NFL Rumors: ‘Anything Is Possible’ For Lamar Jackson, Ravens

Things could get messy in Baltimore


Feb 23, 2023

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have been at a standstill in contract negotiations since last offseason, and there is a possibility the 2019 MVP says goodbye to Baltimore.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Jamison Hensley released a feature story Thursday that went into detail on the internal feeling in the Ravens organization on the contract drama with Jackson. The star quarterback injured his left knee in Week 13, but there was belief he would return in the playoffs. Jackson tweeted out the extent of his injury, which caught the team off-guard, according to ESPN.

Jackson has agreed to not speak publicly about his contract demands, but he reportedly wants a guaranteed deal similar to the five-year, $230 million contract the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson. Baltimore reportedly has not given in to the fully-guaranteed contract demands and has gone under what other top QBs have received in guaranteed money.

“Jackson turned down a five-year, $250 million contract in September that included $133 million guaranteed — far less than Watson’s deal, but more than the guaranteed figures awarded to Russell Wilson ($124 million) and Kyler Murray ($103.3 million) last offseason,” ESPN wrote.

ESPN added: “If there is no compromise, the possibility of the Ravens trading Jackson, who in 2019 joined Tom Brady as the only unanimous MVPs in NFL history, has never been more likely. That’s assuming another team would be willing to make the necessary commitment, which likely would mean multiple first-round picks to the Ravens and a fully guaranteed deal for Jackson.”

The Ravens are expected to give Jackson the franchise tag by March 7, but the quarterback, who is not backed by an agent, will still seek a fully-guaranteed deal. If Baltimore uses the non-exclusive franchise tag, prospective teams can submit an offer sheet if willing to relinquish two first-round picks to acquire Jackson in a deal with the Ravens. The exclusive tag, set at $45 million, would let Baltimore control the trade terms.

“A couple of months ago, I would have said no way (that a trade will happen” a team source told ESPN days after the playoff loss. “Now it feels like anything is possible.”

It’s unlikely the New England Patriots emerge as a suitor, despite Bill Belichick’s high praise of Jackson, due to the expensive price tag. The New York Jets, who brought in Derek Carr for a visit and reportedly are waiting on Aaron Rodgers’ decision with the Green Bay Packers, would be one of the favorites to pursue the MVP QB.

The Atlanta Falcons also have plenty of cap space to sign Jackson, and Baltimore likely would want to trade him outside of the AFC, so they would be a potential suitor, as well.

But the backlash from Ravens fans could be unimaginable if the franchise moves on from a player many expected to be with the team for over a decade. But that will depend on how negotiations play out in March.

Thumbnail photo via Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports Images
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