Lamar Jackson's Market Value Estimated at $170 Million Over Four Years
When Patrick Mahomes landed the richest contract in sports history last week, it reset the quarterback market and sparked speculation as to how the deal will affect Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
On the heels of Mahomes' 10-year extension – which is reportedly worth $503 million for the next 12 seasons – Spotrac updated Jackson's calculated valuation.
Spotrac estimated Jackson's current market value at $170 million over four years, for an average salary of around $42.5 million. That would make Jackson, who is entering the third year on his rookie contract and averages $2.38 million per season, the second-highest-paid player in the league.
Mahomes' average salary on his 10-year extension is $45 million, according to Over The Cap. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is currently the second-highest-paid player, averaging $35 million per season.
What Jackson, the reigning league MVP, does for an encore after producing one of the greatest seasons ever for a quarterback will obviously have a huge effect on his next contract. Mahomes followed up his MVP season by leading the Chiefs to a Super Bowl win.
When Jackson was asked recently about Mahomes' mega-deal, he said: "I gotta win me a Super Bowl. I gotta get to where he's at."
Good Morning Football's Nate Burleson agreed that a Super Bowl victory is all that separates Jackson from getting a similar contract to as Mahomes.
"Super Bowl puts you in a different category, and because of that, a team has to give you the same type of money as a guy that has done it before you," Burleson said. "All Pat Mahomes is doing is setting the mark for a guy that's won the MVP and then brought a Super Bowl back to his squad. Lamar Jackson already has that MVP. If he wins a Super Bowl in the next couple years, yeah, he'll get something similar.
"But even if he doesn't [win a Super Bowl], that doesn't mean he's not going to break the bank. He'll get something right underneath Pat Mahomes if he plays well."
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott could both sign extensions before Jackson, which also could affect Jackson's market value.
"Those future deals will likely only increase what Jackson, who has an already more impressive resume than both of them, can command," NBC Sports Washington's Ethan Cadeaux wrote.
Mark Andrews Won't Opt Out Despite Potential Health Risk
Tight end Mark Andrews made it clear that he will play this season despite having Type-1 diabetes, a condition that could increase the potential risk should he contract COVID-19.
"We've got a big year coming up. I want to be able to do a lot of things, and ... just being able to help this team win is exciting for me," Andrews said on a Zoom call with the Children with Diabetes group, per The Baltimore Sun's Jonas Shaffer.
Andrews, who led the Ravens in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns and made the Pro Bowl last season, hadn't indicated that he was considering opting out. He said one of his goals is to "continue to use my platform. I want to continue to help kids and families that are dealing with T1D."
The NFL Players Association announced that 72 players were known to have tested positive for COVID-19, as of July 10.
There's no data to indicate whether people with Type-1 diabetes are more likely to contract COVID-19, but they do face a higher chance of experiencing serious complications from the virus, according to the American Diabetes Association.
During a video call with reporters in March, Andrews said: "Just like everybody else, I'm staying smart, I'm staying inside, I'm social distancing myself from other people. That's all you can do. Everyone has to do their jobs and stay smart and listen to their health officials during this time, and I think we're going to be alright if we do that."
Right Guard Is Ravens' Most Important Position Battle
NFL.com's Nick Shook looked at the AFC North teams heading into training camp. Here are some excerpts from his analysis on the Ravens:
Most important position battle: right guard.
"This competition might come down to D.J. Fluker vs. Ben Powers vs. Tyre Phillips vs. Ben Bredeson. Yes, there could be four players battling to fill the massive void left by Marshal Yanda's retirement. Fluker is the veteran who appears most likely to win the job, though there is some familiarity between Powers and right tackle Orlando Brown Jr. from their time playing together at Oklahoma. Phillips and Bredeson were middle-round draft picks in April, and it wasn't a surprise to see the team double down on the position."
Biggest strength on roster: running back.
"When it came time for Baltimore to spend its second-round pick, [J.K.] Dobbins was there for the taking. The rich got richer, it seemed, with the Ravens adding a stocky powerhouse of a running back to a group that already had one in Mark Ingram. Throw in the larger Gus Edwards and speedster Justice Hill, and you've got talent for days at running back in Baltimore. This is another long-term move by the front office, which is protecting against a future Ingram departure (or decline) by drafting someone who can pair well with Ingram now and eventually become the lead back."
Biggest weakness: wide receiver.
"This could ultimately prove to be an inaccurate designation, but because Baltimore is relying on a corps that is extremely young – Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay and James Proche were all drafted either in 2019 or 2020 – there are some questions about how well this group can perform for Lamar Jackson. Then again, the Ravens were just fine with a similarly unheralded group last season. It should be a very interesting Year 2 for Brown, who bulked up this offseason, and the rest of the young group as it shapes up with the continued development of Jackson."
Newcomer/player returning from injury to watch: Patrick Queen, linebacker.
"AFC North rivals likely winced when the Ravens took Queen with the 28th overall pick, and for good reason: 2019 was the first time in a while that Baltimore didn't have a Pro Bowler lining up at inside linebacker. The Ravens are hoping that was a rare transitional year – by the way, did you know Baltimore still finished 14-2? – following the selection of Queen, a rangy linebacker who hits above his weight."
AFC North Is No. 6 in Divisional Power Rankings
The AFC North looks on paper as if it could be one of the toughest divisions in the league this season, with some pundits predicting three teams – the Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns – will make the playoffs, which have been expanded to seven teams from each conference.
CBS Sports' John Breech isn't as high on the division. He placed the AFC North at No. 6 in his power rankings for the eight divisions.
"The AFC North was the hardest division to rank this year and that's because every team seemed to get better, but every team also seems to have one major question mark," Breech wrote.
For the Ravens, who went 14-2 and won the division by six games last season, Breech said the question is whether they can win a playoff game after going one-and-done the past two years.
"There's no doubt that Lamar Jackson has been one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL over the past two years, but in this league, people only care about one thing, and that's whether or not you can win in the playoffs, which Jackson hasn't been able to do," Breech wrote.