Going on LeBron James’ The Shop show tends to go one of two ways—either it makes you look good or it makes you look bad. Of course, there are always the divided opinions, and I would imagine that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s appearance on last night’s episode will fall under that divided category.
He certainly had a lot to say, particularly about his future long-term goals. The four-year veteran, who has already won a unanimous MVP award and has the most victories before the age of 25, is entering a contract year, and is representing himself in contract negotiations, which the Ravens are pretty much waiting on him for.
Asked about what he wants to take from James, he said, “Everything. And being a champion. I feel like that’s the one thing I want to take from him, if anything else. You know, being a champion. Being a billionaire. That’s what I’ve been thinking about ever since I was a little kid, being a billionaire and being a champion”.
Truth be told, we could possibly be approaching the era in which a professional football player could conceivably earn $1 billion over the course of his career—if he’s a quarterback who can play for 20 years.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million contract in 2020. Josh Allen last year signed a six-year, $258 million contract. The salary cap is likely to rise substantially over the course of the next decade, at which point top-of-the-market quarterback contracts will unquestionably and substantially surpass the $50 million APY mark.
But I’m sure Jackson wasn’t specifically alluding to becoming a billionaire through his NFL contracts. Famous athletes have numerous avenues through which they can profit—including new technology like NFTs, which I mention only hesitantly for fear of sparking a riot in the comments section.
Another subject that was touched on during the program was Jackson’s own experiences at the Combine, the 2022 version of which is taking place now, and how he was asked to work out as a wide receiver by some teams.
“It’s dying off, but it’s still there”, James said during the program when talking about racial bias at the quarterback position, which Jackson agreed with. “It’s still there. That’s why I need that championship”.
To date, the Super Bowl has been won by a black quarterback three times in NFL history—first by Doug Williams, then by Russell Wilson, and most recently, by Mahomes, in 2019. Jackson wants to be the next one, and one would be a foot to deny that he has about as good a chance as any.