Report: Lamar Jackson rejected $133 million fully guaranteed

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Previously, it was impossible to assess whether Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson should have accepted the best offer made by the team on a long-term contract, instead of playing the last year of his rookie contract for 23 millions of dollars. There is now a firm data point regarding the deal he rejected.

ESPN.com’s Chris Mortensen reports that Jackson has signed a six-year contract (that’s to saya five-year extension) which would have paid him $133 million fully guaranteed at signing. That’s more than Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray ($103.3 million) and Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson ($124 million) received full guarantees on longer contracts (seven years each). ) signed in recent weeks.

Jackson”could have won” more than $290 million over six years. The new average money would have exceeded, according to Mortensen, the $48.5 million the Broncos paid Wilson. (Wilson’s deal was reported to have a new average money of $49 million; as explained here, not including the value of Game 17 checks for 2022 and 2023 in the old/new comparison silver brought the average down to $48.5 million.)

It’s unclear how much of the $290 million would have counted as Jackson’s base deal. Including the Game 17 check, he will earn $24.35 million this year. Subtracting that from $290 million and dividing by five gives an average of $53.13 million. So, Jackson apparently would have had to pull some triggers to make the kind of money that would have catapulted him to $290 million.

Mortensen also reports that the deal included massive de-escalations ($2.5 million per year) tied with Jackson participating in most of the offseason schedule. Jackson skipped the team’s voluntary April-June sessions and practices in 2022, having been mostly if not completely featured in his first four seasons.

The report has some shortcomings that make a full assessment of the offer impossible. What would have been the cash flow of the first year? What part of the contract would have been guaranteed in the event of injury? How much of the injury benefit would have been converted to full benefit in March 2023, since there’s no way they’d cut it after just a year, considering what they would have paid him in 2022 ?

Apparently, none of that matters, since Mortensen makes it clear that Jackson wanted a fully guaranteed contract, a la Deshaun Watson. And, as assumed here, Mortensen reports that Jackson received “active NFLPA advisory at the highest levels.” Mortensen also adds that the union told Jackson “based on his performance and his age (25), he was justified in demanding a fully guaranteed contract if that’s what he wanted.”

He’s right to demand it, but the Ravens are right to refuse to do it, just like the Cardinals and Broncos were. Remember that the union has made it clear that it wants more fully guaranteed contracts. So it’s fair to wonder if the NFLPA’s agenda in this regard clouded the advice Jackson received, causing him to roll the dice on a potential At the Kirk Cousinsyear-over-year strategy of playing in 2023 and 2024 under the franchise tag, becoming an unrestricted free agent in 2025, and trying to get a fully guaranteed contract in the open market.

Jackson could make over $125 million (including the seventeenth match check) if he remains healthy and effective enough to be tagged twice. But, according to the report, he would have $133 million fully guaranteed right now if he had accepted the Ravens’ offer, plus an unknown amount on top of that in injury guarantees that likely would have switched to full guarantees at a sometime next year or two.

Perhaps more importantly, he is also said to have earned a lot more than $24.35 million in 2022. The exact amount is still unknown. This is a key factor in evaluating the case.

What if he gave up more than $50 million in cash for 2022? Over $70 million? Over $100 million? At some point, the quest for a fully guaranteed contract has to give way to the size of the bird in the hand.

We’ve always said Jackson needs someone who can fully and objectively assess the team’s best offer against a three-year quest for unrestricted free agency, which may or may not lead to the whale. white of a fully guaranteed agreement. The union, frankly, is not objective; he wants players to hold on to fully guaranteed contracts, so that the momentum becomes a trend and, eventually, common practice. Jackson needs advice from someone without intent or bias.

What if Jackson suffers a serious injury or his game declines over the next three years for any reason (including an accumulation of minor injuries due to his physical style of play that doesn’t leave him the player he was when he won the MVP award three years ago), Jackson will have only himself — and his union — to blame for betting on himself and losing.

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