Report resurfaces that Lamar Jackson turned down $133 million fully guaranteed

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On the first Sunday of the regular season, ESPN reporter Chris Mortensen reported that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson rejected a contract offer that would have paid him $133 million fully guaranteed at signing. Very recently, ESPN analyst Ryan Clark reported the same thing.

Here’s what we said in September, since it still applies: “The reporting has some gaps that make a full assessment of the offer impossible. What would the first-year cash flow have been? How much of the contract would have been guaranteed for injury? How much of the injury guarantee would have converted to a full guarantee in March 2023, since there’s no way they would have cut him after only one year, given whatever they would have been paying him in 2022?”

It’s impossible to fully evaluate a deal without knowing the full value of it. Every payment, every guarantee, every vesting deadline, every incentive, every escalator, every de-escalator, every workout bonus, every roster bonus, every option bonus, every per-game roster bonus, and every other device by which money would flow from team to play.

It’s also irrelevant at this point. Circumstances have changed. Jackson’s rookie contract is over. He finished the season with an injury that caused him to miss more than a few games, for the second straight year.

Also, other long-term, big-money quarterback deals (such as the ones given to Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray) possibly have become cautionary tales.

Will the Ravens make the same offer now? Will they offer more? Will they offer less?

Are they content to let Lamar test the market under the non-exclusive franchise tag? Would they match someone else’s offer? Would they be willing to take a pair of first-round picks instead? Would they trade him for something less than two ones?

These are the important questions now. Hearing again (and likely again) that he was offered $133 million fully guaranteed at signing means nothing in isolation, and it means even less given the passage of time.

So unless Lamar or the NFL Players Association or the Ravens are willing to disclose the full contents of any offers that have been made, it’s impossible for anyone to call a deal good or bad, fair or unfair, satisfactory or unsatisfactory. While that won’t stop people from reporting incomplete facts about the negotiations, past or present, those who see the information should remember that there’s no way to judge the full deal without knowing (spoiler alert) the full deal.

85 responses to “Report resurfaces that Lamar Jackson turned down $133 million fully guaranteed

  1. The Lamar haters will seize upon this report, even though Mike explains that it means nothing. There will be the usual hater talking points; running QB, can’t read defenses, injury prone, etc. The jealousy of Lamar’s ability really drives these haters.

  2. Lamar has badly overplayed his hand! He should have accepted the Raven’s last offer. It was worth more than he is proving he is now worth, in ability, attitude, and AVAILABILITY. Lamar is in for a rude awakening!

  3. He should’ve turned it down. Rodgers, Wilson and Murray all got over $30M guaranteed per season on average. If Kyler and Russ can both get over $160M guaranteed, Lamar should get more. It’s simple.

  4. IMO Lamar Jackson is better than Russell Wilson ($242M/$160M guaranteed) or Kyler Murray ($230M/$190M guaranteed)

  5. Just cause they gave terrible GMs gave terrible contracts to Russ and Kyler doesn’t mean that’s the new bar.

  6. Ravens are in a tough spot if you consider:
    1. Lamar is not going to get faster as he ages.
    2. He hasn’t played well in the playoffs, especially when they’ve fallen behind.
    3. If the Ravens don’t pay him, who will play QB?

    If Lamar wants a full guarantee like watson got, then he is gone period. It won’t happen. He deserves the going rate but just because some team gave out a dumb 100% guarantee, doesn’t mean Baltimore should.

  7. Sure Lamar is better than Wilson and Kyler. But no way any GM would have given either of those guys the same contract given what they now know.

    I get that Lamar wanted more, but no way ANY team, let alone the Ravens will give him more than the $130MM.

    His best shot is to play under the franchise, or if he gets released sign a short term deal. If he thinks he’s in the same league as Mahomes, then let him prove it.

  8. Bringing up Kyler and Russ’s contracts only proves it entirely possible to overpay because of reputation. Trade Lamar for some high draft picks.

