The Ravens have spent the last few months re-tooling and preparing after losing to Josh Allen and the Bills during the AFC divisional round in January. That is great news for Jackson, especially with the NFL draft rapidly approaching.
There is even better news for Jackson, however, because he’s about to receive a very lucrative gift.
Lamar Jackson is due to receive a new contract from the Ravens
Lamar Jackson is already entering his fourth NFL season, which will have a major impact on bank account.
Those who were selected in the 2018 NFL draft can start signing contract extensions in the coming months. That obviously includes Jackson, the 32nd overall selection that year.
The Ravens have publicly committed to Jackson, who turned 24 in January, as their long-term quarterback. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, has led the Ravens to three consecutive playoff appearances.
All of this bodes very well for Jackson when he approaches the negotiating table. Jackson is one of the NFL’s premier dual-threat quarterbacks and recorded his first playoff victory this past January.
As of now, Jackson will earn $1.77 million in base salary for the 2021 season.
Jackson is set to receive a $23.1 million gift very soon
Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have no official deadline, as of now, on when they would reach a new contract.
Another deadline is rapidly approaching, however. As a first-round selection in the 2018 NFL draft, Jackson is eligible to receive a fifth-year option.
Baltimore has to decide by May 3 if they intend to pick up Jackson’s option, which will almost certainly happen. Jackson remains among the NFL’s best young quarterbacks and is the face of the Ravens.
This is where things become very exciting for Jackson. If the Ravens pick up his fifth-year option, Jackson’s base salary will jump from $1.77 million in 2021 to $23 million in 2022.
Of course, depending on what happens with a potential contract extension, Jackson’s base salary next year might not be $23 million.
What is next for Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens?
The 2021 season will mark 10 seasons since the Baltimore Ravens last appeared in a Super Bowl.
With Lamar Jackson at the helm, that streak is always at risk of being broken. As of publication, the Ravens have seven selections in this year’s NFL draft, including two picks in the fifth round. The Draft Network currently lists an edge rusher, a safety, and a receiver among the Ravens’ highest draft needs.
Baltimore also needs to find a new center after Matt Skura signed with the Miami Dolphins in free agency. Alabama star center Landon Dickerson battled injuries in college, but he’d bring experience and versatility to the Ravens’ offensive line.
At receiver, the Ravens will almost certainly have no chance at the likes of Devonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle. Elijah Moore, an All-SEC standout from Ole Miss, would bring dangerous speed — Moore ran a 4.32 40-time at his pro day — and athleticism to the Ravens’ spread-style offense.
Dickerson — who is recovering from a knee injury — and Moore could each be on the board when the Ravens pick at No. 27.
According to Walterfootball.com, the Ravens have already had a virtual meeting with Auburn wideout Anthony Schwartz. Schwartz, who had 54 catches for 636 yards and three touchdowns last year, is a projected mid-round selection.
Between the NFL draft and the fifth-year option, Lamar Jackson has plenty of reasons to smile over the next few weeks. When those tasks are done, Jackson should prepare to break out a full grin and sign his new contract.