burning bridges.

    He’s always been and still is deserving of a contract. But at this point, his actual results would argue for a sub-Josh-Allen contract. Five years guaranteed, presumably also at the highest yearly rate around, is now preposterous.

  3. Huntley’s looking better with an injured shoulder than Lamar every looked at 100% in the playoffs. More heart and will to win.

  4. Transition tag you get nothing but will let the child know exactly what he is worth on the market. It is the only answer for them really he would get an offer of what the world thinks he is worth. If you let him go so what get a comp pick and no headaches.

    Nobody will give two number ones forget the franchise tag.

  5. I would tag and trade him. Not worth the big money contract that QBs get and would get you a lot in a trade.

  6. I doubt many if any teams are going to be busting out the big money fully guaranteed deals again for a while. Jackson is a year too late on that trend after the deals given to Wilson, Rodgers, and Watson look to be an albatross for their teams.

    Offer Lamar a 5 yr $170 million contract. If he turns it down, put him on an exclusive tag and let him walk for whatever you can get for him. Draft a more traditional QB in round 1 and the beat goes on.

  7. On the other hand, the Vikings have precisely no options other than which toppings they want on their pizza as they watch the remainder of the playoffs

  8. Is there a team out there that is desperate enough to actually cave in to his demands? If I was the Ravens, I’d just let him walk like the Steelers did with Bell and let him test the waters.

  9. All options are not on the table if they won’t let him test the market. Also, if his agent works for him, and he refuses less than a five year guaranteed contract, the agent would not make much difference (the agent would just tell him it was an unrealistic expectation and try to convince him to take less, so that the agent could make more)

  10. Lamar overplayed his hand with the Ravens. Should have gotten an agent and now there is NO WAY the Ravens offer him anything.

  11. He quit for the playoffs. I read reports that gave his due-back date over two weeks ago. The money means more than the fans. He will leave if another team wants him.

  12. Lamar is delusional if he thinks that anyone is going to give him a five year guaranteed contract.

  13. Unlike Joe Flacco, Lamar has degraded his value which means he and the Ravens may be in bed together whether they like it or not.

  14. It’s amazing how bad that Deshaun Watson deal is a year later. For pretty much everyone in the NFL too…not just the Browns. $10 million cap hit to protect him that goes to $55 million next year. Browns gonna Browns.

  15. Use the non exclusive tag, hope another team takes him. I wouldn’t give any QB except Mahomes, a 5 year fully guaranteed contract.

  16. I have been saying this for 2 years and keep getting downvoted. The best thing the Ravens can do long term is trade him for maximum value. They should have done that last offseason. He’s pretty good, has a ceiling as a passer and his running threat is going to be less and less every year. This is reality, so every year he becomes closer and closer to just a passing guy, and that’s not his strength.

  17. ravens are doing the right thing. there is always some desperate team out there that will do something stupid and end up in cap hell for years with nothing to show for it like the browns.

  18. Get some draft picks for him as Seattle did. Find a good young QB that can stay healthy. Baltimore did better in playoffs previous to Lamar Jackson. If the QB is messed up in the head it’s over. Ask Aaron Rogers. They need a leader, not a drama Queen.

  19. beej says:
    January 15, 2023 at 10:15 pm
    5 years guaranteed? He’ll likely be out of the league in 3

    ======================

    Cam Newton’s last full year as a starter was his age 29 season. Which would be 3 years from now for Jackson.

  20. Remember when Jackson was held as a pawn but Baltimore thought they held all the cards? Then the playoffs came and the team thought they could guilt him into playing? Despite not paying him…. Then they lose a playoff game that Lamar would easily win. Baltimore played their hand very poorly!

  21. The Ravens will trade for Carr quickly and let Jackson go. Carr would be a good fit for the Ravens

  22. When will the Ravens figure out you cant win a championship with a running back playing qb?

    Harbaugh needs to go.

  23. Good guy,phenomenal player, but
    Immature, lacks humility, and body is breaking down.
    Give Decosta (2) 1st rounders and pretty sure he’ll be on another team.

  24. The only team management STUPID enough to give a guaranteed contract is the Browns … wait they already gave one. And when the dust clears at the end of the 5 years it will make the Vikings trade FOR Hershel Walker look like genius in comparison.

    Jackson (and his supporters in the media) are just delusional as to what he is worth to ANY NFL team.

    He is 1-3 in playoff games or to put it another way .250 winning percentage when it counts the most. Is that REALLY a ‘I’ve just have to have him’ QB? Or how about a comparison, Mark Sanchez is a career 4-2 playoff QB (.666) including wins over Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. And NOBODY on this board (me included and I’m a Jets fan) thinks or will ever think Sanchez was a ‘must have’ guy.

