Lamar Jackson Extension Won’t Happen This Offseason
The progress Lamar Jackson made from his rookie season to his sophomore season as the defacto starter of the Baltimore Ravens, was, in a word, remarkable. In 2018 he was labeled a project by many, another Tim Tebow-like failure waiting to happen. Instead, Lamar scored a unanimous league MVP – only the second of its type in NFL history.
Now THAT’S answering your critics.
The city of Baltimore was electrified by Jackson’s performances in 2019. He set a league record for a quarterback with 1,206 rushing yards while leading the NFL with 36 touchdown passes. Thirty. Six. Touchdown. Passes.
Let that sink in for a moment…
Future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger never threw 36 scoring tosses in a single season. The same goes for potential Hall of Famers Eli Manning and Philip Rivers. Even Joe Montana, with all of his receiving resources and the pioneering offensive mind of Bill Walsh never eclipsed 36.
2019 was a phenomenal year for the former Louisville Cardinal. He’s a special player and a special man – one who the Ravens would love to see stick around for a long time. And just think if he improves half as much in 2020 as he did in 2019. Who’s to say he can’t? I know I won’t.
Players like Lamar are rare. His supreme athleticism has made him a winner throughout his life. His skills are so vast, that you might think he’d lean on them, and coast, and not put in the work to get better, just like the man he’s often compared to did – Michael Vick.
But that is, what in part, makes Lamar special. He doesn’t care about the things he’s accomplished. He expects that of himself. The things that burn him to the core are the times he’s failed. His steely-eyed conviction is aimed at correcting those mistakes and developing consistencies that will prevent their reoccurrence. So, don’t be surprised if 2020 is an even better season for Lamar.
And it’s that thought, that possibility that has some fans wondering why the Ravens don’t prioritize a Lamar Jackson extension ASAP. Proponents of a 2020 extension wonder aloud, “the cap space is there. Get it done today because the price to keep Lamar will only go up!”
If Lamar’s 2019 matches his 2020 or better, clearly his asking price will go up. But there’s two reasons why a Lamar Jackson extension won’t happen anytime soon. Even if they could extend Lamar today, why not reap the rewards of a player playing well beyond the level of his contract and use available cap space in 2020 to help fill in weaknesses around him and/or to retain the nucleus of the team.
And yes, I did say, “Even if they could”.
The fact is, a Lamar Jackson extension can’t happen now.
Article 7, Section 3, Paragraph k of the current NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement states that:
“A Rookie Contract for a Drafted Rookie may not be renegotiated, amended or altered in any way until after the final regular season game of the player’s third contract year”.
Next year at this time, the story changes.
But for now, all of you campaigning for an extension this season, pump the brakes.
It can’t and it won’t happen!