After failing to reach a long-term contract extension with the Ravens this offseason, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson decided to bet on himself and play out his rookie contract.
So far, it seems like a great bet. In two games this season Jackson has thrown six touchdowns with just one interception, tallying a 120.1 passer rating. He’s also been his usual dangerous self on the ground, rushing 15 times for a team-best 136 yards including a 79-yard touchdown.
The dynamic former No. 32 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft brings his unique combination of skills to Gillette Stadium on Sunday for the Patriots 2022 home opener. He’s a major challenge for the New England defense early in the season.
While guys like Deshuan Watson and Kyler Murray inked massive contract extensions worth north of $200 million, with Watson’s fully guaranteed by the Browns, Jackson couldn’t find a common ground with Baltimore and now even Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wonders what the former MVP might be worth when he finally gets a new contract.
“Without a doubt,” Belichick responded with a smirk when asked if Jackson had answered questions about his ability to play from inside the pocket. “It’s the type of the player, the MVP type of candidate. I think he’s more than answered them. But, we’ll see what his contract is, that will answer them.”
Belichick actually had a couple shots at Jackson back in that 2018 Draft, New England instead taking tackle Isaiah Wynn at No. 23 overall and running back Sony Michel one pick earlier at No. 31. The quarterback had even visited Gillette Stadium leading up to that draft.
“Great visit. Spent a lot of time with him. Really interesting guy,” Belichick said of the man running the offense that’ll be on the other side of the Gillette turf on Sunday.
An interesting guy who’ll be getting an interesting big-money contract at some point. A number that even seems to have Belichick intrigued from afar.