Five reasons why Lamar Jackson doesn't have his big contract and five counterarguments for each

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s desire for a completely ensured agreement is the NFL’s most polarizing complimentary firm story in years. Jackson, a 26-year-old playing the NFL’s many important and highest-paid position who was when the consentaneous NFL MVP (2019), has every right to request a completely ensured agreement and as his own representative, he relatively has. Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins signed a completely ensured agreement of 3 years and $84 million when he struck complimentary firm in 2018, and Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson signed a five-year, $230 million agreement that was likewise completely ensured upon his arrival by means of trade last offseason. 

The gorge in between the Ravens’ agreement deals and Jackson’s counteroffers is so large that the Pro Bowler tweeted that he has actually asked for to be traded. The concept of Jackson signing such an offer has possible suitors around the league connecting themselves into a knot speaking about his worth. Here’s what Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank stated about his pursuit of Watson a year ago versus their absence of interest in Jackson now

“Different player, different time,” Blank stated Tuesday, by means of The Athletic. “You have a winner [in Jackson], a MVP in the league. There’s no question he’s one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Looking at it objectively, I’d say there’s some concern over how long can he play his style of game. Hopefully a long time … but he’s missed five, six games each of the last two years. Each game counts a lot in our business.”

Here’s a breakdown of the reasons Jackson is still without the agreement of his dreams and why any of those arguments might be shown to be malfunctioning. FYI, any group in the NFL might extend an agreement deal sheet to him given that the Ravens put a non-exclusive franchise tag on their group’s signature gamer. If the Ravens decided not to match, the offering group would need to give up 2 first-round choices, the marketplace rate for an in-their-prime, high-level quarterback.

1. The NFL’s stress over ensured agreements

North America’s most popular and most affluent expert sports league does not distribute completely ensured agreements with consistency. This practice permits groups to cut gamers whenever they desire with very little wage cap charges. The Cousins and Watson examples above took place just due to the fact that their particular groups were desperate for qualified quarterback play. In the case of Watson, the Browns were when out of the going to trade for him as it appeared the Georgia native had his eyes on the south in between the Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints. Watson wound up in Ohio thanks to Cleveland’s Hail Mary agreement extension deal of a completely ensured, five-year, $230 million agreement. 

At the NFL owners conferences a year earlier, Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti blasted his AFC North competitor Browns for their aggressive Watson offer, foreshadowing the tense settlements going on today. 

“It’s like, ‘damn, I wish they hadn’t guaranteed the whole contract,'” Bisciotti stated in 2022, by means of The Athletic. “I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to play that game, you know? We shall see.”

The MLB, NBA, and NHL — the other 3 North American expert sports leagues — offer all of their gamers with completely ensured agreements. That’s the standard. However, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, the head of a group that has a glaring quarterback require today, articulated a enthusiastic viewpoint versus distributing ensured agreements when it concerns football. 

“As an owner I do not believe in fully guaranteed contracts,” Irsay stated Tuesday, per The Athletic. “I think that a percentage is one thing, but from what I’ve seen from the NBA and baseball, I don’t see it as a positive competitively. For me, for the good of the game, boy, I don’t believe guaranteed contracts would be good for our game at all. At all. I don’t think (they) make our game greater, I think it makes it worse.”

Counterargument: Jackson isn’t promoting for ensured agreements for all, simply for the very best, young quarterbacks in the league like himself.

Jackson is a particular skill. He is among just 6 gamers in NFL history to have more than 100 passing goals (101) and over 4,000 hurrying backyards (4,437). He’s the fastest gamer to strike these bench marks by a massive 31 video games. His profession hurrying backyards overall of 4,437 is currently the fifth-most by a quarterback in NFL history, and his overall is likewise 1,230 MORE hurrying backyards through 5 seasons than any other quarterback perpetuity. 

100+ pass TD & 4,000+ hurrying backyards
NFL history

The Ravens go from a playoff competitor to a sub-.500 football group with and without Jackson throughout his profession. In 2022, they balanced 25 points per video game with him in Weeks 1-12 while installing 12.5 points per video game without him from Weeks 13-18, the second-fewest in the NFL because period ahead of just the New York Jets (11 points per video game). 

Ravens by beginning QB given that preparing Lamar Jackson in 2018




Win Pct



Points Per Game



* Tied with Hall of Famer Roger Staubach for the sixth-most wins (45) through 61 profession regular-season starts by any beginning QB given that a minimum of 1950

The bottom line is Jackson is unique. Guaranteed agreements would just be for unique quarterbacks like himself, not the whole league. Pay him what he deserves, which is more than Watson. 

2. Health issues

“Looking at it objectively, I’d say there’s some concern over how long can he play his style of game,” Blank stated Tuesday. “Hopefully a long time … but he’s missed five, six games each of the last two years. Each game counts a lot in our business.”  

