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Baltimore Ravens GM says no movement in talks on new Lamar Jackson contract

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Baltimore Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta indicated there has been no movement in contract talks with Lamar Jackson because the star quarterback hasn't shown much interest in getting one done.

Jackson, who is entering his fifth year with the Ravens, is one of the few players in the NFL without an agent and is representing himself in contract negotiations.

DeCosta has communicated once with Jackson via text over the past month and said Wednesday that the Ravens will work "at Lamar's urgency."

"I think it takes two sides to actively put their heads together and get a deal worked out," DeCosta said at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. "We are ready to be there for Lamar at any point when he decides that he really wants to work on it, we will be."

Ravens officials spoke last offseason about an extension with Jackson as if it were a formality. But there has been a different tone this year because of the lack of progress.

The Ravens can only talk to Jackson about a new contract because the former NFL MVP doesn't have an agent.

"He knows how to find me, and I know how to find him," DeCosta said.

Jackson, 25, is no longer the best bargain in football. His salary jumps from $1.771 million last season to $23.016 million this year under the fifth-year option. A contract extension would likely reduce Jackson's cap hit by $8 million to $10 million.

If there is no extension by this time next year, Baltimore would presumably put the franchise tag on Jackson to keep him from becoming a free agent.

A day after the 2021 season ended, Jackson said he was more focused on his health than a new contract, after missing Baltimore's final four games with a bone bruise on his right ankle.

But Jackson appears to be fully recovered; two weeks ago, he posted videos on his Instagram account of himself throwing to teammates.

Jackson would be in line to make over $40 million per season under a new long-term contract. The NFL's three highest-paid quarterbacks are Patrick Mahomes ($45 million per season), Josh Allen ($43 million) and Dak Prescott ($40 million).

DeCosta expressed optimism Wednesday that a deal will eventually get done, emphasizing that he has "an awesome relationship" with Jackson.

"He's a guy that, when we think about the Ravens three, four, five years from now, we envision Lamar being a very, very big part of that team and definitely a player that can help us win Super Bowls," DeCosta said.

Jackson is the fastest NFL quarterback to reach 5,000 yards passing and 2,000 yards rushing, reaching the milestone in just 35 games. He's also the first quarterback in league history to record 35 regular-season wins before the age of 25.

Jackson struggled with consistency last season on an injury-plagued Ravens team that finished last in the AFC North for the first time in coach John Harbaugh's 14 seasons. Jackson threw a career-worst 13 interceptions while getting sacked a career-high 38 times.

DeCosta said he has gotten no sense from his conversations with Jackson since the end of the season that the two-time Pro Bowler would hold out without a new deal.

"I don't want to speak for him, but I think he's extremely excited about the season coming up and the personnel that we have and the opportunity for the club and for us to take the next jump as a team," DeCosta said.