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Lamar Jackson Sets Deadline for Contract Talks With Ravens

Ravens want to reach contract extension with Jackson.
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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Lamar Jackson asserted that the Ravens have until the first regular season game on Sept. 11 against the New York Jets to finalize a new contract.

Then, Jackson is going to shut down the discussions.

"It’s coming up. It’s coming up. The season is coming up. We’re going to be good for the season,” Jackson said. 

Neither side is proving any details about the impasse, but it's obviously about money.

“No, there aren’t any updates. No updates," Jackson said.

Jackson has a number and the Ravens have not been willing to meet those demands.

This put the team and the player in murky territory.

The Ravens can retain Jackson by placing an exclusive franchise tag, which is currently $45 million but is expected to come down as the top quarterbacks restructure their deals for cap purposes.  

A simple franchise tag is not going to be secure because other teams can negotiate with Jackson and the Ravens would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation if he leaves. The Ravens could also match that offer to keep him. 

That's a gamble many NFL teams are willing to make. 

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That market has essentially been set for Jackson.

Kyler Murray reached a new deal with the Arizona Cardinals worth a reported $230.5 million over five years. Murray is now the NFL’s second highest-paid quarterback, making $46.1 million salary per season behind Aaron Rodgers ($50.3 million).

Deshaun Watson was able to negotiate a five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract from the Cleveland Browns after securing a trade by the Houston Texans. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes makes $45 million per year.

Those deals further set the market for Jackson, who is playing under a fifth-year option that pays him just over $23 million per season.

Jackson will likely be looking for a deal closer to $50 million per season.

And he has a strong argument to secure that type of contract. 

Baltimore is 37-12 in the regular season with Jackson as its starter. Since his first NFL start in Week 11 of 2018, Jackson's 37 wins are tied with Josh Allen for fourth-most among quarterbacks, trailing only Aaron Rodgers (41), Patrick Mahomes (40) and Tom Brady (40).

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, ranks seventh all-time in rushing yards (3,673) among NFL quarterbacks. His 10 career performances with 100 or more rushing yards are tied with Michael Vick for the most by a quarterback in NFL history.

Now, time has almost expired to get a new deal done this summer and the future is uncertain. 

"Lamar is doing a great job," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "He’s practicing every day. The business part of it is the business part of it; I’m very confident that will get done when it gets done. You can’t really rush it. I don’t think either side wants to rush anything; both sides want to be happy when it’s all said and done, and probably both sides unhappy when it’s all said and done, to some degree, right? 

"That’s kind of how it works. But he’s doing a great job. He’s practicing well; he’s a great leader; on the sideline, he’s right into the game. So, everything, thumbs up.”