Here’s an interesting little development, even if it’s not one that’s wholly surprising. Josina Anderson addressed Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s situation yesterday, responding to a question comparing it to Jalen Hurts’ deal. She said that Jackson would “prefer more bites at the apple” in his deal.
In other words, it sounds as though, at least at this point, he is looking for a more short-term contract, likely in the three-year range, rather than the typical five-year contract or extension we generally see in these situations—like the one the Eagles gave Hurts.
“I’m told, Lamar Jackson, like many players in the LeBron James era, prefer more bites at the apple to seize on current market APYs”, she said in the Tweet. “1 upside to Kirk Cousins’ route year-to-year (w/o having a shorter multi-YD) is maximizing independence sooner”.
referencing Kirk Cousins is key, as he is the only other player to have received a new fully-guaranteed contract of a length of at least three years—even if other players have gotten up to three years fully guaranteed on longer deals.
Cousins played multiple years for Washington under franchise tags before signing a three-year, fully-guaranteed contract with the Minnesota Vikings in 2018. Perhaps Jackson is now looking to Cousins’ approach after realizing that modeling his demands on Deshaun Watson’s five-year, $230 million contract is not working. (Note that she did not say Jackson wants a year-to-year approach specifically, as in a series of one-year deals.)
There is logic, for a player of reliable consistency—and health—to prefer more short-term deals. In that way, as long as a player remains productive, he should in theory continue to earn the current market rate on his contracts rather than being locked into rates that could be outdated by years at the end of the deal.
This brings up two questions to my mind, if indeed what Anderson says is true. Has Jackson long favored a more short-term deal, or is this a reversal in his thinking given how his contract status has remained as a stalemate for more than a year?
Secondly, are the Ravens opposed to doing a more short-term deal? Say, three years, $150 million, fully guaranteed? Jackson has previously said that the most the Ravens have been willing to offer in full guarantees is $133 million. That was likely on a five-year offer.
One would assume that at some point this offseason Jackson is going to sign some kind of deal. He may not play under the franchise tag, but if the deadline for getting a long-term extension passes, the Ravens could cough up more than the tag amount to lock him in for this year—or risk having Tyler Huntley for 17 games. Unless of course they draft Anthony Richardson.