Time is ticking on contract negotiations between the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson reportedly gave the team until Friday to agree on a new deal, without which he would play out the season and become a free agent in 2023.
The Ravens and Jackson have had talks throughout the offseason, but it seems like a deal is unlikely to be agreed upon. ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that the Ravens' current offer for Jackson is thought to be around $200 million.
Schefter noted that it would be life-changing money for the Ravens quarterback, and that he just needs to decide if he wants to gamble on himself this season.
"The fact of the matter is, Lamar Jackson has a decision to make here in the next 24 to 36 hours. And that's whether or not he wants to take an offer in excess of what is thought to be $200 million. This is an offer that would change his future. "
"Whatever it is that Jackson decides so that he doesn't have to go out and practice and then come in and do the contract. Right now, Jackson wants to be Lamar Jackson, the quarterback, not Lamar Jackson, the agent."
If Jackson doesn't take the money, he is putting his future at risk. It is something of a gamble.
Lamar Jackson has to decide between a big contract now or potentially a bigger contract next season
Shefter pointed out that Jackson is gambling on himself in hopes of a bigger contract next offseason. If Jackson has another MVP-like season (like he did in 2019), he could be awarded a more lucrative contract than the Ravens are currently offering.
Schefter added that Jackson betting on himself could have huge ramifications.
"I can't imagine that Baltimore is going to dramatically alter its offer. So Lamar Jackson's got to make that decision again, is he willing to take an offer that would set up the children of his children's children, or is he willing to ride it out again the way he did last year wisely to see the quarterback prices increase the way they have?
"Bet on himself again, try to take the 200 million to 300 million or whatever it is that he desires. It's a huge decision with enormous ramifications."
Sunday will mark the start of the regular season for the Baltimore Ravens. They'll face the New York Jets at 1 PM and it seems as if contract talks will be paused by then.
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