Baltimore Ravens Fail to Extend Star Quarterback

Baltimore Ravens fans should be feeling a little nervous today. General Manager Eric Decosta announced Friday morning that the team had failed to reach an agreement with quarterback Lamar Jackson on an extension:
Jackson will now play out the final year of his rookie contract. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the team will likely franchise tag Jackson next offseason, a move that could cost the Ravens as much as $45.5 million on a one-year deal.
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Jackson is the rare young star quarterback to make it this far into his career without an extension. Fellow 2018 draft pick Josh Allen signed his new deal in August of 2021 following his third season, and 2019 first overall pick Kyler Murray signed his extension earlier this offseason. With the 2019 MVP on his mantle and 37-12 record, Jackson's resume arguably exceeds both.

It's possible the contracts Murray and Allen signed simply aren't good enough for Jackson. Reports of the quarterback betting on himself have lingered for years, and many theorize he hopes to set a new standard for quarterback contracts by eventually hitting free agency. That will take getting through this year's fifth-year option, next year's franchise tag, and as many as two more franchise tags after that. That's a big gamble to take for any player, let alone one with such a demanding play style. In a league that has seen running back value plummet due to the toll rushing attempts take on the body, Lamar has already run the ball 615 times in the regular season. He also missed five games last year.

It'll be fascinating to see what Jackson eventually signs for. Would he be satisfied with Aaron Rodgers' $50+ million annual average? Or would he set his sights even higher? We'll find out next year. Or the year after. Or the year after.
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