After two years of misses, tags and even a trade request, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have finally sealed the deal. The two sides have agreed in principle on a five-year extension, the team announced on Thursday.
Jackson's deal is worth $260 million over five years with $185 million guaranteed, according to CBS Sports NFL insider Josina Anderson. This makes Jackson the league's highest-paid player with an average annual salary of $52 million. It puts Jackson just ahead of Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts, who recently became the league's highest-paid player after signing a five-year, $255 million extension. The guaranteed portion is second-best to Deshaun Watson's $230 million in his deal with the Browns.
The news comes a month after Jackson had requested a trade after the two sides once again could not come to terms on a new contract. The Ravens had previously placed the non-exclusive rights tag on Jackson, a former league MVP and two-time Pro Bowl quarterback.
"For the last few months, there's been a lot of he said, she said. A lot of nail biting, a lot of head scratching going on," Jackson said in a video celebrating the news. "But for the next five years, it's a lot of Flock going on. Let's go, baby. Let's go. Let's go, man. Can't wait to get there, can't wait to be there. Can't wait to light up M&T for the next five years, man. Let's get it."
Jackson is indeed staying in Baltimore, the team that selected him with the 32nd and final pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the past five years, Jackson has blossomed into one of the best quarterbacks and most dynamic players in the NFL. He led the NFL in touchdown passes in 2019 en route to winning league MVP. That was the same year that Jackson broke Mike Vick's 13-year-old record for single-season rushing yards for a quarterback.
Jackson has a 45-16 regular season record as the Ravens' starting quarterback. He is 1-3 in the postseason, with the lone win coming against the Titans in the 2020 wild card round. The Ravens narrowly missed the playoffs in 2021 after Jackson missed the season's last five games with an injury. Baltimore made the playoffs as a wild card team last year despite Jackson again missing the season's final five games while dealing with an injury.
By re-signing Jackson, Baltimore has significantly improved its championship odds for 2023. With Jackson, the Ravens' projected win total for 2023 has increased from 7.2 to 10 games, according to CBS Sports data scientist Stephen Oh. The Ravens' playoff odds have skyrocketed from 18.5% to 67%. The Ravens' odds at winning the AFC have grown from 0.3% to 8.4%.