Former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson signed with the Baltimore Ravens as the final first-round draft pick in the 2018 NFL draft.
When Jackson first signed with the Ravens, he entered into a four-year contract for approximately $9.5 million with signing bonuses included and a fifth-year exercisable option for a base salary of $23 million in 2022.
What Happened: According to ESPN, the Ravens offered Jackson a five-year extension worth more than $250 million with $133 million guaranteed at signing. The contract would last through the 2027 season, enabling Jackson to earn just under $274 million in six years. Jackson would play out the $23 million fifth-year option on his initial deal before the extension started in 2023.
After the Ravens' season-opening victory against the New York Jets, the Ravens quarterback repeatedly said, “we are having a conversation,” adding that, “I’m a man of my own,” when asked about his contract and how it compares to other NFL players.
ESPN sources are speculating the rise of guaranteed contracts is based on players such as Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed five-year $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns, earning $46 million annually after the 2022 season.
The American Football Union believes that Jackson is justified in his search for a guaranteed contract based on his age and performance, as the quarterback is a dual-threat on offense.
Before the start of the 2022 season, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson signed a five-year, $243 million contract averaging $49 million annually with $161 million guaranteed, while Arizona Cardinals extended quarterback Kyler Murray for a five-year, $231 million contract averaging $46 million per year and roughly $190 million guaranteed, according to ESPN.
Currently, the highest paid quarterback is the Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers who signed a three-year deal with a $150 million guaranteed contract, earning an average salary of $50 million per year.
The Last Word:
Looking back at other contracts, Benzinga found a similar situation took place in 2012 for the Ravens when quarterback Joe Flacco’s contract was set to expire, as he led the Ravens into a Super Bowl victory before becoming one of the highest-paid players.
With this in mind, there is the potential for Jackson to set a new record by becoming the highest-paid NFL player, especially if he can lead the team to a Super Bowl win this season.
As of Sept. 13, you can place a bet on the Baltimore Ravens with DraftKings Inc DKNG to win Super Bowl LVII in 2023 with +1,700 odds, with the possibility of turning $10 into $180 before fees and taxes.
Photo: U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Delano Scott, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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