Reports: Ravens Sign QB Lamar Jackson to a Record-Breaking Five-Year, $260 Million Deal, Making Him the Highest-Paid Player in NFL History

Five years after falling to the end of the first round, Lamar Jackson’s draft day turned out to be a huge payday for him. The quarterback agreed in principle with the Baltimore Ravens on a five-year deal, making him the highest-paid player in NFL history.

According to a person familiar with the terms, the five-year contract with the Ravens is worth $260 million, with $185 million guaranteed. The agreement comes after a protracted contract negotiation saga that had been dominating the team’s off-season. The deal keeps Jackson, the MVP in 2019, in Baltimore for the foreseeable future.

The Ravens announced the deal before the first round of the NFL draft, effectively overshadowing whoever the team might take in the first round. Jackson’s contract surpasses Jalen Hurts’ $255 million, five-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles, which included $179.3 million in guarantees. However, Deshaun Watson still holds the record for the biggest guaranteed contract in NFL history. The Cleveland Browns gave Watson a five-year, fully guaranteed $230 million extension last year to waive his no-trade clause and agree to join the team.

The Ravens expressed confidence that they could keep Jackson after he played out his rookie contract, even after he made a trade request public. Last month, Baltimore put the franchise tag on Jackson. The team’s announcement of the contract included a video of Jackson expressing his excitement.

At age 26, Jackson is already one of six quarterbacks in NFL history with 10,000 yards passing and 4,000 rushing. Although he’s been hurt at the end of the past two seasons, his best days could well be ahead of him. Signing this new contract ended a major off-season story for the Ravens and ensures that Jackson will be in the lineup for the first game of the season, without drama about whether he’ll report to camp. With a new offensive coordinator and signings such as Odell Beckham Jr., the Ravens have shown their commitment to building a winning team around their star quarterback.

Jackson had been negotiating his deal without an agent and stood to make $32.4 million this season if he played on the franchise tag. However, that path had potential pitfalls for both sides. Jackson would have risked losing a lot of money long-term if he was injured, and even if he stayed healthy, the team might have had an unhappy quarterback on its hands. His contract situation took a different turn when he announced in late March that he’d requested a trade a few weeks earlier. Now, however, Jackson and the Ravens seem to be very much on the same page.

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