Recently, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson suggested during a press conference that there’s a Week One deadline for getting a new deal done. So when specifically does the window of opportunity slam shut?
Given that the Broncos and Russell Wilson selected midnight on September 1, the Ravens and Jackson are either past the deadline or getting damn close to it.
For starters, we’re assuming that Jackson has made it clear to the team that Week One is the deadline, and that the Ravens are willing to act accordingly. What if they offer him everything he wants in Week Five? Will he refuse?
If there is a deadline, it likely arrive at kickoff of the Week One game against the Jets. Soon, preparations will commence in earnest for the game. To the extent that Lamar the agent had time to negotiate on behalf of Lamar the quarterback during training camp and the preseason, he’ll have even less once it’s time to practice and study film and otherwise get ready to go.
Whatever the deadline, the objective should be: (1) to get Baltimore’s best offer on the table; and (2) to properly evaluate the pros and cons of accepting and rejecting the offer. Those goals would best be achieved with the assistance of a good agent.
Consider the various teams in recent years that have gotten their franchise quarterbacks paid. With very few exceptions, owners know when it’s time to open the vault. Washington never valued Kirk Cousins properly (or, as some Vikings fans would say, they valued him just right), and Dallas thought it could aw-shucks its way into getting Dak Prescott to take less. Otherwise, teams know when to make a significant offer — and the players know when to accept.
Maybe the Ravens are playing with fire. If they are, they learned nothing from their experience 10 years ago with Joe Flacco. Either way, a deal isn’t done and, without Jackson hiring an agent, it’s hard to imagine that happening.