  9. An agent or competent lawyer would’ve “massaged” that $133mil guaranteed contract and formatted it to best benefit Lamar. Flat out rejecting it because it wasn’t to his liking is a rookie negotiator mistake. Now he’s proven that he’s not worth big money NOR even available to his team has torpedoed his value. Ravens would be best off taking 2 #1’s and building around a new QB.

  10. Jackson is not even top 10 in yards per game, completion percentage, or even td/int ratio. Baltimore would be wise to cut him loose. Lackson’s value is what he does with his legs, which means that he won’t last long. To give him a lot of guaranteed money makes no sense.

  11. Is Lamar a top 10 qb, yes. Is his style of playing qb more prone to injury, yes also. The Ravens gave a good value qb contract to him and he turned it down. I would like so see GM’s start putting in a escalator clause for good AND bad years. Take Mike Thomas for example. He had 1 of the best years for a WR in 2018. Next year got paid, and only played in 10 games over the last 3 years. Injuries happen, but giving 100% guaranteed money seems foolish. Every contract should have escalating clauses for both good and bad years.

  12. The Ravens will sign him long term to a Max contract and for the next 5 yrs will be kicking themselves as he is gonna lose his ability to run and he is not a good passer obviously. Enjoy!

  13. “Injured”…during the playoffs. Timing that just so happens to coincide with him failing to negotiate a deal to his liking. Not a guy I want to get in the huddle with.

  14. Jackson is truly a dual-threat running back. Whats the longevity of this position? When looking at passing yards he was 27th this year, 25th last year and 22nd the year before that. The numbers are trending in the wrong direction.

  15. If Lamar had an agent he would have been signed before start of 2022 season. As it stands now, it is easy to see how the Ravens will be forced to move on. Playing him in 2023 under a Tag is a bad idea for many reasons: kills your Cap space, player can skip preseason, injury replay of 2022. Tag and Trade.

  16. Lamar is going to go ballistic when the Ravens front office puts the Franchise or Transition tag on him.

  17. You forgot to compare the largest fully guaranteed contract in the league,… 5 yrs,.. $230 million. Deshaun Watson.

  18. Baltimore subscribes to the stability and financial conservatism favored by the Steelers and Ravens. They are not going to make him the highest paid QB in the game. T

    Auctions are a great way to place a value on rare things. There is a saying that the true value is the second hihest bid as that is the point the market still has two bidders and is liquid. The Ravens are going to make sure they do not overpay. They can do that by giving him the non-exclusive franchise tag. Let other teams assign a value first.

  19. The guy wins games in the regular season but he tends to put out in the post season. Find out how much that is worth and then make your best offer to him. I think the Ravens did that instead of just falling in line and offering the next big contract to the next qb in line. Sooner or later this crap has to stop and it looks like the ravens are the ones who have the juevos to do it. Kyler and Russ’ deals have shown so far to be abysmal and no matter what Watson does (we know he isn’t getting to or winning a sb) he will never come close to living up to that deal. Baltimore has an incredible front office and they know what they’re doing. I think if Lamar continues to play hardball the next move os franchise non exclusive and hope a team takes him off their hands and they get 2.1’s.

  20. This guy has become the story instead of the team. He’s top 10 not top 5 so he should get top 10 money but it sounds like he wants top 3 money.
    This kid is made of glass. Move on. Let someone else deal with his crap.

  21. This report and the timing of it is not a coincidence. This is the Ravens generating a PR campaign. The goal is to save face with the fan base by painting Jackson as selfish. It’s such a great strategy it cost them runs at a Super Bowl the last two years. Not the sign of a good organization and this would not have happened with Ozzie Newsome. Say what you want about Lamar Jackson; he wins 75% of the games he plays. Not sure on the all the outrage when he has outperformed all QBs not named Mahomes, Brady and Rogers since he has been in the league. Can’t wait to hear the comments when Burrow and Herbert get contracts similar to Deshaun Watson.

