After the Bills signed quarterback Josh Allen to a long-term deal, and after the details became available, we suggested that Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson ask for the same deal. After the Browns signed quarterback Deshaun Watson to a long-term deal, we made the same argument.
Now that the Cardinals have signed quarterback Kyler Murray to a long-term contract, the Ravens should be trying to get Jackson to agree to the same terms.
The Ravens should kick in an extra $500,000 to the five-year contract, making it a five-year, $231 million extension. New-money average of $46.2 million per year. Jackson gets $100,000 more per year in new money than Murray, who got $100,000 more per year in new money than Watson.
The key for the team will be the other terms. Only $103 million fully guaranteed at signing, not $230 million. Millions tied to participating in offseason workouts and playing in games. While it would be a good, fair deal for Jackson, it would fall far short of the contract that Cleveland gave Watson.
For Jackson, it technically would be a six-year, $254 million contract, thanks to the $23 million he’s already due to make this year and the $231 million in new money. That would become a contract with an average value of $42.3 million from signing.
It’s a win-win for the Ravens and Jackson. It’s even more of a win for the Ravens, given that Watson’s deal ended up being so damn strong, given that he was able to pit the Browns against three other teams to get it.
The problem for the Ravens is that Jackson doesn’t have an agent. It makes it more difficult, more delicate. The simplest solution would be to make Jackson’s deal a little bit better than Murray’s, and hope to finally move on.