The Ravens on Friday exercised quarterback Lamar Jackson’s fifth-year option, keeping their most important player under contract through at least the 2022 season.
Jackson, who’s entering the fourth year of his rookie contract, will be owed $23 million next year under the NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement. He has a $3 million salary cap hit in 2021.
The move gives the Ravens more time to negotiate a potential extension with the 2019 Most Valuable Player, who’s been of the league’s winningest players since he arrived in Baltimore. General manager Eric DeCosta said last week that the team’s contract talks with Jackson are “ongoing,” and he indicated that he’s optimistic about reaching a long-term deal.
Jackson is the fourth Ravens first-round pick to have his option exercised since 2017, following inside linebacker C.J. Mosley (2017), left tackle Ronnie Stanley (2019) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey (2020). The Ravens had until Monday to pick up the option, and coach John Harbaugh said Tuesday on “The Rich Eisen Show” that the team was committed to Jackson.
“He’s definitely going to be our quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “So that’s the plan, absolutely.”