Jackson has actually missed out on 10 of his last 22 possible video games played given that the start of the 2021 season consisting of the playoffs due to the fact that of injury (bone swelling in ankle in 2021 and sprained PCL tendon in knee in 2022) after missing out on none due to injury throughout his very first 3 seasons from 2018-2020. 

Counterargument: Jackson isn’t near to being as injury-riddled as other quarterbacks to get top-dollar agreements.

Watson was signed to his five-year, $230 million completely ensured offer in spite of having 2 split ACLs throughout his football profession: when in 2014 when he was at Clemson and another time in 2017 when he was a novice with the Houston Texans. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million agreement extension in the 2021 offseason after missing out on the last 11 video games of the 2020 season with a gruesomely damaged ankle. Jackson’s injury record is more beautiful than either of theirs, therefore taking a few of the steam of that argument. 

3. Scheme fit/reliance on the run

“Looking at it objectively, I’d say there’s some concern over how long can he play his style of game,” Blank stated Tuesday. 

Blank and other NFL owners see Jackson’s record speed for collecting hurrying backyards as an unfavorable as he has 1,230 MORE hurrying backyards through 5 seasons than any other quarterback ever. 

Most rush backyards by QB
NFL history

Michael Vick


Cam Newton


Russell Wilson


Randall Cunningham


Lamar Jackson


Steve Young


Fran Tarkenton


* 1,230 more rush backyards through 5 seasons than any other QB perpetuity

Jackson’s Ravens have actually been a traditionally run-oriented attack in spite of the NFL trending increasingly more towards a passing-first league. They balanced 170.8 hurrying backyards per video game from 2018-2022, the most in any five-year period by any group given that the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1975-1979 when they balanced 172.5 hurrying backyards per video game. 

The dual-threat eager beaver’s existence in Baltimore’s offense has actually resulted in the Ravens balancing 184.8 hurrying backyards per video game when Jackson has actually been the group’s starter, the most by any beginning quarterback’s group given that the 1970 AFL-NFL merger amongst quarterbacks with a minimum of 30 starts. 

Most group rush YPG by beginning QB
given that 1970 AFL-NFL merger, minutes. 30 starts

Lamar Jackson


Roger Staubach


Bob Avellini


Bob Griese


Counterargument:  Both of Jackson’s injuries have actually can be found in the pocket as a passer, and Jackson’s Ravens require to run as a run-first system due to the fact that of their absence of offending costs, particularly on pass receivers

Three-time First Team All-Pro and existing New Orleans Saints security Tyrann Mathieu refuted Blank’s description regarding why the Falcons aren’t thinking about 26-year-old, previous consentaneous NFL MVP Jackson on Wednesday. 

To Mathieu’s point, Jackson’s running design is a plain contrast to the bruising, damaging ram design of quarterback hurrying connected with existing Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, existing NFC champ Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, and 2015 NFL MVP quarterback Cam Newton. Jackson drifts through area like a ghost, looking like one part of the field in a split-second prior to amazingly navigating to the opposite of the field like it was absolutely nothing. Many of Jackson’s runs either end by him lacking bounds, facing completion zone or by him moving down. There aren’t lots of clips of Jackson being illuminated like a few of those other dual-threat quarterbacks. For referral, here’s an eight-minute video showing Jackson’s fondness for running by tacklers, not through them. 

As for the scheme-fit concerns of Jackson due to the fact that of the Ravens’ run-heavy offense, those can be addressed succinctly: Baltimore’s offense is focused around the run due to the fact that of their rejection to invest substantial cash into their offense. The Ravens have actually invested a combined $262.7 million on the offending side of the ball given that 2019, when Jackson became their full-time beginning quarterback. That’s the least quantity of cash invested in offense in the WHOLE NFL because period. Their pass receiver group has actually represented $47.2 countless that overall given that 2019, the second-fewest quantity of cash invested in pass receivers because period ahead of just the Pittsburgh Steelers’ league-low $34.2 million. 

Naturally, Baltimore pass receivers have actually ranked dead last in getting backyards per video game in 3 of the last 4 seasons given that 2019. Tight end Mark Andrews, Jackson’s leading target, has 3,761 getting backyards given that 2019, the second-most amongst tight ends behind just Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce’s 5,108 getting backyards because period. The just other Raven with over 1,000 getting backyards from 2019-2022 is pass receiver Marquise Brown (2,361), the group’s first-round choice in 2019. He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals last offseason in exchange for a first-round choice that ultimately became center Tyler Linderbaum. 

