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#pounditMonday, August 2, 2021

Here is why Lamar Jackson’s contract negotiation with Ravens is unique

Lamar Jackson

Lamar Jackson is eligible for a contract extension for the first time in his NFL career this offseason. The Baltimore Ravens have made it clear that they want to keep him, but there is one fairly unusual element to the negotiations — Jackson represents himself.

Jackson has not had an agent since he entered the NFL Draft in 2018. He is now poised to become one of the highest-paid quarterbacks in football, and Ari Meirov of NFL Update reminded us on Tuesday that Jackson is not planning to hire an agent while negotiating his mega-deal.

This isn’t the first time an NFL player has represented himself. Richard Sherman also does not use an agent, and the star cornerback bragged about that after the deal he signed with the San Francisco 49ers a few years ago wound up working out for him. The stakes were not nearly as high in that situation, however.

Jackson will undoubtedly point to the recent deals that Dak Prescott, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson signed with their teams. He probably knows that Mahomes’ $500 million deal and $45 million salary is unrealistic, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t aim to be paid as much as Prescott. Prescott signed a four-year, $160 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys this offseason. Jackson is a former NFL MVP. Prescott is not.

Jackson has given Ravens fans a reason to feel optimistic about his extension, and there is no urgency at the moment. He still has one more season and the fifth-year team option on his rookie contract. It’s possible that not having an agent involved could make the negotiations run more smoothly, but time will tell.

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