  22. Ponto60 says:
    January 22, 2023 at 11:34 am
    The Ravens will sign him long term to a Max contract and for the next 5 yrs will be kicking themselves as he is gonna lose his ability to run and he is not a good passer obviously. Enjoy!

    Lamar’s stats over 70 games: 63.7 completion %, 101 TDs, 38 INTs, 7.4 yards per completion. He is very good passer obviously, despite what you haters try to peddle.

  23. Jackson os not a top ten qb. I’d even take D.Jones over him. Throw him in a barrel with Dak,Kyler,Russ & Watson. They should not be even mentioned in the same sentence as Mahomes, Allen, Hurts, Burrow or even Herbert.
    Buyer beware with all those dudes. Just because they make huge jack…does not mean in any way, shape or form…that they are worth it.

  24. Seattle is a very cautionary tale. LJ is better than the haters give him credit for but, like Russ, he ain’t carrying you to a ring. Take the picks and let him walk.

  25. Look at the obvious. Lamar does not like Baltimore, Maryland. IHe wants out of that city. He’s from South Florida. He wants to get as close to there as possible. Miami, Tampa, Atlanta.

  26. He’s looking for Watson money $230,000,000 guaranteed, Ravens will have to pay that to keep Jackson and $133 million guaranteed isn’t even close. It’s looking more like tag and trade may be the only option.

  27. Ravens are one of the few teams who are savvy enough to make/reject offers. Word is they may sign and trade LJ. There teams out their willing to take a gamble. Browns and Broncos did so last off-season. Which team will it be: Seahawks, Texans, Carolina or Bears?

  28. Lamar is his own worst enemy – he should’ve taken the deal – however by turning it down he showed his “hold” card & now EVERYONE knows he’s done in Baltimore. He is injury prone & below average as a QB – if he’s willing to become a RB he’s still average at best and not worth a big contract. There are only 2-3 possible fits that are good for him and they are – 1) Houston 2) New Orleans & 3) Carolina….and maybe but still a stretch the Jets.

  29. What no one ever mentions is the Lamar is a running quarterback, which means he’ll probably have a 10 year career and he’s already played for five years. So he will only get one contract his entire career and wont play long enough to see a second contract. So in reality if you spread what he’s asking for over 10 years it works out to average quarterback pay. Wait till Burrow and Herbert get a contract and set the new standard. Ravens better pay him now before those other two set the bar.

  30. Lamar is not interested in an outdated pay for a top QB. He is gone and continues to be the smartest man in the room. He will get paid big time

  31. Ravens got incredibly lucky Lamar Jackson is not a good business man, Guy got greedy and didn’t wNt to pay an agent 10 million …he should have gotten an agent and build in the 10 million .

  32. he is not worth 30 mill guaranteed. he missed around 13 games in the last 2 seasons alone. as soon as they or someone else gives him a huge deal he will be hurt and watching from home getting millions. on the other hand i hope the Ravens give him a 10 year fully guaranteed at signing for 300 million.

  33. dirtyharry1551 says:
    January 22, 2023 at 11:34 am
    Is Lamar a top 10 qb, yes.

    I’ve had arguments before with friends and co-workers about 4,000 yards passing still being the benchmark for a good QB. A lot of them argue that 4,000 yards was the standard 30 years ago and that good was closer to 4,500-4,800.

    Lamar hasn’t hit any of those benchmarks as a QB in the NFL. He’s been an NFL QB for FIVE YEARS and his highest yearly yardage total is 3,127.

    He’s thrown 20+ TD passes twice in five years.

    He’s not a top 10 QB. He may be a top 10 playmaker, but no, he’s not a top 10 QB and he doesn’t deserve top 10 QB money.

  34. Teams overpaying for no good reason have made this situation harder. Mahomes and Allen have earned their contracts. While guys like Cousins, Watson, and Wilson are hugely overpaid relative to what they actually deliver.

