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Late for Work 5/5: New Details Emerge About Lamar Jackson's Deal, Including Salary Cap Impact

QB Lamar Jackson
QB Lamar Jackson

New Details Emerge About Lamar Jackson's New Deal, Including Salary Cap Impact

On the day that Lamar Jackson officially signed the five-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history, more details regarding the record-breaking deal emerged.

Here's a look at what was reported:

Something that sticks out among all the numbers are the eye-popping cap hits of $74.5 million in 2026 and 2027. For comparison's sake, Patrick Mahomes' $39.7 million cap hit is the highest for any player in 2023.

To reduce Jackson's cap number in 2026 and 2027, the Ravens and Jackson would have to negotiate a new contract extension or restructure.

Balance Puts Ravens in Upper Tier of Super Bowl Contenders

Signing Jackson to an extension, combined with the offseason additions of wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers, and Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken, has generated excitement about the explosive potential of the Ravens offense in 2023.

What has perhaps gotten lost in all the enthusiasm about the Ravens offense is that the defense was among the best units in the league last season and returns most of the key players.

ESPN's Mina Kimes said the Ravens are a Super Bowl contender because they're going to be strong on both sides of the ball. (By the way, the special teams are pretty darn good, too.)

"For the Ravens, I don't think it's about winning the division. I think it's about winning the AFC, and I absolutely think they're in that upper tier of contenders along with Kansas City and Buffalo," Kimes said. "I'm very excited [about the offense], people forget that in the second half of the season this was the second-best defense in football in EPA per play behind only the San Francisco 49ers.

"Once they brought in Roquan Smith, who I really think was a skeleton key in the middle of that defense, they were playing extraordinary. Just ask Joe Burrow, who maybe had his most difficult two games at the end of the season against them and in the playoffs. I did like the addition of cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. I expect them to sign some 30-something-year-old pass rusher who will get eight sacks as they always do. And I think this defense will continue to be very, very good, and give them a floor if they have to wait for the offense to catch up."

Todd McShay's 2024 Mock Draft Has Ravens Selecting Penn State Defensive End

If you're going through mock draft withdrawal, ESPN's Todd McShay has come to the rescue with his "way, way, too early" 2024 mock draft.

McShay has the Ravens selecting Penn State defensive end Chop Robinson with the 24th-overall pick.

"A transfer from Maryland, Robinson had a good 2022 season despite no sack production," McShay wrote. "He didn't start a game for the Nittany Lions but still accumulated 13.5 tackles for loss and 26 pressures. Baltimore needs more playmaking pass-rushers, and Robinson could be a good fit. But I also think the Ravens could consider cornerbacks or defensive tackles if those holes go unfixed by next April."

NFL.Com Issues AFC North Draft Grades’s Eric Edholm released his draft grades for the AFC North. The Steelers got the highest mark, a B-plus, while the Ravens, Bengals, and Browns all received a B-minus.

Edholm was high on the Ravens' selection of Flowers in the first round.

"I thought Baltimore might go with Maryland CB Deonte Banks at No. 22 overall, considering the need, but had no problem whatsoever with the selection of Zay Flowers. In fact, Flowers was my WR2 in this draft class, ranked 18th regardless of position," Edholm wrote. "I love his shifty playmaking skills, which — dare I say — remind me somewhat of vintage Antonio Brown. I think the 'Ravens can't draft receivers' talk is due to subside once Flowers gets going, likely as a slot weapon."

Regarding the selection of inside linebacker Trenton Simpson in the third round (No. 86 overall), Edholm wrote: "Baltimore always does a nice job of marrying short-term need, long-term vision and draft value, and the Trenton Simpson pick was a reflection of that."

Keaton Mitchell Hopes to Continue His Father's Legacy With Ravens

Anthony Mitchell secured his place in Ravens' lore with his game-changing, 90-yard return of a blocked field-goal attempt for a touchdown in Baltimore's victory over the Tennessee Titans in the 2000 AFC playoffs enroute to the franchise's first Super Bowl title.

His son, East Carolina running back Keaton Mitchell, who reportedly has signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent, said he plans to continue his father's legacy in Baltimore.

"It's something a lot of kids wish for, playing for a team that their dad played for," Keaton Mitchell said on Glenn Clark Radio. "I'm glad to be in Baltimore. I'm glad to be able to finish out my dad's legacy."

Mitchell, who received a fifth-or-sixth-round grade from The Athletic's Dane Brugler, said he got calls from several NFL teams late in the draft, one of which was the Ravens. Mitchell, his agent and his father called teams back and settled on the Ravens after the draft.

"After everything was said, my dad was hype. He was like, 'Baltimore, Baltimore just called me,'" Mitchell said. "So we go over the rosters and find out that Baltimore is the best fit and it's the best opportunity, so you know that's a no-brainer."

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