Raven’s TE Mark Andrews is jokingly offering a paycheck to keep Lamar Jackson ‘a Raven for life’.
Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews have linked on many passes since both were drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018. And when it comes to the narrow end, it will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Jackson and the Ravens are currently locked in contract extension negotiations – the latest rumor from ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler suggests the two sides are so far apart that the team will likely stick the exclusive franchise label on him. But despite all that, Andrews believes Jackson will inevitably remain in Baltimore.
“I think Lamar is a raven for life,” Andrews told Pro Football Talk on Tuesday. “I know the organization — they want Lamar. And I know that he also has great respect for the organization. So I think both parties want to close this deal. It’s just about doing it.
Andrews then – either seriously or anecdotally – offered his paycheck to make up the difference between Jackson and the Ravens. For reference, Andrews signed a four-year, $56 million deal in 2021.
Where Jackson and Ravens stand
It’s impossible to know the details of Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens, but an AFC executive told Fowler that “there could be a standoff” between the two sides because “they’re going to be so far apart on the guaranteed money.” – up to $100 million, per Fowler. But by affixing the exclusive franchise tag to Jackson, the Ravens would give themselves more time this summer to negotiate a new deal, push talks for another year, or find a commercial partner for Jackson.
Neither of those options is imminent, but Raven’s general manager is Eric DeCosta to reporters During the team’s end-of-season press conference in mid-January, he believes Jackson wants to stay on the team. A week later, DeCosta said Jackson deserved a new deal and that DeCosta planned to keep Jackson on the team for “many, many years.”
Other Ravens players have publicly called for the team to keep Jackson as well. Defensive end Calais Campbell said Baltimore ‘can’t let a guy like him go’ because ‘you know who Lamar Jackson is’ Left tackle Ronnie Stanley believes Jackson will ultimately stay because “this is his team and this is his offense. The money isn’t the most important thing with Lamar. He really wants to win, contrary to popular belief.”
But there are obvious concerns about keeping Jackson.
For one thing, he wasn’t healthy at the end of the last two seasons. Jackson missed five of the Ravens’ last eight games of the 2021 season, including the last four games of the year with an ankle injury, as well as the last six games of the 2022 season, which included the wildcard round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson will also likely boast one of the biggest quarterback contracts in the league when all is said and done. The Ravens have the Cleveland Browns to thank for that after handing Deshaun Watson a fully guaranteed $230 million deal in 2022. That’s a lot of money to give a quarterback, even one just a few years away from winning MVP.
There’s still plenty of time to finalize a deal, however, and Andrews is hoping the bottom line still leaves him under center with his quarterback in Baltimore.