Quarterback Lamar Jackson is currently in a contract stalemate with the Baltimore Ravens due to him wanting his next deal to be fully guaranteed. The contract dispute between Jackson and the Ravens not only puts Jackson’s playing future into question but will potentially set a new precedent for future NFL quarterback contracts.
So who is to blame for Jackson struggling to get a fully guaranteed contract? According to former NFL cornerback and analyst Richard Sherman, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is.
“What pissed me off is when Kirk Cousins got his fully guaranteed deal, I thought all the quarterbacks from then on were gonna be like, ‘Ay, if it ain’t guaranteed I ain’t taking it,’” Sherman told Hall of Fame receiver Calvin Johnson via The Volume on March 24. “Then Mahomes took that BS deal, just 10 years and wanted it to look like half a billion. But if you get half of that fully guaranteed everybody’s happier, that sets precedent. But when he didn’t set it, Josh Allen didn’t set it, now Lamar is trying to set it after Deshaun’s [Watson] already set it, and they (the Ravens) are like, ‘Nah.’”
Timeline of QB Deals Leading Up to Lamar Jackson’s Standoff
Let’s break down what Richard Sherman explained to fully understand why he said what he said.
In 2018, quarterback Kirk Cousins signed a three-year, $84 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings that gave all $84 million fully guaranteed. At that time, Cousins’ new deal seemed to have set the precedent that quarterbacks moving forward would get fully guaranteed contracts. However, that didn’t turn out to be the case.
In 2020, Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year, $450 million deal with the Chiefs which included $141 million in guarantees. Because Mahomes’s contract was then the largest in NFL history and he was the best quarterback in the NFL, his deal re-adjusted the bar regarding quarterback contracts in the league not being fully guaranteed.
Mahomes’s deal was followed up by Josh Allen’s new deal with the Buffalo Bills in 2021, which was for six years, $258 million with $150 million guaranteed, which was yet another major QB deal that was not fully guaranteed.
Then came an outlier from the new trend known as Deshaun Watson. After being traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2022, Watson signed a five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed deal with Cleveland. That contract was given to Watson despite all of the off-the-field allegations against Watson that led to him being traded from the Houston Texans.
Now, Lamar Jackson, the 2019 league MVP and one of the most lethal dual-threat quarterbacks we’ve seen in the NFL since Michael Vick, is trying to get a fully guaranteed contract from the Ravens based on the trend set by Watson. However, the Ravens likely consider Watson’s contract with the Browns irrelevant because of the circumstances surrounding that deal and are in a contract stalemate with Jackson because of it.
Twitter Reacts to Richard Sherman’s Thoughts
Twitter users reacted to Richard Sherman’s thoughts on Lamar Jackson’s current contract stalemate with the Ravens.
“Probably because Mahomes and Allen realize that once you take up too much of the cap they can’t keep enough talent around you and then you get all that money but either take a beating or have nobody to throw it to,” one Twitter user wrote.
“Lamar is a great Qb, but what has he truly done, to turn down the first offer. He has been injured the last two seasons. Like I said…. He’s a great Qb but maybe also a little greedy,” another user wrote.