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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Lamar Jackson and Ravens Reach a 5-Year Contract Extension Agreement

After contract discussions this offseason stalled, star quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens announced Thursday that they had reached an agreement in principle on a five-year deal.

A source familiar with the deal’s parameters said it was for $260 million but sought anonymity because the club hadn’t made the information public.

Jackson started the 2022 N.F.L. season with one year left on his rookie contract after winning the league’s Most Valuable Player award in 2019. Until the offseason, Jackson’s future in Baltimore was unclear since he and the organisation had been unable to reach an extension agreement. After failing to reach an agreement with Jackson in February, the club used the nonexclusive franchise tag on him in March. This tag is worth around $32 million per year and gives Jackson the freedom to negotiate with other teams.

On Twitter last month, Jackson revealed that he had sought a trade from the Ravens back in early March because they “were not interested in meeting my value.”

Jalen Hurts, formerly of the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a contract extension with the New York Jets last week, while Aaron Rodgers was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the New York Jets earlier this week. There had been little movement in Jackson’s contract negotiations with the Ravens until Thursday’s statement, which came just before the start of the NFL draught. According to several sources, Jackson’s five-year agreement is for $255 million, making his average annual salary the biggest in the league.

Jackson was the 2018 NFL draft’s first-round’s last selection, made by the Baltimore Ravens. After Joe Flacco was injured in the middle of his first season, he became the team’s starting quarterback. Although he missed the team’s wild-card game in January due to a late-season knee injury, he has guided the Ravens to the postseason four times in the last five seasons.

Jackson has revolutionised the position of quarterback at the top level of the sport by using his legs and passing skills to unprecedented effect. He will go down in history as the first quarterback to ever run for over a thousand yards in both the 2019 and 2020 seasons. By the end of the 2017 season, Jackson had rushed for over 4,000 yards during his career and thrown for over 100 touchdowns, both of which were new NFL records.

When Jackson entered the NFL, he was met with worries about his durability and had to fight off suggestions that he would be better suited to play another position, much like many other dual-threat quarterbacks before him, especially Black quarterbacks. Jackson and his mother’s wait in the green room for the 2018 draft’s final hours will remain a memorable sight.

The Ravens, on the other hand, have not tried to restrict Jackson’s special talents but rather have built an offence around him that is unlike any other in the league. While Jackson was the league’s MVP, the Ravens set a new standard for running yards in 2019 by surpassing the previous mark by 41 yards, and from 2018 to 2019, they established a league record by rushing for at least 100 yards in 43 consecutive games.

By remaining with the Ravens, Jackson can keep competing with the other young, talented quarterbacks in the AFC, such as Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City (two-time Super Bowl champion), Joe Burrow of Cincinnati, Josh Allen of Buffalo, Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers, and Trevor Lawrence of Jacksonville. Odell Beckham Jr., a receiver with the Los Angeles Rams who tore his anterior cruciate ligament while helping them win Super Bowl LVI, signed with the Baltimore Ravens earlier this month, giving him at least one new offensive playmaker to pass to.

Coach John Harbaugh has said that he expects Jackson to remain his starting quarterback this season, despite the fact that contract discussions between Jackson and the Ravens have stopped. Last month, Harbaugh stated, “Numbers can be figured out.”

The Ravens were able to figure out what kind of money Jackson would need to stay, and as a result, they will have him for another five years.

Dan O'Brien
Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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