Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson told reporters back in May that he'd like to spend his entire career with the organization. And it appears the former league MVP will be paid rather handsomely to keep his word.
According to a report from ESPN insider Dan Graziano, Jackson can expect the Ravens to offer him a contract extension worth between $40-45 million per season, making him the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL.
"It'd probably be cheaper for them to [extend Jackson] now. But there's always the cap, how you balance it with the rest of the team going forward," former Ravens head coach and current NFL Network analyst Brian Billick told the Tiki and Tierney show on Thursday. "They are committed to him. They know he's their quarterback going forward. They're going to give him one of these mega contracts. They just have to get the details worked out, because that's what that organization does..."
Jackson, who's entering the fourth year of his rookie deal, has mastered the ability to evade defenders with his legs. The 24-year-old rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons, and scored a combined 14 touchdowns on the ground.
But Jackson hasn't yet reached his full potential as a pro passer. He ranked 22nd in the league in passing yards (2,757) in 2020, and the Ravens finished the campaign with a league-low 406 pass attempts.
"He's so unique in his productivity, what he does from the pocket, probably is what it is," Billick said. "And it's good enough, in conjunction with the other things that he's doing. They'll try to maximize it -- they drafted a wide receiver. But at the end of the day, he's going to be a 450-throw guy, because they run the ball so effectively.
"That is who they are. So, people said, 'Well, he fell off last year.' I don't think he fell off. I just think he further established, this is who he is. This is how he's going to play. And for the most part, it's good enough."
According to Spotrac, Jackson's market value is projected at $171.1 million across four years. With this deal's average annual value (AAV) of $42.7 million, it'd place him only behind Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who signed a record extension worth up to $503 million last summer.
Baltimore, which will open the 2021 regular season on the road against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football (Sept. 13), currently has the best odds to win the AFC North, according to the William Hill Sportsbook.
The entire NFL conversation between Billick and Tiki and Tierney can be accessed in the audio player above.