The Baltimore Ravens are running out of time to negotiate a contract extension with Lamar Jackson, and they may be increasing their efforts to get a deal done.
Josina Anderson of CBS Sports reported on Monday that the Ravens have made an “improved offer” to Jackson. The star quarterback is said to be seeking a deal that is comparable to the $230 million fully guaranteed contract Deshaun Watson got from the Cleveland Browns. Anderson notes that Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti would never sign off on that.
Jackson does not have an agent. He has informed the Ravens that he will not continue to negotiate once the regular season begins, which means the two sides have less than a week remaining to work something out. If they don’t, Jackson will likely be hit with the franchise tag next offseason.
Russell Wilson signed a five-year, $265 million extension with the Denver Broncos last week. The deal includes $165 million guaranteed, which is slightly more than the $160 million guaranteed Kyler Murray got in his new contract with the Arizona Cardinals. Those two deals are further evidence that NFL teams consider Watson’s contract to be an outlier. Jackson has probably argued that he deserves more than Watson, but the reality is only the Browns have shown a willingness to give a quarterback a fully guaranteed, $230 million deal.
Jackson sparked a frenzy on social media last week by hinting that he may have interest in joining one rival team. His first choice is almost certainly having a new deal in place with the Ravens prior to Week 1.