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Lamar Jackson among the QBs next up for a new contract

March 9, 2021 GMT
FILE - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) leaves the field after the first half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N,Y., in this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, file photo. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion. After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday, Jan. 25, 2020, that the Ravens won't re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox, the initial component of the highly successful placekicking trio that includes holder Sam Koch and second-team All-Pro Justin Tucker, the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history.(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
FILE - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) leaves the field after the first half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N,Y., in this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, file photo. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion. After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday, Jan. 25, 2020, that the Ravens won't re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox, the initial component of the highly successful placekicking trio that includes holder Sam Koch and second-team All-Pro Justin Tucker, the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history.(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)
FILE - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) leaves the field after the first half of an NFL divisional round football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, N,Y., in this Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021, file photo. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has already started making some of the tough decisions he believes can help Baltimore negotiate the leap from playoff qualifier to Super Bowl champion. After releasing running back Mark Ingram and quarterback Robert Griffin III last week, DeCosta announced Monday, Jan. 25, 2020, that the Ravens won't re-sign All-Pro long snapper Morgan Cox, the initial component of the highly successful placekicking trio that includes holder Sam Koch and second-team All-Pro Justin Tucker, the most accurate field goal kicker in NFL history.(AP Photo/Adrian Kraus, File)

Now that Dak Prescott got his record-breaking contract, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are in line to top it.

Baltimore Ravens general Eric DeCosta said Tuesday he’s had conversations with Jackson but the two sides haven’t started official negotiations.

“He’s a foundational type of guy for this organization,” DeCosta said. “We’re confident and committed to trying to get a long-term deal done and hopefully we can get that done at some point in the near future. It might take a little time but we’re willing to try.”

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, is entering the final season of his rookie contract. He’s scheduled to earn $1.771 million in 2021 and the Ravens could exercise a fifth-year option for 2022. They could also apply a franchise tag in 2023.

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Prescott played under the franchise tag last season when he sustained a gruesome ankle injury in October. That didn’t prevent the Cowboys from giving him a $160 million, four-year deal that included an NFL-record $66 million signing bonus.

Those numbers would seem to be the new bar for guys such as Jackson, Allen and Mayfield.

“It’s like when you go to the Bentley dealership or the Range Rover dealership, you know what the cars are going to cost,” DeCosta said.

“You’re not going to get a discount. They all cost about the same and you go in there and you either go in there with the idea that you’re going to buy the car or you’re not going to buy the car. In the end, they’re all very big contracts. They’re outstanding players. They’re quarterback deals. They’re marquee players and you know you’re going to pay a lot but you’re going to get a lot in return.”

Jackson was the last pick in the first round in 2018. He has led the Ravens to the playoffs each of his three seasons.

Coach John Harbaugh said his discussions with Jackson don’t involve talk about a contract.

“We talk life, football, building the team,” Harbaugh said. “It’s very important for him to be on board and understand what we’re trying to do with the offense, what we’re trying to do with personnel, how we’re building things schematically. I want his input all the time. I’m very confident the business part of it will be worked out in the best possible way for everybody.”

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