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Lamar Jackson still hasn’t decided to a contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens, and we’re just a month away from the beginning of the 2022 regular season.
With the veteran quarterback slated to enter free agency by the end of the growing season, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh is optimistic the sides will consent to a fresh deal (via Pro Football Talk’s Charean Williams):
“The business enterprise part of it’s the business section of it. I’m very confident that it’ll have finished when it gets done. You can’t really rush it. I don’t believe either side really wants to rush anything. Both sides desire to be happy if it is all said and done, and probably both sides unhappy if it is all said and done, to some extent, right? That’s sort of how it operates. He’s performing a congrats. He’s practicing well. He’s an excellent leader. On the sideline, he’s directly into the overall game. So, everything, thumbs up.”
Jackson said Saturday he will halt contract negotiations after the regular season begins.
“We’re approaching to it. It’s approaching,” he said when asked in regards to a hard deadline, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley. “The season’s approaching. We will be best for the growing season.”
Jackson and the Ravens reportedly began extension discussions in June. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported in March that the 2019 MVP wasn’t “in virtually any rush at all” to sign a fresh deal.
The 25-year-old is representing himself and is defined to become an unrestricted free agent in 2023.
Jackson is likely to function as next quarterback to get a lucrative extension. The Arizona Cardinals gave Kyler Murray a five-year, $230.5 million extension this offseason, and Deshaun Watson signed a five-year, $230 million cope with the Cleveland Browns after joining the franchise in a trade from the Houston Texans.
Jackson, a Louisville product, has impressed since overtaking as Baltimore’s starting quarterback late in 2018.
In 2019, he completed 66.1 percent of his passes for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns against six interceptions in 15 games. He also rushed for 1,206 yards and seven scores.
He won that MVP award, finished second in Offensive Player of the entire year voting and earned All-Pro and Pro Bowl selections.
Jackson threw for just two 2,757 yards and 26 touchdowns with nine interceptions in 15 games through the 2020 season along with rushing for 1,005 yards and seven scores.
Last season, Jackson appeared in only 12 games due to an ankle injury and a sickness. He threw for just two 2,882 yards and 16 touchdowns against 13 interceptions and rushed for 767 yards and two scores on the way to an expert Bowl selection.
While Jackson’s numbers have dipped since his rookie season, he could be still considered among the best quarterbacks in the league and can be paid therefore on his next deal.