Know your worth!
The athletes are coming for their coins and we love to see it! Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has been in tough negotiations with the team for the last 27 months, this past March announcing that he wanted to be traded, turning up the heat, ESPN reports. Sources say that there were a number of deals influencing the negotiations, including the $230 million guaranteed money Deshaun Watson secured from the Cleveland Browns last year and the $189.5 million in guaranteed money that Kyler Murray inked as a part of his $230.5 million extension deal with the Cardinals. Well now the two sides have reached a deal, Jackson acting as his own agent in the negotiations and landing an impressive five-year, $260 million extension with the Baltimore Ravens. The agreement includes $185 million in guaranteed money and officially bumps Jackson to the top as the highest-paid player in NFL history at $52 million per year.
“For the last few months, there has been a lot of he said, she said. A lot of nail-biting. A lot of head-scratching going on. But for the next five years, it’s a lot of ‘flock’ going on,” Jackson said while holding a team football in a video posted to the Ravens' Twitter account.
The deal comes just 10 days after Jalen Hurts’ historic five-year $255 million contract extension with the Eagles. While there is no word if Hurts’ contract impacted Jackson’s negotiations, it is a proud moment to see both men being paid what they’re worth. Jackson was drafted to the Ravens nearly 5 years ago to the date. He promised then that they’d “get a Super Bowl out of [him],” and it’s a promise he intends to keep. Before Jackson, the team had missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, with Jackson revitalizing the team and earning the second unanimous NFL MVP selection in his first full season as a starter. He has the fourth-best career record of any starting quarterback to debut in the Super Bowl, leading the NFL in touchdown passes and setting a league record for most rushing yards by a quarterback. While he’s struggled with injuries and inconsistencies in the team’s wins, Raven's general manager Eric DeCosta said he is grateful to have reached an agreement, calling Jackson the best QB in the league.
“We do feel that he’s the best quarterback in the NFL and I think this contract reflects that,” said DeCosta.
While he acknowledged that negotiations have been tense, he feels a particular affinity for Jackson who he calls “family” and acknowledges that it was just business.
“Things can get tough…and there was definitely some emotion. But in the end, we’ve been blessed to have Lamar as part of this organization for a long time. I think he feels this place is special, too. And it was business; it wasn’t personal,” DeCosta told reporters.
Welcome to the Flock. 💜 pic.twitter.com/hlzteqW00f— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 28, 2023
Jackson’s contract was inked just before the start of the NFL draft when the Ravens had the option to select a quarterback in the first round. However, they chose instead to build a team around Jackson, securing Zay Flowers, a superstar receiver from Boston College ranked No. 22 overall. Jackson seemed satisfied with their choice and Ravens fans are eager to get the season started and bring home a championship.
Cover photo: Lamar Jackson signs 5-year extension with the Ravens, becoming highest-paid player in NFL history/Photo Courtesy of Joey Pulone/Baltimore Ravens Photos