    Jackson will be an above average QB for as long as he can stay healthy. He is not, and never will be, “elite”. And after the performance Huntley put in tonight (yes they lost but it was REAL close) Jackson may find himself as no longer needed by the Ravens never mind them giving him a Watson style contract.

  25. all of the ill-informed posters here stating that they should trade him or tag and trade him forget one important detail… he is a Free Agent until he signs his contract or tag and you cannot trade a free agent

  26. I’m not a Jackson fan.he had early success but teams learned how to play him: don’t honor his arm defend his run.i say he is avg at best and the ravens should not give the farm away thinking they have to have him.

  27. Hard to envision finding a draft partner that would have to retool their offense for Jackson as his skill set continues to cycle down.

  28. He holds all the cards except one, he no longer decides how much he will earn.depending on his tag, the ravens moves will determine his pay and he has to play for that amount or agree to be traded.

  29. 5 seasons, Jackson has just 1 – 3,000 yard passing season (3,127). He’s never completed more than 265 passes in season. He’s not worth QB money, RB+.

  30. He’s exciting to watch, but not on my team. He can’t throw the ball, and your going to have to trade 3 first round picks than give him a bag of money. You better have 3 big good TE’s on your team if you expect to trade for and pay him.

  31. I was hoping Harbaugh would tell Lamar to just stay home and not bother making the trip to Cincinnati. It looked like Harbaugh is done with Lamar after the Latter quit on the team. The fact that he is not playing through injury won’t endear him to the guys in the locker room that have injuries of their own. but rehab and play for their teammates and fans. Lamar chose to be selfish . By not trying to practice or play I am certain the Ravens will rescind any offers they had on the table. You just can’t count on him anymore. It’s a shame, but Lamar is out of here. Transitional tag. If any team wants to sign him, they’ll give the Ravens 2 first round picks. Divorce is the only option now.

  32. These are many of the same posters that said Watson was done and would never get paid .lol

  33. Action Jackson should have zero leverage in any contract negotiations. But with Harbaugh’s ingenious clock management and crippling backup QB play…it actually looks like he may have the upper hand with the birds management. SMH

  34. patsrule says:
    January 15, 2023 at 9:37 pm
    Would love to see the Ravens make a post season run without Jackson.

    ———————-

    You just did.

  35. All contracts should be fully guaranteed. Of course that is going to shorten the average years. The cap needs to be hard to avoid the gymnastics that teams do now. A 3 year 90 million contract cost 30 million a year to the cap. No signing bonus, no void years. The sad part of this is Jackson’s teammates know how injured he still is. If he is struggling as he claims then he made the right decision. If he was making a business decision then he probably lost support from players who just had their season end because of his selfishness. All contracts should be honored by both parties

  36. stillers1963 says:
    January 15, 2023 at 11:39 pm
    all of the ill-informed posters here stating that they should trade him or tag and trade him forget one important detail… he is a Free Agent until he signs his contract or tag and you cannot trade a free agent

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Not really, because he still cannot go anywhere or even talk to another team unless he is on the non exclusive tag. So he has ZERO leverage in this situation. All he can do is sit and not get paid in which he gains nothing because the year will not count if he holds out meaning next year will be a repeat of this year. If he is on the non exclusive the Ravens have the right to match any deal he is offered and if they do not , they get two number one picks. Any way you look at it , he either plays for the Ravens or sits and gains nothing unless someone offers him a deal he will take. And nobody will give him what he wants simple because he is not even worth what the Raven already offered.

  37. If he does not sign the tag he cannot look for a trade or talk to other teams so what good would it do? He will be another Bell. Bell wasted a whole year only to be horrible when he came back on a bad team. Man ruined his career thinking he was special.

  38. Let him walk and sign Carr. They’ll save a lot of money, won’t lose much, if anything, and will then have options for the future because they won’t be cash-strapped.

  39. Poe-birds in a tight spot here. Tag isn’t exactly a breathe-ez solution for a yr ($30+ Mill). Even if knee heals, he has 2-3 yr window. Can Roquan Smith play QB?

  40. Lamar has already drawn the line. He probably could have played yesterday and didn’t, and as such, I think he’s played his last game as a Raven. He has a lot more leverage than others are giving him credit for and he’s a significantly better quarterback than Watson, so why wouldn’t he expect a mega contract. He’s a much better passer than most give him credit for as well. Being a passing running back is a tired joke and not an accurate reflection of his ability. This is his one chance to cash-in and he’ll get it one way or the other.

