Amid stalled negotiations on a long-term contract and uncertainty over whether Jackson has his sights set on free agency in 2025, the star quarterback tweeted Wednesday that he loves the Ravens and cited a “false narrative” that he is considering leaving the franchise.
The tweet comes at a time when Jackson has shown no interest in engaging in contract extension talks.
I love my Ravens I don’t know who the hell putting that false narrative out that I’m having thoughts about leaving stop tryna read my mind🙄
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) March 30, 2022
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti and general manager Eric DeCosta have both said this offseason that the team is committed to signing Jackson long term, but the 2019 NFL MVP has expressed no urgency to talk about a new deal. DeCosta indicated on March 2 that he had communicated once with Jackson via text over the past month.
Jackson, 25, is entering his fifth-year option, which will pay him $23.016 million this season. If the sides are unable to reach a contract extension by next offseason, Baltimore would have to place the franchise tag on Jackson to keep him from becoming a free agent.
Bisciotti said Tuesday that he doesn’t foresee Jackson signing an extension before the start of the 2022 season “unless he has a change of heart” and described Jackson’s decision to wait as “unique as hell.”
“We’ll pay him when he’s ready,” Bisciotti said.
Bisciotti, who hasn’t spoken to Jackson about his contract, wondered whether Jackson will take the same route as Kirk Cousins, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to get the franchise tag in consecutive years before leaving to sign with the Minnesota Vikings in free agency.
“And that gives me three years to win the Super Bowl so you can make me a $60 million quarterback, because that’s where it will be four years from now,” Bisciotti said.
Bisciotti then added that Jackson “is a unique cat, and what are you going to do with a guy who wants to be unique?”
“You don’t browbeat him into being a conformist,” Bisciotti said. “We’re taking him as we take him. We appreciate him. All I know is that his teammates freaking love him and the front office loves him. It’s like, ‘You just keep doing you Lamar, and we’ll make it work somehow.'”
Bills quarterback Josh Allen, who was in Jackson’s 2018 draft class, signed a six-year, $258 million extension last summer that averages $43 million per season and includes $100 million guaranteed.
The quarterback market has since skyrocketed. Aaron Rodgers became the highest-paid quarterback this offseason with a contract that averages $50 million per year, and Deshaun Watson set a record with his $230 million fully guaranteed deal.