2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson is calling out the report from Adam Schefter that the Baltimore Ravens QB turned down a contract offer worth $200 million from the club in September. How is the All-Pro QB not signed long-term yet?
Teams can start sending offer sheets to Lamar today at 4pm, but because Jackson doesn’t want to take less than he deserves on a deal he might not have too many teams clamoring for his services, which smells fishy. The criticism of his mom as his agent, implies that owners don’t want to set a precedent of negotiating without an agent. Schefter has also been critical of that dynamic.
“Chris Mortensen and I reported on this last September, when Lamar Jackson was offered a deal that he turned down. A deal that included at the time he was offered $133 million due at signing,” Schefter said on his podcast. “$133 million guaranteed. The contract also had injury guarantees that brought the guarantees to $175 million and it then had a signing guarantee that could’ve brought the value for the contract, the guaranteed money of the contract to $200 million in guarantees… and yes, those were the actual numbers and that was the situation. So those really were the guarantees for Lamar Jackson.”
Did The Ravens Offer Jackson A Contract?
Curious that Jackson is calling BS on ESPN’s noted NFL news breakers. But we know that Schefter and Chris Mortensen are plugged in on the team side with general managers and owners. So whatever they generally report is from one side of the equation.
Why would Jackson turn down a deal with $200 million in guarantees if that was offered? There seems to be some ambiguity around the particulars of a deal. What was actually offered?
Did he turn down $133 million and three years fully guaranteed? Was there a more complicated deal that involved non-guarantees and clauses that if Jackson reached them would pay him over $200 million?
The Ravens and Jackson have been trying, in vain, to work out a contract extension. Earlier this month the team placed a nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson, giving him the right to negotiate with other teams, and themselves the right to match any offer.
The Ravens have until July 17 to sign Jackson to a long-term deal, but if that doesn’t happen, Jackson will earn $32.4 million next season. It would have been $45 million if they gave him the exclusive tag.
Teams Have Always Given QBs The Bag
Locking up young MVP-caliber QBs is a no brainer for every team in this league. Teams will even heap hefty sums of money on bad QBs because of the importance of the position.
Last year, the Cleveland Browns signed QB Deshaun Watson to a $230 million contract that included the most guaranteed money for a player in league history. This all happened despite Watson serving an 11-game suspension for violating the league’s code of conduct policy after more than two dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct during massage treatments. He settled civil lawsuits with more than 20 of his accusers.
Last week, the New York Giants signed their QB Daniel Jones to a four-year, $160 million deal that included $82 million in guaranteed money. Jones is 21–31–1 as a starter and was 20th last season among QBs in DVOA.
NFL owners are paying attention to the QB market and don’t like the guaranteed deal that the Browns gave Watson. A Pro Bowl QB but not an MVP. If that’s what he got, other QBs on better trajectories will certainly demand more in their deals. As they should.
When Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert are up for their extensions the fear from owners is someone approaching $250 million or $300 million in guaranteed money.
That’s capitalism, baby. Something these billionaire owners know well enough. The market demands what the market demands. If you want it, you pay the going rate.
But this is the beauty of a league where the billionaires make the rules. By nobody throwing the bag at Jackson they are limiting his leverage, and artificially suppressing his value. Which benefits them all when it’s time to negotiate with another QB.