In an offseason that has already provided a seemingly never-ending stream of quarterback drama, Lamar Jackson could be the next star quarterback to throw fuel on the growing fire.
Jackson is heading into the fourth year of his rookie contract, the offseason in which many young star quarterbacks are given long-term extensions. Last offseason, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson were both locked up heading into their fourth season, and the 2019 NFL MVP is hoping to follow the same path.
However, while Jackson and the Ravens have begun discussions, the Boston Globe reports that the two sides are “far apart” on a possible extension. Jackson still has two years left on his contract and is scheduled to make only $1.7 million in 2021, a team-friendly deal that Baltimore may not feel inclined to move away from.
Jackson had a bit of a down year in 2020, but still played at a very high level, throwing for 2,757 yards, 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions while logging his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. The Ravens have made the playoffs in all three of Jackson’s seasons, and advanced to the second round after beating the Titans on Wild Card weekend this year.
Baltimore, however, has a number of needs approaching free agency, notably on offense. They finished dead last in the NFL in passing yards, and will look to upgrade a weak wide receiver corps, perhaps chasing one of the top options (Allen Robinson, Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin) in free agency. Additionally, Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown has requested a trade, which will certainly not help.
It could make for a showdown between the two sides as the offseason progresses. One thinks the Ravens would make it a priority to lock up their star quarterback, but things could get interesting as they address their other needs.