This shouldn’t really be news to anybody who has been paying attention, but since it was determined by the sports media yesterday to be noteworthy, let’s discuss the fact that Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson reported to training camp on time as the team opened for football activities.
This wouldn’t be news if it were not for the fact that the former MVP is due for a new contract. Early in the offseason, general manager Eric DeCosta was basically openly lamenting the fact that they were having a hard time bringing Jackson to the negotiating table, and many wondered if he didn’t intend to just play out the season and ‘bet on himself’ that he could make more by waiting.
Jackson has since spoken to the media and did say that he has had conversations with the team about a contract extension, which the front office is very eager to get done. Because of this, there is really no compelling reason that anybody should have believed he might not show up, even if he seemingly left the door open with his last comments.
Perhaps it goes back to the fact that Jackson did not report for the sessions during OTAs practices back in May, which were the first practices that he ever skipped in his career. Of course, they were voluntary practices, and he was working out with a personal trainer at the time, and he showed up on time and did everything he was supposed to do for minicamp, so it really wasn’t much of a story.
It is probably worth noting that the Arizona Cardinals and quarterback Kyler Murray reached a new contract extension yesterday, which on the surface bears similarities to the contract the Cleveland Browns signed Deshaun Watson to.
The latter got a new five-year, $230 million contract. Murray is getting $230.5 million over five years, which is obviously a coincidence that it’s just a hair above, of course, right? It’s definitely not petty agent, ego nonsense. He is now the second-highest-paid player in NFL history by per-year average behind Aaron Rodgers, who became the first player to surpass $50 million per year earlier this offseason.
The difference, of course, is that Watson’s contract is fully guaranteed. Murray’s contract reportedly includes $160 million guaranteed, which is still the second-largest guarantee ever given, but there was no note on whether or not that includes ‘soft’ guarantees, which is almost always the case, such as injury guarantees.
If and when the Ravens and Jackson reach a new contract extension later this offseason, will he hit the $50 million mark? He is 37-12 as a starter, has multiple Pro Bowls, an MVP award, and has redefined what a successful quarterback looks like with his incredible running ability.