The money free agent quarterback Lamar Jackson is asking for is not too much for the Colts. But the guarantees on his contract might be.
That’s the word from Colts owner Jim Irsay, who told reporters that the Colts are willing to pay Jackson a lot, but not to give him a fully guaranteed contract.
Irsay told Stephen Holder of ESPN that “the money is not a problem,” but Irsay also told Zak Keefer of TheAthletic.com that “I do not believe in fully-guaranteed contracts.”
The precise nature of Jackson’s demands is not known, but the fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract that Deshaun Watson got from the Browns a year ago is believed to be in the neighborhood of what Jackson wants.
Irsay also indicated that the draft pick compensation the Colts would have to give the Ravens might be too much. If the Colts signed Jackson to an offer sheet and the Ravens didn’t match it, the Colts would get Jackson and the Ravens would get the Colts’ next two first-round draft picks. It’s also possible that the Colts and Ravens could agree to some other form of compensation, but the Ravens would surely demand a significant trade offer.
And so the Colts don’t seem to be close to landing Jackson. But at a time when most of the league is oddly uninterested in a 26-year-old former NFL MVP, Irsay is at least willing to consider making an offer.