NFL

Baltimore Ravens agree to 5-year contract with QB Lamar Jackson

Apr 27, 2023, 2:45 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) aims a pass during the first half of an NFL football...

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) aims a pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

The Baltimore Ravens agreed in principle with Lamar Jackson on a five-year deal Thursday, securing their star quarterback for the foreseeable future and ending a contract negotiation saga that was dominating the team’s offseason.

The Ravens announced the deal hours before the first round of the NFL draft, and it’s fair to say that in Baltimore at least, this news will overshadow whoever the team might take in the first round.

Jackson was the NFL’s MVP in 2019, but after playing out his rookie contract, his future was in doubt. Baltimore put the franchise tag on Jackson last month, but the Ravens kept expressing confidence that they could reach a long-term agreement with him — even after Jackson made a trade request public.

The Ravens did not disclose contract terms, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting the deal is worth $250 million. This would make Jackson the highest-paid player in the NFL.

“For the last few months, there’s been a lot of he said she said, a lot of nail-biting, a lot of head scratching going on,” Jackson said. “But for the next five years, it’s a lot of flock going on.”

That was a reference to the term “Ravens Flock” used by the team’s fans.

“Let’s go baby. Let’s go, let’s go,” Jackson added. “Can’t wait to get there, can’t wait to be there. Can’t wait to light up M&T (Bank Stadium) for the next five years, man. Let’s get it.”

Jackson’s deal brings one of the NFL’s biggest offseason stories to a conclusion — right as one of the league’s biggest annual events was about to start. The Ravens can now expect Jackson in the lineup for the first game of the season, without drama about whether he’ll report to camp. They’ve already boosted his wide receiving group by signing Odell Beckham Jr. Baltimore also has a new offensive coordinator after hiring Georgia’s Todd Monken.

Jackson’s deal comes shortly after the Philadelphia Eagles gave quarterback Jalen Hurts a five-year, $255 million extension.

Drafted in 2018, Jackson is already one of six quarterbacks in NFL history with 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 rushing. He’s been hurt at the end of the past two seasons, however. At age 26, his best days could well be ahead of him, and now he’ll remain in a Baltimore uniform.

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