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Lamar Jackson Puts Friday Deadline on Ravens Contract Talks Before 2022 Season

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Lamar Jackson has officially given the Baltimore Ravens a deadline to finalize his extension, telling reporters Wednesday that both sides remain engaged in discussions but he plans to cease negotiations Friday.

“By right now, you understand, we’re still talking,” Jackson said. “The week’s not over yet, but soon, soon will undoubtedly be oftimes be a deadline, oftimes be cut off following this week.”

If both sides cannot reach an agreement, Jackson will play the 2022 season on his fifth-year option that’s worth $23 million and be a free of charge agent next offseason. If the 2019 NFL MVP hits the open market, it’ll undoubtedly create probably the most exciting bidding wars in recent history.

Jackson, who represents himself in contract discussions, has long maintained he will discontinue talks in the beginning of the regular season. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported previously Wednesday that there is not much progress on a potential deal.

“My knowledge of the situation at this time will there be is nothing imminent on a fresh contract,” Rapoport said. He continued to include that the extension Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson signed the other day might affect negotiations between Jackson and the Ravens.

Wilson received $165 million guaranteed, lacking the $230 million guaranteed in Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s contract. Rapoport noted that Wilson’s deal “helps it be just a little harder” for Jackson to push for guaranteed money, and Baltimore could possibly be “more reluctant to provide it to him.”

Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding his contract, Jackson isn’t allowing it to affect his play. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said earlier this week that the 25-year-old has been “focused and locked in on that, 100 percent, from the football standpoint.”

Baltimore opens the 2022 season on Sunday contrary to the NY Jets at MetLife Stadium.

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