Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes made history last week when he agreed to a 10-year extension that could end up paying him more than $500 million if he meets every incentive in the deal. The contract immediately made Mahomes by far the highest-paid player in NFL history, but as crazy as it sounds, that might not be a title that he holds for very long.
One of the next quarterbacks in line to land a monstrous extension is Lamar Jackson, and although it sounds crazy to think that he might land a deal worth more than $500 million, one of his teammates believes it's going to happen.
During a recent interview on CBS Sports HQ, Ravens running back Mark Ingram was asked how much Jackson is worth and he didn't hesitate with his answer.
"He got to be worth at least the same amount [as Mahomes], if not more," Ingram said. "I know he's chomping at the bit to get his opportunity to get his extension, but he's not worried about that, he just want to play good ball. He just want to win games, but we know that LJ is going secure that bag real soon."
That's a bold answer and that's because Mahomes is set to make $45 million in new money on his deal, which is $10 million more than the NFL's next highest paid player, Russell Wilson (Dak Prescott or Deshaun Watson might end up taking the title of second-highest paid player if either one signs an extension this offseason, but for now, the honor belongs to Wilson).
For Jackson to overtake Mahomes, two things are going to have to happen: For one, the Ravens quarterback is actually going to have to agree to a lengthy extension. The fact of the matter is that he's not going to be getting $500 million unless he's willing to sign for at least 10 years, which he may not want to do. Only six players in NFL history have ever signed an extension for 10 or more years, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Jackson take a shorter deal, which would mean less overall money.
The other thing Jackson is probably going to need to do is win a playoff game. The Ravens quarterback is currently 0-2 in the postseason and if that record drops to 0-3 in 2020, it could be difficult for his camp to argue that Jackson should be earning more money than Mahomes.
Jackson is currently going into the third year of his rookie contract and he'll be eligible to start negotiating a new deal after the 2020 season. Jackson is almost certainly going to get a new deal worth at least $40 million per year, and if he wins the Super Bowl in 2020 or wins another MVP award, he'll have a strong argument for getting a contract that matches or surpasses Mahomes.
The bottom line is that the Ravens quarterback is going to get paid big time at some point. Jackson hasn't even been a starter for two full seasons and he's already making NFL history. Not only did he become the first quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards and rush for over 1,000 yards in a single-season last year, but he also set the single-season record for most rushing yards by a QB (1,206). Oh, and let's not forget about the fact that he led the NFL in touchdown passes in 2020 with 36.
As for the Mahomes deal, Jackson was actually asked about it this week and he used the interview to praise the Chiefs quarterback.
"No one has ever dreamed about that. Probably dreamed about it, but no one ever expected that," Jackson said of Mahomes. "Half a billion dollars. That's different. But he deserves it. He deserves it."
Jackson is going to get the money he deserves at some point, and if Ingram is right, he's going to top the $503 million that Mahomes received from the Chiefs.