Lamar Jackson’s latest “move” in Baltimore Ravens contract negotiations is a hilarious one.
The Baltimore Ravens are going to have to pay up to keep Lamar Jackson beyond this season, but how high are they willing to go to keep him on their payroll?
Jackson is famously self-represented. While he has allowed the CBA and his No. 32 overall draft slot do the heavy lifting for him, Jackson is playing a dangerous game by entering year five on an expiring contract. In the weeks leading up to his fifth professional training camp, Jackson changed his Twitter header to “I Need $”. It is a reference to the cinematic masterpiece known as How High.
Of course, Jackson went on to tell USA TODAY Sports he does not see what the big issue is here.
“I don’t know why people are blowing it up,” said Jackson to USA TODAY Sports. “I just saw Bleacher Report post it. They just take anything that’s posted on social media and just blow it up, and try to think for you. I don’t take it too seriously.”
Jackson may be a big fan of How High, but he does not like people insinuating about his business.
“They’re making it seem like I’m talking to the Ravens when I’m not. Our contract discussion is going on already. But it ain’t about that, though. I’m not putting my business life on social media. I won’t ever do that. I won’t put my personal life on social media. I’ll show stuff, but I won’t throw subliminal [messages] out. That’s not me.”
Regardless, Jackson is hopeful he will have a new deal with Baltimore before training camp begins.
Here is what Jackson’s Twitter header looks like to honor the iconic movie character, I Need Money.
Lamar Jackson’s negotiating tactics for a new Baltimore Ravens deal: How High?
Let’s be real. Jackson holds all the leverage in this situation, because what are the Ravens going to do otherwise? If they cannot agree to a long-term extension with their franchise quarterback, guess who becomes a free agent in the new league year? No matter how Jackson plays this NFL season, Baltimore will not be in a great position to think about even drafting a potential successor.
Furthermore, Baltimore has never had a signal-caller as talented as Jackson. While it remains to be seen if he can truly play from behind and win multiple playoff games in a row with his arm, Jackson keeps the Ravens relevant every single year. Of course, waiting until seemingly deadline day to strike up a deal is not all that advantageous for both parties. Something has to give here.
Regardless, Baltimore has a division crown to win. Though the Cincinnati Bengals certainly played well enough to win Super Bowl 56, they did not get it done. While the Cleveland Browns traded for Deshaun Watson, they have had yet another chaotic offseason as an organization. As far as the Pittsburgh Steelers are concerned, they no longer have Ben Roethlisberger playing quarterback.
How high the Ravens will fly this year will be almost entirely on how well Jackson plays for them.