    If Jackson had any character, he’d be comparing himself to guys who have had comparable outcomes rather than outliers that everyone else knows are overpaid. But he’s choosing greed over everything.

    If he wants to be a winner, he should take the mountain of guaranteed money they’ve offered and be grateful that a guy who’s only won one playoff game and has been unable to finish two seasons straight is getting guaranteed anything. And realize that it helps the team sign the kind of talent he wants around him. Hard for a team to do that when they’re being held hostage.

    If all he’s offering in return for his expectation (the largest guaranteed contract ever) is a solid regular-season record and that’s it, then there are much cheaper ways for a team to get that.

  35. If I was a owner, I’d have a real hard time to guarantee anything more than 3 years. A bad injury could screw your cap for way too long.

  36. Running QBs really only have about an 8 or 9 year shelf life before everything comes off the rails. Cam Newton lasted about 8 full seasons as a starter before he was so banged up that his play dramatically went down with it. Lamar Jackson is finishing his 5th year as a starter. Why give him a new contract when it’s almost a guaranteed certainty that by 2025, his best days will be behind him?

  37. I wouldnt guarantee him $133M. He cant stay healthy. Of course he turned it down. Thats not close to what the Browns gave Watson and that was the ballpark number Lamar was looking for and still is.

  38. Best QB of his draft class, the only unanimous MVP. He deserves every penny he is asking for.

  39. Not a fan of the Ravens so I really hope they give LJ everything he wants, and it fails spectacularly. Then Joe Burrow sees it as a cautionary tale and lets the Bengals keep some $ to have for the seemingly never ending rebuild of their OL, lol.

  40. No human should turn down over $100 million guaranteed for a service. That service being a football player in this case. I don’t care what the Browns did.

  41. It’s not the fact that Lamar is a running quarterback. It’s the fact that the last two seasons he’s ended the season injured and been unavailable. Not a good look for any quarterback whether they’re running quarterback or a pocket quarterback. Injury prone is injury prone he doesn’t deserve a huge contract now. He should have signed when he had the chance. If the Ravens are smart which I hope they’re not they should tag him and trade him

  42. The greatest ability is availability. He has not been available the past two Decembers and Januarys. He’s worth the money if he can stay on the field but he simply cannot for 17+ games unfortunately.

  43. This is why he’s been painted in a negative light recently. That’s a ton of money to turn down. He’s more Kyler Murray than he is Josh Allen or Pat Mahomes. Teams will be weary.

  44. Why would he take less than the alleged serial offender DeShaun Watson got?

    Or less than Russ?

    he’s better than them both right in 22-23

  45. allgasnobrakes says:
    January 22, 2023 at 3:28 pm
    Ravens are going to tag him and run him into the ground next year


    At which point they might pay $40M to a guy who nurses a high ankle sprain all year before he departs for a new franchise as an unreadyricted free agent.

    The talent always has the leverage. All ya’ll hating on MVP who’s got the world by the balls and is smarter than he’s being given credit for.

    Might not workout for Baltimore but it will damn well workout for Lamar.

  46. The market dictates the price. Murray and Wilson’s contract actually helped the Ravens. Lamar’s expectations for guaranteed money were way higher after the Watson contract.

  47. Some of You Posters are DELUSIONAL at Best!!! Lol The Ravens just committed 100 Million GUARANTEED to an Inside Linebacker that doesn’t Rush the passer!!! How on GODS GREEN EARTH do you think that your MVP franchise QB should accept ANYTHING LESS than 200 Million Fully Guaranteed??

  48. LOL, paying that to him would be ridiculous. As bad as Cleveland paying so much to Watson.

    The only QB in the game today who warrants that kind of contract is first ballot HOF QB Russell Wilson. And he gave Denver a steal contract.

  49. gibson45 says:
    January 22, 2023 at 11:02 am
    The Lamar haters will seize upon this report, even though Mike explains that it means nothing. There will be the usual hater talking points; running QB, can’t read defenses, injury prone, etc. The jealousy of Lamar’s ability really drives these haters.


