Lamar Jackson is carrying pain.
That pain is not limited to the opponent, but Jackson is also attaching it to Raven the hard way. In the first half of Baltimore’s Week 2 game against the Miami Dolphins, he threw 210 yards with three touchdown passes and only two failed to complete, accounting for nearly 85 percent of his attempts.
While the Baltimore defense went up in smoke in the fourth round and the Dolphins came in from behind to win 42-38, that didn’t belong to Jackson. All he did was shine, hit the 75-yard touchdown pass and contest the 79-yard touchdown, becoming the first player to do both in one game.
Jackson is making his way, this happens in the air. He didn’t manage to take off and run on many of these plays, although he did dash nearly 40 meters on six executions in the first 30 minutes of the game. The bottom line is that during his contract year, the young star is tasked with showing his franchise that they should have paid him what he wanted in the off-season.
The Ravens are said to not be inclined to give Jackson $200 million contract fully guaranteed he wishes. Jackson allegedly turned down an offer just before the start of the season worth $290 million because the money is not fully guaranteed. In the meantime, he’s on track to make $23 million this year — a bargain for Baltimore as he’s been playing around.
And at this point, no matter how eye-popping Jackson’s request might be, the Ravens and their owner, Steve Bisciotti, would be crazy not to pay.
Baltimore could be in big trouble at the bargaining table if Jackson continues on this hot streak. In Week 1 against the Jets, Jackson threw three TDs and one interception. Then came his stellar play this week. And with every huge game, Baltimore looks sillier and sillier if they allow him to walk.
If Jackson can keep up this level of play, the Ravens will be in a tricky situation next offseason. Averaging anywhere near three passing TDs per game is MVP territory — a trophy he’s already taken once, when he became only the second player to ever win the award unanimous. (Tom Brady was the first.)
Jackson is sticking to his plan and it is being worked on so far. The fact that he is negotiating without an agent feels much less concerning than some would like you to believe. He’s not the first player to do so and certainly won’t be the last – Richard Sherman handled his own contract negotiations with the 49ers in 2019 (and was criticized after payment only 3 million dollars guaranteed). The difference is that Sherman has been deemed “beyond his prime,” even though he made it to the Pro Bowl in 2019. Also, Sherman isn’t a quarterback, so the limelight. not as bright.
Baltimore is months away from having to make an extremely difficult decision. One of the toughest in the history of the franchise. They could be stubborn and refuse to secure a full deal for Jackson, or risk him leaving at the end of the season after completing the fifth and final years of his rookie contract. The odds of Baltimore finding another one-time franchise QB to follow in Lamar’s footsteps are very low. It happened to the Colts and Packers that way, but it’s extremely rare.
Whether it’s with the Ravens or another organization, Jackson is setting himself up for an epic payday with the way he played early in the season. There will be a team ready to take that opportunity with a former MVP and one of the 10 best QBs in the league right now. Hopefully Baltimore doesn’t let this kind of talent fade away.
It’s hard to find a QB that can get your team into the knockouts year after year when they’re healthy. The Ravens have that but seem willing to risk it all and potentially let Jackson move on to another team without any compensation. If you’re a Raven fan, it’s going to be the hardest pill to swallow.