What Kyler Murray contract extension means for Lamar Jackson
Now that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has reached terms on a contract extension, Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is primed for one.
As stellar as they were in the regular season, there are two young quarterbacks that have been watched closely now more than ever this offseason: Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson.
Murray made it clear he wanted a hefty commitment from the Arizona Cardinals when he erased all mention of them from his social media and issued a statement through his agent.
The pressure was on Arizona, and by training camp, they’ve finally delivered: Ian Rapoport announced that the two sides have finally reached an agreement in regards to contract negotiations.
Murray is set to earn $230.5 million on a five-year deal that includes $160 million guaranteed, per Adam Schefter.
As Schefter notes, this move makes Murray the second-highest paid quarterback in the NFL by annual average, coming in only behind Aaron Rodgers.
As Murray’s place in Arizona is cemented for the imminent future, all eyes now turn to Jackson, who may have been holding out all along to see what Murray might land. Shortly after Murray’s announcement hit the newswire, a new question arose: Is Lamar Jackson now on his way to sign his own lucrative contract extension?
Ravens studio host Melissa Y. Kim can’t help but notice the “appropriate timing” with which Jackson decided to enter the building for training camp.
As it has happened with every other position, waiting and watching other quarterbacks sign gives Lamar Jackson and the Ravens an idea of where the market is — and how much Jackson can push for in a new deal.
Lamar Jackson primed for massive sum from Ravens following Kyler Murray deal
Jackson, who was drafted in 2018, has a year in the league on Murray, as well as an NFL MVP award and a few historic seasons as a premier mobile passer.
As the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, Murray has already earned $30 million in three years before banking $230.5 million over the next five. By contrast, Lamar Jackson signed a four-year, $9.5 million contract as a rookie chosen with the No. 32 overall pick.
Jackson is already signed on to earn $23 million through an exercised fifth-year option in 2022, but the Ravens have been pressuring Jackson to lock into a long-term deal. Perhaps this is all Jackson has been waiting for: to see what Murray can get with one less year and fewer NFL accolades.
Both Jackson and Murray are relatively similar in their age and dynamic mobility, which is perhaps why the two can make comparable arguments for their respective contracts.
Murray’s contract is most similar to the contract the Cleveland Browns offered Deshaun Watson, who inked a 5-year, $230 million contract with a $46 million AAV.
Lamar Jackson has proven his commitment to the Ravens franchise, and by waiting (and joking that he needs money), he will likely negotiate for at least 5 years and at least $231 million. Hilariously enough, Murray negotiated just so that he could earn $500,000 more than Watson, thereby edging past him in the highest-paid quarterback ranking.
Seeing the competition between the league’s quarterbacks, it seems the Ravens will have to at least one-up Murray. Offering Jackson $235 million would give Jackson some space in the rankings — for now — but if he’s really pushing to make history, he can try to best Rodgers with a five-year deal worth $251 million, but that is quite a sum. Most likely, Jackson will land somewhere comfortably between the two.
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