    I just giggle. My jebus…

  50. The haterade is flowing. If Baltimore doesn’t want to sign him, why are they entitled to picks from a team that does?

  51. The non-exclusive franchise tag is a win-win for the Ravens. Lamar’s agent will be in over his head trying to negotiate so many teams that we won’t have the experience to leverage against one another, he’ll realize his choke jobs in playoffs and lack of availability will hurt his market, and Ravens get to let him make the choice saving face. The Ravens will come out ahead, either saving money in cap space or acquire a couple 1st to package with their 1st to move up and pick the QB of their choice – letting them sit a year while Huntley bridges the offense transition. Checkers v Chess – experience wins every time.

  52. Paying Jackson is a bargain. Look at the rest of the offense. Their Wide receivers and Running backs combined make $16 million aka less than Brandin Cooks. They were 12 in scoring offense and 5th offense DVOA with basically league minimum players all over the offense. That’s why the became the worst scoring offense since 2009 with him and they can pay an off ball linebacker $100 million. The only question is injury. Ability wise he is elite. Only Mahomes is in another class.

  53. There’s an old saying “it’s better to walk away from a good deal than to get stuck in a bad one”. Ravens played this very well.

  54. With all that Hype the Josh “Mr. January” Allen gets when will he actually have to win something?

  55. I Was Banned says:
    January 22, 2023 at 1:46 pm
    No team is gonna give two #1s for this guy.. let alone pay him what he wants.


    Need I remind you of what the 49ers gave up for Trey Lance or what the Jets Ponied up for Zach Wilson!!!???

    And somehow your DELUSIONAL Logic has the Ravens not being able to get a paultry 2 1sts for a 26-27 YO former league MVP??

  56. kevpft says:
    January 22, 2023 at 1:38 pm
    Teams overpaying for no good reason have made this situation harder. Mahomes and Allen have earned their contracts. While guys like Cousins, Watson, and Wilson are hugely overpaid relative to what they actually deliver.

    Please Enlighten me in What EXACTLY Allen has done to “earn” his contract?
    Allen has Looked “Pedestrian” in the playoffs not showing even a Glimpse of what his “reputation” Suggests!!! No League MVP….. Trying to figure out this “metric” of how Allen is measured that makes him more valuable than Jackson……

  57. “If Baltimore doesn’t want to sign him, why are they entitled to picks from a team that does?”


    Because that’s the rule for the top-tier Non-exclusive Tag. Ravens essentially have his rights. Lamar can shop the market, find the best one he likes, and then the Ravens can either match it, or the team who offered it, has to give up 2 first rounders. If Lamar doesn’t want to do that, then he essentially is out of the league. Not a lot of leverage for him.

  58. Can’t wait to hear the comments when Burrow and Herbert get contracts similar to Deshaun Watson.

    Burrow!?! Get that kind of contract from Mike Brown?? 🤣🤣🤣

  59. Just look at Lamar’s stats the past two seasons. Strip out his first 3 games in each season when he beat up a couple of bad teams and now look at the bulk of each season… and you will see a QB who is not remotely close to the top 10 across all major QB stats. In fact, among starting QBs, he’s somewhere between #15-20. These are absolute facts, and impossible to ignore. He’s now been seriously injured twice, and this year he quit on his team. Sure, all you Ravens fans can tell us he was MVP 4 years ago, and he’s won a lot of regular season games, but who cares? He’s been going straight downhill since 2019 as defenses figured him out, he has NEVER been successful in the playoffs against good defenses, and now the guy is both damaged goods mentally and not a good teammate. Why in the world would the Ravens ever remotely sign him to a big long-term contract?

  60. Trade him for Justin Fields and a first round pick swap. The Bears front office is stupid enough to give us a guy with a couple cheap years left on his contract for a former MVP that can’t even finish the season two years running. We can use the 1st pick to get Jalen Carter.

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