Ravens, Lamar Jackson fail to reach contract extension: QB to play on fifth-year option of rookie contract

The Baltimore Ravens were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson, as Friday was Jackson’s self-imposed deadline to get a long-term contract finalized. Jackson will play the 2022 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, making $23,016,000 fully guaranteed.

“Despite best efforts on both sides, we were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “We greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we are excited about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work towards a long-term contract after the season, but for now we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign.”


Speaking about the contract situation later Friday afternoon, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh ensured Jackson will still be with the Ravens past this season. Just because the two sides failed to reach an extension, doesn’t mean talk between the Ravens and Jackson are extinguished. 

“I’m confident that’ll happen when it’s time. Lamar is going to be playing quarterback here for a long time,” Harbaugh told reporters. “He and I talked about it yesterday, ‘Hey man, let’s go be our best and go focus on football.’ That’s what he’s been doing all along.”

Jackson said earlier this week that he will not be talking about a contract at kickoff — not concerned about the risk of playing without a guaranteed long-term deal. 

“I haven’t thought about any injuries, or anything like that. I just came off one last season, and I’m feeling pretty good this season,” Jackson said. “I don’t even want to put that in the atmosphere.

“It was a pretty big risk last season, the year before. I wasn’t thinking about contract negotiations around that time. This season, it’s going to be the same thing, but I’m just playing football. Anything can happen, but God forbid the wrong thing happens, I’m keeping God first and just playing ball, like I’ve been doing.”

Jackson — who represents himself — has only revealed that the Ravens did not offer him $250 million guaranteed at the end of August. When asked how the negotiations were faring Wednesday and if he was any closer to a contract, he responded to ask the general manager (DeCosta).

The Ravens are taking a risk by not giving Jackson a long-term deal, given his accolades as a starting quarterback. Baltimore is 37-12 in Jackson’s starts since Jackson became the starting quarterback in Week 11 of the 2018 season. Jackson is also the first quarterback in NFL history to reach 35 regular-season wins before the age of 25. He has completed 64.2% of his passes for 9,880 yards with 83 touchdowns to 31 interceptions (98.0 rating) since becoming the Ravens’ starter — all while rushing for 3,564 yards and 20 touchdowns. 

Jackson is the fastest quarterback in league history to reach 5,000 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards (35 games), and his 10 100-yard rushing games are tied with Michael Vick for the most in league history. He also is the only quarterback to rush for 1,000 yards in a season twice. His five games with 200 passing yards and 100 rushing yards are the most in league history. 

Jackson is focused on football and will bank on a huge season before talks heat up on a long-term deal again. If the Ravens decide to franchise Jackson, he’ll make a salary north of $40 million guaranteed in 2023. 

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