“Of course, absolutely, we want Lamar to sign a long-term deal and be with us," said Harbaugh. "I’m totally certain that that’s going to happen."
With the Ravens’ shifting into offseason mode after their 17-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills in the divisional round, the clock is now ticking for the team to reach an agreement on a contract extension with quarterback Lamar Jackson.
NFL teams have a May 3 deadline to exercise the fifth-year option for 2018 first-round picks, Jackson included, but coach John Harbaugh indicated Wednesday that an extension with the reigning NFL Most Valuable Player is more a matter of when, and not if.
“I’m very confident that [general manager] Eric [DeCosta] and those guys will do a great job of looking at that,” Harbaugh said at his end-of-season news conference. “Of course, absolutely, we want Lamar to sign a long-term deal and be with us. I’m totally certain that that’s going to happen. When it happens, that’s the details and that’s what we’ve got to figure out.”
In three seasons, Jackson has led the Ravens to three consecutive playoff appearances, two division titles and helped the team win its first postseason game since 2014. His early success and accolades have led many to speculate whether he will receive a contract that resembles that of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, a fellow MVP who last offseason signed a 10-year deal worth up to $503 million, the richest in NFL history.
In 2012, the Ravens opted to let Joe Flacco play out the fifth and final year of his rookie contract. Flacco had a historic playoff run as he led the team to its second Super Bowl title and parlayed that into a six-year contract extension worth $120 million, then the richest deal in league history.
“My reaction — I’ve just got to win a Super Bowl,” Jackson said in July 2020 after Mahomes signed his extension. “I don’t really focus on what he has going on, because I’ve still got to prove myself. When that time comes, then we can negotiate after the Super Bowl. But until then, I’m focused on winning right now.”