Ravens' Lamar Jackson Contract Looks Better After Recent Extensions

The Baltimore Ravens are paying Lamar Jackson a pretty penny, but it's better value than some other contracts.
Nov 27, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) shake hands after the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 27, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) and Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) shake hands after the game at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports / Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Last offseason, the Baltimore Ravens signed star quarterback Lamar Jackson to a five-year, $260 million extension that made him the NFL's highest-paid player at the time of signing. Now just over a year later, that contract looks tame compared to some of the ones signed this offseason.

Jackson signed his extension in April of 2023, and in the 14 months since, four different quarterbacks have signed contracts that surpass his average annual value of $52 million.

That list includes Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers with an AAV at $52.5 million, Jared Goff of the Detroit Lions at $53 million, and both Joe Burrow of the Cincinnati Bengals and Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars, each at $55 million. Lawrence is the latest quarterback to sign a monster extension, as the top pick in the 2021 draft just put pen to paper on Friday.

In comparison to all of those contracts, Jackson's seems much more palatable.

For instance, let's compare Jackson's production to Lawrence's, seeing as the Jaguars quarterback is both the highest-paid signal-caller in the league and most-recent to sign.

While Lawrence averages more passing yards per game, Jackson boasts significantly better marks in key areas such as passing yards per attempt, passer rating and touchdown-interception ratio. There's also the fact that Jackson is one of the best rushing quarterbacks ever and has two MVP awards, compared to Lawrence who has just one Pro Bowl selection, albeit in a much shorter timeframe.

Granted, there are other factors to consider on Lawrence's side especially. His first season was an absolute disaster under Urban Meyer, one of the worst NFL coaches of all time. Additionally, this is the same player who drew comparisons to John Elway, Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck coming out of the draft, so it's clear he hasn't reached his potential yet.

But that's the problem, the Jaguars are paying Lawrence based on what he could be, not what he has done in the NFL thus far. One could argue that the Ravens are doing something similar with Jackson, but there's far less of a disparity there.

Then again, every quarterback contract looks like an overpayment compared to that of Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes, the best player in the league who makes an average of $45 million per year and is signed through 2031.

Of course, the simple nature of the NFL market is the reason for these massive salary jumps. The salary cap gets higher and higher with each passing year, and as such, players are going to command more money as the market grows.

Essentially, what this all boils down to is the Ravens getting a better deal because they chose to extend Jackson before all the aforementioned quarterbacks. If Jackson had taken the offer the Ravens made him in 2022, which reportedly would've paid him around $49 million per year, then they would've been in an even better cap situation.

Make sure you bookmark Ravens Country for the latest news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more!


Published
Jon Alfano

JON ALFANO