Lamar Jackson sets deadline day for extension talks with Ravens

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Lamar Jackson told reporters there hasn’t been any progress on contract talks with the Baltimore Ravens — and if an agreement isn’t reached soon, there might not be any progress made for a while.  

Jackson suggested Saturday that he’ll pause contract talks with the Ravens if a deal isn’t reached by the start of the regular season. 

“Yeah, we’re coming up to it,” Jackson said when asked if he had a deadline set. “It’s coming up. Season’s coming up. We’re going to be good for the season.”

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Jackson, who doesn’t have an agent and is in the final year of his contract, added that he would “for sure” like to have his situation settled by the start of the regular season. 

If Jackson imposes the deadline on the day of the Ravens’ Week 1 game (Sept. 11 at the New York Jets), both sides have four weeks from Sunday to reach a new deal. There could be less time if Jackson imposes it once the preseason ends (Aug. 27) or entering the week of the Ravens’ first regular-season game (Monday, Sept. 5). 

Furthermore, if an extension agreement isn’t reached by Jackson’s deadline, the Ravens won’t be able to negotiate with their starting quarterback until February. They’ll only have a few weeks to get a deal done before free agency starts in mid-March. 

The Ravens could place the franchise tag on Jackson if they still haven’t reached an agreement by then. Putting the franchise tag on Jackson opens up a whole window of possibilities for the Ravens, such as buying time to agree to an extension or potentially trade him. 

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Although placing a self-imposed mandate gives Jackson less time to negotiate a contract to stay in the place he “expects” to play his whole career, there can be an upside to pausing negotiations. Jackson’s predecessor, Joe Flacco, was in the same spot with the Ravens 10 years ago, rebuffing the team’s offer ahead of the 2012 season before winning the Super Bowl. 

Jackson already has accomplished more than Flacco did at that point. He won the NFL MVP in 2019 and has led the Ravens to the playoffs in three of his four seasons. 

Kyler Murray, who individually hasn’t accomplished as much as Jackson in his first three seasons, was the most recent quarterback to sign a big-money extension. He agreed to a five-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals reportedly worth $230.5 million with $160 million guaranteed. Jackson is reportedly seeking at least that. 


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