Source — Lamar Jackson’s new Ravens deal includes $185M guaranteed

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — In a span of a month, quarterback Lamar Jackson went from wanting out of Baltimore to signing the largest deal in Ravens history.

Consider it another one of Jackson’s jaw-dropping spin moves.

After 27 months of challenging negotiations, Jackson reached a five-year deal with the Ravens on Thursday, the team announced.

The agreement is worth $260 million, a source told ESPN, making Jackson the highest-paid player in the league at $52 million per year. It includes $185 million in guaranteed money, the source said.

Sources previously said Jackson was seeking the $230 million in guaranteed money that Deshaun Watson got from the Cleveland Browns last year. Kyler Murray received $189.5 million guaranteed from the Cardinals as part of his five-year, $230.5 million extension.

“For the last few months, there has been a lot of he said, she said,” Jackson said in a video posted by the Ravens on their Twitter account. “A lot of nail-biting. A lot of head-scratching going on.”

Jackson then held up a football with a Ravens logo and said, “But for the next five years, it’s a lot of ‘flock’ going on.”

Jackson, who represented himself in the negotiations, landed his deal 10 days after Jalen Hurts signed a five-year contract extension for $255 million, including $180 million guaranteed. The agreement also came shortly before the start of the NFL draft, when the Ravens could have selected a quarterback in the first round.

“It was a long, long process,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a video on the team’s Twitter account. “But family is never easy. We’re thrilled we were able to get this done.”

Last month, the Ravens placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which allowed him to negotiate with other teams and gave Baltimore the right to match any offer sheet signed. But no teams publicly showed interest in him.

Still, it seemed like the sides were headed for a divorce March 27, when Jackson announced he had requested a trade just before coach John Harbaugh spoke to reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting. Jackson wrote on Twitter that the Ravens “had not been interested in meeting my value” in contract talks.

Now, Jackson is in position to fulfill his draft day promise to the Ravens. It was five years and one day ago when Jackson proclaimed after being selected with the last pick of the first round: “They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me, believe that.”

Jackson turned a franchise that had missed the playoffs for three straight seasons into a winner again. His career record of 45-16 (.738) is the fourth-best of any starting quarterback to debut in the Super Bowl era.

In 2019, his first full season as a starter, Jackson became the second unanimous selection as NFL MVP. He led the NFL in touchdown passes (36) and set the league record for most rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206).

But Jackson’s performance has been mired by injuries and uneven play recently. Over the past two seasons, he threw for 33 touchdowns with 20 interceptions and missed a total of 11 games, including a 24-17 playoff loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Despite the lack of progress in contract talks over the years, Ravens officials repeatedly remained optimistic that a deal would get done. Earlier this month, DeCosta said, “He’s the right player for this team to lead us to where we want to be.”

Now, the Ravens know Jackson will be in Baltimore for another five years.

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