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ESPN: Insiders ‘Skeptical’ Lamar Jackson, Ravens Will Land Contract Because of Money Gap

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It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens will ink a long-term contract.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported people round the NFL are “skeptical” a deal gets done before Jackson’s self-imposed deadline of Week 1.

“One particular I’m speaking with round the league certainly are a bit skeptical this may have finished because there’s likely to be considered a gap in guaranteed money,” Fowler said Sunday on SportsCenter. “It’s believed that Lamar Jackson wants an extremely strong guarantee structure. And he’s got a blueprint with Deshaun Watson and what Watson did with a fully-guaranteed $230 million deal. Now, I’m told the Ravens have already been attempting to bridge the gap in recent weeks ever since this Kyler Murray deal transpired in Arizona. That type of reignited the quarterback market. So, Baltimore certainly is wanting, but there exists a gap which has to be closed here plus they got around three weeks to accomplish it.”

Jackson is defined to create $23 million this year while playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie contract. If the Ravens and the 2019 NFL MVP neglect to reach an agreement on a long-term deal, it is a mortal lock Baltimore use its franchise tag on him to make sure he will not hit free agency.

Both sides have already been negotiating a contract extension for many months but usually do not appear near a deal. Jackson told reporters Saturday he’s got no plans on negotiating after the season begins.

“Yeah, we approaching to it. It’s approaching. Season’s approaching,” Jackson said. “We will be best for the growing season.”

While there will be no obvious reason to prevent negotiations under normal circumstances, Jackson serves as their own agent. It’s unlikely he really wants to have any focus shifting from his on-field performance, where he’ll make an effort to atone for an injury-plagued and inconsistent 2021 campaign.

The baseline for Jackson’s new deal ought to be a five-year deal worth over $230.5 million, that is what Kyler Murray received from the Arizona Cardinals. Jackson’s resum exceeds Murray’s atlanta divorce attorneys possible aspect, so there is no world where the Ravens could justify supplying a lesser deal.

The Cleveland Browns’ decision to totally guarantee Deshaun Watson’s five-year, $230 million contract could be the biggest monkeywrench in talks. Watson is on a same general tier as Jackson among NFL quarterbacks nearly on the Josh Allen-Patrick Mahomes-Aaron Rodgers level but a little step below. Having said that, Jackson comes with an MVP on his mantle that Watson doesn’t; it wouldn’t be unfair for Jackson to anticipate a warranty total that exceeds Watson’s.

That’s unlikely to occur. The Watson contract can be an outlier almost wholly in line with the Browns’ desperation to finally secure a franchise quarterback. Murray only got $160 million in guarantees despite reaching a deal almost a year after Watson.

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