Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and the team’s management are still in a stalemate over contract negotiations. If no trade emerges this offseason, Jackson can play under the $32.4 million franchise tag or sit out the 2023 season. He would lose out on $1.8 million each week he does not sign the offer sheet. Jackson’s push for a guaranteed contract is the latest attempt by players to take a stand for what they believe in, as is documented in a letter written three weeks ago by NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith highlighting his organization’s support of a fully guaranteed deal for Jackson and the potential for collusion by NFL owners. The Ravens have not given Jackson the deal he wants, and it appears other NFL owners have taken a similar tact. Jackson’s push for a guaranteed contract is the latest attempt by players to take a stand for what they believe in. However, what it will take for Jackson to get what he wants is unclear.
It was reported this week that the GM of the Baltimore Ravens declined to talk about ongoing negotiations with Lamar Jackson during a pre-draft availability with local reporters. The Ravens are famously known for taking the best player available in the draft; DeCosta also stated the Ravens would consider selecting a quarterback in the first round as a potential replacement for Jackson. Jackson, represented by his mother Felicia Jones and other advisors, reportedly seeks a contract in the neighborhood of the $230 million guaranteed deal the Cleveland Browns paid Deshaun Watson 13 months ago last offseason. The Ravens so far have been unwilling to match that contract. They’re not alone. Baltimore would have five days to match any new offer sheet from another team, and that team would also have to send Baltimore two first-round picks to consummate a trade. Thus far, no competitive offer has emerged.
Jackson has reportedly already requested a trade earlier last month, however, Baltimore holds most of the cards in the sparring matchbetween these two sides, as they essentially control Jackson’s rights for two more seasons via the franchise tag. Ganis, a sports finance expert who works closely with NFL owners, sees Jackson’s lack of an agent as a potential sticking point in negotiations. DeMaurice Smith stated in a letter three weeks ago highlighting his organization’s support of a fully guaranteed deal for Jackson and the potential for collusion by NFL owners. Since the Watson deal, quarterbacks like Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray and Derek Carr negotiated long-term deals that have not been fully guaranteed, further bolstering the league’s view that the Cleveland Browns quarterback’s deal was unique. However, Jackson’s push for a guaranteed contract is the latest attempt by players to take a stand for what they believe in.