Deshaun Watson’s totally assured deal is totally factored into Lamar Jackson’s subsequent contract

In June, when lamar jackson lastly addressed the thriller surrounding his languid contract talks with the Baltimore Ravenshe advised essentially the most breathtaking pact in NFL historical past – the extension between Deshaun Watson and the Cleveland Browns – had no bearing on his scenario.

“I am a person of mine,” Jackson mentioned. “I do not care what these guys get.”

On Friday, Jackson turned a person on his personal.

No contract extension with the Ravens. No cash assured past 2022. No catastrophic harm safety. And maybe most evident of all, no absolute certainty that this guess will finish favorably for the 25-year-old former league MVP. Within the historical past of cube rolls for an NFL participant, that is arguably the riskiest ever taken. It has a monumental vary of doable outcomes, from Jackson in the end touchdown the richest extension skilled soccer has ever seen, to the potential for a critical harm or a season that modifications the complete trajectory of his subsequent contract.

All of that is now on the desk. And the concept that Watson’s deal had nothing to do with it’s absurdly unbelievable.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 17: Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 celebrates a touchdown scored by Le'Veon Bell #17 during the second quarter against the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Bank Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson celebrates a landing scored by Le’Veon Bell in opposition to the Los Angeles Chargers at M&T Financial institution Stadium on October 17, 2021 in Baltimore. (Picture by Patrick Smith/Getty Pictures)

Can Lamar Jackson comply with the identical path as Cousins, Prescott and Rodgers?

In a league the place leverage creates kings, it will be silly to imagine that Jackson disregards the totally assured $230 million contract signed by Watson or the circumstances that in the end secured such an enormous sack. The very nature of Jackson “betting on himself” now forces him to consider Watson’s contract. What’s using betting on your self should you do not contemplate the windfall achieved by the choose few quarterbacks who turned their leverage into league-shaping, life-changing contracts?

Take into account them:

  • Kirk Cousins ​​performed by means of two franchise labels in Washington, then broke into free company at age 29. The Acquire was a strong quarterback in the course of his prime, setting a staggering monetary path for the remainder of his profession. First with a three-year, totally assured $84 million contract with the Minnesota Vikings, then with a collection of extensions that may probably culminate in Cousins ​​retiring sooner or later with almost $250 million in pay. profession revenue.

  • Dak Prescott performed a franchise tag with the Dallas Cowboys after turning down contract extensions in consecutive offseasons. With crew proprietor Jerry Jones going through the abyss of beginning over at quarterback, Prescott turned his leverage right into a four-year, $160 million deal (with $126 million assured) that makes him eligible without spending a dime company at age 31. If Prescott’s productiveness stays at its present stage and he performs till a minimum of his late thirties, it is doable he might hit $500 million in profession earnings in retirement.

  • Aaron Rodgers structured his earlier extension to place the Inexperienced Bay Packers at a crossroads after the 2021 season. Both they need to signal him to a brand new deal, commerce him, or blow up components of the crew by holding him and elevating his wage cap cost to $46.7 million in 2022. The end result: Rodgers signed a three-year contract for almost $151 million, with greater than $101 million assured. If he performs the subsequent three seasons, he’ll contact almost $350 million in profession earnings. There’s additionally an extra $112 million in a pair of possibility years in 2025 and 2026, if he is inclined to play till age 43. It appears unlikely, but when it occurs, Rodgers’ profession earnings would high $450 million.

As spectacular as this trio is within the pantheon of contract negotiations, it was Watson who turned the hammer this offseason. Not solely did he generate stunning leverage by merely abstaining from the 2021 season and urgent his ‘no commerce’ clause, however he performed his commerce availability completely – ‘eliminating’ the Browns fairly early within the sport. course of to provide the franchise time to fulfill. its astronomical necessities.

Regardless of the large significance of off-court litigation and the sexual assault and misconduct allegations hooked up to him, Watson’s extraordinarily weird circumstances — mixed with the Browns’ desperation — helped him generate arguably extra contract leverage. than any participant earlier than him. And the tip end result was a deal that might ultimately create issues in a quarterback negotiation, even when gamers like Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals and Russell Wilson of the Denver Broncos have been unwilling to make use of the Watson’s settlement as a mannequin for their very own extensions. .

What did Jackson refuse?

In actuality, it’s going to at all times be within the fingers of the elite quarterbacks and their brokers on the subject of following within the footsteps of the Watson deal. Whereas Murray and Wilson have been in a position to up the ante by way of assured cash, neither took the most important danger of taking part in their offers for max leverage. Jackson takes a step that Murray and Wilson didn’t take. If the tip purpose of this transfer is not to get assured cash like Watson, then why take the additional danger?

The wise reply is not any.

The deal that was on the desk when talks broke down on Friday was an extension {that a} league supply mentioned would have made Jackson the second-highest-paid participant within the NFL, with assured cash topped solely by Watson. . For Jackson to show down that type of deal is a powerful assertion, saying he is seeking to crush everybody when it is throughout, not simply everybody however Watson. If that’s the purpose, then the lack to achieve extra time on Friday is sensible.

Take into account that Jackson’s lack of an agent streamlines his decision-making course of in a radically totally different approach than different elite quarterbacks who signed offers. Whereas Jackson is prepared to play at important danger, there’s not an agent’s voice in his ear reminding him of what he stands to lose over the subsequent six months. Then contemplate that Jackson is now one season away from reaching the primary milestone occasion that dramatically modified the panorama for Cousins ​​and Prescott: forcing his crew to make use of a franchise tag in 2023. And never simply any tag no extra. In all chance, the Ravens will use an unique tag, barring Jackson from speaking to different groups and setting his 2023 payout on the common of the league’s high 5 quarterback salaries (a variety that at the moment sits between 45 and $50 million).

This might represent the best single-season success achieved by a crew beneath the franchise label. And once you add the 20% pay hike for a second tag in 2024, that quantities to gargantuan leverage, the type that finally ends up getting a participant no matter deal they’re in search of.

That is the monitor Jackson is on with the Ravens. Within the rearview mirror of another elite quarterback offers achieved by means of leverage, it ought to look acquainted. All Jackson has to do now’s keep wholesome and play to his ceiling. If he does that, he will certainly be a full man.

With a paycheck that is approach off, too.

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