  41. Boy wouldn’t the Ravens wish they had a Brock Purdy?

    They’d be like “Hey Lamar – yeah rest that knee buddy…so that you are nice and healthy for your next team…It’s been nice but umm..Buh Bye”

  42. The fact that he didnt travel to Cincy says ALOT. No class. I wont say he isnt hurt or anything like that, no one but Lamar and possibly the Ravens coaching staff really knows for sure, but not traveling is a big sign that something is very wrong with this situation. You lose the locker room as a QB with that behavior and its very hard to get it back.

  43. He Maybe a good QB, but he’s a foolish business man.

    No team (except Cleveland) in their right mind would give anyone a guaranteed 5 year contract, let alone a running QB who can’t finish a season healthy… Someone will pay him, but it won’t be the Ravens.. He is unreasonable and a foolish negotiator. The NFL does not guarantee contracts. Why is that?? Because Its a sport with a 100% injury rate..

    You cannot give anyone a guaranteed contract in the NFL, unless you’re as dumb as Cleveland.. It’s not a matter of if, its when a player will get hurt…

    I don’t blame the Ravens for letting him walk…. And, they’re smart enough to get something for him prior to letting him walk too. I could see if Jackson has WON something to dig in, but presently, he’s just another athletic QB with above average skills. Yes, worth money, but not a guaranteed 5 year record breaking contract. He’s know where near that status….

  44. I tag him and not negotiate anything fully guaranteed. Then I’d entertain trades and whether or not he signs and intends to play (no way he’d sign and play), I’d be drafting a QB. One that is a little more of a pocket passer. This team is built to win now if they had a WR or two and a guy that could throw the ball to them. Hell Brock Purdy could have won that game last night by 14 or more.

  45. The STUPIDEST thing they could do is let him walk. I wouldn’t let him take another snap, but I’d tag him and trade him. He has value, you’re not very smart if you don’t think someone else would trade for him.

  46. I am a Steeler fan living in the Ravens TV market. So, I see many of their games. All I can say is I’m always very nervous about the Steelers facing him. For all the people who say he isn’t a good passer, he sure seems to move enough to allow his receivers to get wide open.
    However, I don’t see any team excelling if they give out big, fully guaranteed contracts. The Watson deal was an aberration, not the new future.

  47. People are silly. Elite QB elevates those around them. The Ravens go from 12th in ppg to worst in a decade without Jackson. Guys like Garroplo and Carr and not going to raise the level of play of anyone. They are cogs in a machine while guys like Mahomes, Allen and Jackson are the Machine. The way the Ravens have built the roster is silly. They are incredibly easy to defend because they don’t have any receivers that can win one on one against even the worst secondary. 8 in the box and double Andrews in the red zone everytime. The Ravens should sign Jackson for whatever salary he wants but try to keep the years down, trade their pick for the next disgruntled WR, and pray that one of their Young Edge rushers develops Justin Houston has one more year in him, and pray for injury luck. This team would be favorites to win the superbowl.

  48. Nah… Lamar will be an Atlanta Falcon next year and Trey Lance will be traded to the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Honestly speaking, The Raven can win with Tyler Huntley. Just give Tyler a full offseason with the Ravens OC.

  49. ——–

    LamarJacksonquitonhisteam says:
    January 16, 2023 at 1:34 am

    I was hoping Harbaugh would tell Lamar to just stay home and not bother making the trip to Cincinnati. It looked like Harbaugh is done with Lamar after the Latter quit on the team. The fact that he is not playing through injury won’t endear him to the guys in the locker room that have injuries of their own. but rehab and play for their teammates and fans. Lamar chose to be selfish . By not trying to practice or play I am certain the Ravens will rescind any offers they had on the table. You just can’t count on him anymore. It’s a shame, but Lamar is out of here. Transitional tag. If any team wants to sign him, they’ll give the Ravens 2 first round picks. Divorce is the only option now.
    ————

    I would totally agree with you IF he already was under contract for next year. To go out and play on a bad knee and not have a contract for next year would have been pure stupidity.

  50. He is not thinking this out. I would just break him off. He’s a ME guy, not a tEaM guy.

  51. Tag him & send him to the Jest’s or Raiders for picks – both teams need a QB & both are horrible at evaluating talent plus they both have a habit of overspending on players to fill their roster.

  52. If a franchise ties its future to a player as its franchise player with a fully guaranteed five-year contract the following abilities are probably the most important ones: availability, reliability, ability to win games with your arm. I don’t know how Lamar is seen in these categories by teams, but it’s likely a desperate team comes up with the terms he wants. Jets come to mind and maybe Carolina, but I don’t know if they really want him that badly.

  53. Burrow and Herbert will set the QB markets in a few months. Then we’ll see what Baltimore wants to do with Jackson.

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