Ravens getting YPG by WR
Last 4 seasons













If another group, any of the other 31 who have actually invested more on their receivers than the Ravens given that 2019, decided to trade for and pay Jackson, there’s a strong opportunity Jackson might change into a more pass-heavy gamer. During his MVP season in 2019, one in which he led the NFL in passing goals with 36, his getting backyards leaders were Andrews, Brown, tight end Hayden Hurst, pass receiver Willie Snead, tight end Nick Boyle, and pass receiver Seth Roberts. Not precisely an all-star lineup. 

4. Building around costly quarterbacks is more difficult

Only 2 quarterbacks have actually led their groups to Super Bowl titles with among the leading 2 greatest cap strikes at their position in the last 28 years: Steve Young’s 49ers in 1994 and Patrick Mahomes’ Kansas City Chiefs in 2022. Yes, it is naturally harder for group to have a much deeper lineup when their quarterback has a greater cap hit. 

The San Francisco 49ers have among the inmost lineups in the NFL with both 2021 3rd total choice Trey Lance and 2022 last total choice (262nd) Brock Purdy on novice agreements. 

The 49ers have actually had the ability to invest near the top of the marketplace on other leading positions in re-signing pass receiver Deebo Samuel (3 years, $71.6 million), re-signing tight end George Kittle (5 years, $75 million), re-signing left take on Trent Williams (6 years, $138.1 million), re-signing linebacker Fred Warner (5 years, $99.2 million), trading for running back Christian McCaffrey and his agreement (4 years, $64 million) along with finalizing Pro Bowl defensive take on Javon Hargrave far from the Eagles on a four-year, $80 million offer this offseason. Their formula for team-building has actually led to 3 championship game video game looks and a Super Bowl Bowl LIV look in the 2019 seasons in the last 4 years. 

Counterargument:  The objective is to discover a pricey quarterback since that indicates you have a face of the franchise to rely on for several years to come.

“And I hope one of these three guys [Trey Lance, Brock Purdy or Sam Darnold] gets a massive, massive extension with the San Francisco 49ers at some point,” 49ers CEO Jed York stated Tuesday. “But until then, we’re going to make sure we build this thing around a young quarterback with a very team-friendly contract.”  

The group with probably the inmost lineup in the NFL highly desires to luxurious among their quarterbacks with generational wealth due to the fact that typically that indicates they have their long-lasting response at the sport’s most important position. A gamer whose very first 5 seasons have actually unfolded like Lamar Jackson’s is the objective when selecting a quarterback in the NFL Draft. The clever groups lock down their leading passers.

Mahomes did not strike complimentary firm with his Chiefs signing him to a 10-year, $450 million agreement. Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, a member of Jackson’s 2018 draft class, did not strike complimentary firm as his group signed him to a six-year, $258 million agreement extension the minute he was qualified for an extension in the 2021 offseason. The Green Bay Packers competed for over a years with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback, continuously offering him market-resetting agreements to avoid him from striking complimentary firm. It’s the objective in team-building. Jackson should have to reset the quarterback market based upon his age, production, and upside like his peers have.  

5. Plenty of groups aren’t searching for a quarterback

One issue for Jackson as he rests on his non-exclusive franchise tag is that the majority of the league seems content with their service at their quarterback position in the meantime. The Carolina Panthers, a prospective suitor based upon requirement, simply traded a substantial plan of choices plus pass receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the very first total draft choice. The Houston Texans will simply choose the second-best quarterback possibility in the draft at 2nd total. The New Orleans Saints simply lavished Derek Carr with a four-year, $150 million agreement in complimentary firm. The 49ers have actually devoted to their more youthful quarterback space. 

Jackson has yet to get an agreement deal sheet from another group, partially due to the fact that of his agreement needs and partially due to the fact that of market shortage as groups are presently pleased with their quarterback circumstance

Counterargument: A variety of groups might still sign and after that trade for Jackson given that they might structure his agreement in such a way to fit their 2023 wage cap scenarios. Jackson is one the leading 5 or 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He would be an upgrade over lots of groups’ existing predicted beginners at quarterback

The Atlanta Falcons, who are presently rolling with 2022 third-round choice quarterback Desmond Ridder as their starter with Taylor Heinicke as their backup, have $21.7 million in cap area. They might quickly make a relocation for Jackson. The Indianapolis Colts, who might not have their quarterback possibility of option readily available to them with the 4th total choice in the 2023 NFL Draft, have $20.1 million in cap area. The Patriots have $10.7 million in cap area and might trade for Jackson with a couple other lineup modifications. 

Quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson do not end up being possibly readily available extremely frequently, if ever. At 26 years of ages, he would be the youngest gamer EVER to alter groups after formerly winning an NFL MVP award, and his MVP came all. He’s a generational skill. Based on his production and possible advantage at his age, Jackson should have a market-resetting agreement. 

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