Earlier this week, head coach John Harbaugh made a less-than-bold declaration: the team would pick up the star quarterback’s fifth-year option on his rookie deal. This was obvious to most; the first-round rookies whose options aren’t picked up are generally big disappointments. Still, some wondered why the team hadn’t done so already.
Wonder no more. Today, the Ravens announced the unsurprising news: Lamar Jackson will remain under contract through 2022, as the team has picked up the fifth-year of his rookie deal.
After making just over $1.7 million as a fourth year player this year, his salary will shoot up to over $23 million for 2022. From there, Baltimore will need to really pony up to keep him under center, assuming he stays on a similar trajectory.
We have exercised the fifth-year option for QB Lamar Jackson.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) April 30, 2021
Lamar Jackson has been the best bargain in football.
Jackson will collect a total of $9.5M in his first four seasons (base salaries and signing bonus).
In 2022, he'll earn more than double that amount — $23.016M.
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) April 30, 2021
Of course, this is just the first step in cementing the long term Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson relationship. In the team’s press release, it confirms that “the move was expected as Jackson and the Ravens work to reach agreement on a long-term deal.”
Ahead of the NFL Draft, which kicked off on Thursday night, general manager Eric DeCosta addressed where things stand on that future extension:
“That’s ongoing… That’s definitely a fluid thing. Lamar and I have had a discussion about that. It’s important to us, and it’s important to him. Lamar is obviously a very patient guy. He wants to be the best he can be. He wants this team to be the best it can be, and he wants to win very badly. So, we’re aligned that way. I’m confident that we’ll continue to discuss this, and I think at some point, hopefully, we’ll have some good news for everybody.”
After the massive deals given to Patrick Mahomes and Dak Prescott in recent years, Jackson and Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen appear to be the next young stars to cash in.