Since the Browns signed Deshaun Watson to an unprecedented fully-guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract last year, other owners have refused to follow suit on guaranteed contracts. And Ravens Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome is acknowledging that his team sees Watson’s contract as a stumbling block to getting things done with Lamar Jackson.
Newsome, who was the Ravens’ General Manager for 17 years before stepping back to the Executive V.P. role in 2019, said on the Bernie Kosar Show that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti views the Watson contract as a problem.
“Every club has to do what they have to do with contracts,” Newsome said. “I don’t worry about what other people do, but our owner did say that contract did create some problems. We have to figure out if that’s going to be the norm or is that an outlier. We don’t know.”
Bisciotti and other NFL owners don’t want to see Watson’s contract become the norm, and the NFL Players Association has accused the owners of colluding to prevent fully guaranteed contracts from becoming the norm.
Jackson remains unsigned two weeks after the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, and his desire for a bigger guarantee than any owner wants to pay appears to be the primary reason he hasn’t signed with either the Ravens or any other team.