NFL analyst Booger McFarland recently spoke about Jackson and the Ravens' current contract negotiations on Get Up. He noted that while the Ravens are ready to negotiate, it's Jackson who has applied the brakes.
"I think patience is key for both sides. I think if you're looking at it from the organization side, they're just simply saying this, 'we are ready to pay you whenever you're ready, Lamar. However, if you want to wait, we're okay waiting because we still want to see a little bit more.'"
"He was the MVP toward the end of the season last year before everything went haywire in Baltimore."
McFarland stated that although Lamar Jackson is patient regarding a contract extension, he needs to progress more and limit the hits he receives. He said:
"However, we still need to see Lamar continue to progress and he gets hit a lot, so we're not necessarily going to be in a hurry to throw him $50 million a year. So the Ravens organization will be patient."
The analyst concluded:
"From Lamar's side, he'll say this: 'If I can stay healthy throughout the season, and we can win and play to the level that I think we can play at, I'll be deserving of the highest paid quarterback position in football,' and that's $50 million a year."
Lamar Jackson reportedly wants to focus on the 2022 season and negotiate later
Jackson has entered a contract year and plans on playing it out. After this season's conclusion, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, Jackson has told the Ravens that he’s currently “too focused” on having a strong 2022 season. The 25-year-old doesn’t want to negotiate a deal until next offseason.
Perhaps Jackson is seeking a deal similar to or more lucrative than what the Cleveland Browns just gave Deshaun Watson.
Upon receiving Watson via trade, the Browns gave him the highest-guaranteed contract in history. The five-year agreement is worth $230 million. Previously, the highest guaranteed contract was the one the Green Bay Packers gave Aaron Rodgers, valued at $150 million.
Maybe Lamar Jackson is waiting to show he's worth a top-dollar contract after another season of good performances. Perhaps he'll point to the Watson deal as leverage when negotiating with the Ravens.