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Lamar hopeful on deal but talks could have ‘cutoff’

6: 11 PM ET

  • Jamison HensleyESPN Staff Writer

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    • University of Maryland graduate
    • Lives in the Baltimore area along with his wife and son

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Quarterback Lamar Jackson said Thursday that he’s hopeful a contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens will eventually get completed, but he doesn’t want negotiations to drag in to the regular season.

Asked if believes a deal are certain to get finished with the Ravens, Jackson said, “I believe so. I believe so. I believe so. We’ll need to see.”

Will a deal happen prior to the Sept. 11 opener contrary to the NY Jets? “I said there’s going to be considered a cutoff [in talks],” Jackson responded. “So, hopefully.”

Jackson, mostly of the players in the NFL who does not have a realtor and represents himself, has been qualified to receive an extension since this past year. Over that point, four quarterbacks (Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen) have signed deals which have included at the very least $150 million in guaranteed money and three quarterbacks (Rodgers, Murray and Watson) reach extensions that average at the very least $45 million per season.

For some of the offseason, Ravens officials have said they wished to have contract talks but Jackson hadn’t shown any urgency to take action. The sides started talking in June and Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta and Jackson will meet during training camp if you find “mutual leisure time,” in accordance with Jackson.

Jackson was noncommittal on whether he’s seeking a completely guaranteed deal just like the one directed at Watson by the Cleveland Browns earlier this year. Watson received $230 million guaranteed.

“Like I told you, we’ve a mutual conversation,” Jackson said. “I’ll keep that in-house, for certain.”

Jackson, 25, is entering the fifth-year option of his rookie deal and can earn $23.016 million. If the sides don’t reach an extension by March 7, Baltimore would need to put the franchise tag on Jackson to help keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh was optimistic concerning the team keeping Jackson longterm.

“Both sides have become motivated to obtain the work done,” Harbaugh said. “Personally i think that is where it’s at.”

Jackson, the unanimous 2019 NFL MVP, is coming off his most challenging season. He threw a career-worst 13 interceptions and missed a career-high five games, like the last four due to an ankle injury.

But Jackson has became among the top playmakers and winners in the last four seasons. Since Jackson became the Ravens’ starting quarterback midway through the 2018 season, the Ravens are 37-12 (.755) when Jackson starts and 2-5 (.285) without him.

Jackson showed good faith when he reported to training camp and participated in both full-team practices this week. When some players are negotiating extensions, they’ll “hold in,” this means they’ll report however, not practice in order to avoid the chance of injury. Jackson never considered doing that.

“I would like to win by the end of your day. I just desire to be great,” Jackson said. ‘I would like to use my brothers. I don’t desire to leave them on the market hanging. That isn’t me. That’s never been me.”

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