Lamar Jackson should get his second contract done now

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Here’s something I meant to post on Tuesday. The sentiment still applies today, because the thing that needs to happen still hasn’t happened.

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson hasn’t signed a second contract. He needs to. Ideally, he needs to do it before Sunday night’s game against the Chiefs.

He likely won’t. He’s representing himself. He’s reportedly so immersed in football that he doesn’t have time to negotiate the contract. And that’s all the more reason for him to hire an agent.

Plenty of players look at, for example, the fact that an agent’s three-percent commission on a $200 million contract becomes a $6 million fee. That’s a legitimate concern, if the player can negotiate a $200 million contract (or a contract worth more than $194 million) on his own.

For Jackson, it’s unclear whether he can or can’t, because he apparently doesn’t have the time to try. That’s all the more reason to hire someone to do it.

Anyone who watched Monday night’s game knows that Jackson took plenty of hits. He ran the ball plenty of times. Through three-plus years in the NFL, he has avoided major injury. There’s no guarantee that will continue. That’s why he needs to get his contract right now, before the next time he steps into the fray and risks the kind of injury that would cause the Ravens to delay all talks until they’re confident he’ll be the guy he was before the injury.

The 2019 MVP’s current contract in shameful in comparison to other elite-level quarterbacks. On the current list of highest-paid quarterbacks, Jackson currently ranks forty-fifth, with an average annual salary of $2.367 million. He earns less than the likes of Nick Foles, Case Keenum, Jacoby Brissett, Mason Rudolph, Marcus Mariota, Joe Flacco, Mitch Trubisky, C.J. Beathard, and Tim Boyle.

Jackson obviously deserves a huge raise. The Ravens presumably are ready to give it to him. If Jackson is simply too focused on football to get his deal done, he needs someone else to do it for him.

It wouldn’t be hard. He could hire a good agent quickly (it’s not hard for elite players to get recommendations from other elite players), and that agent could tell the Ravens, “We’re getting this done by tomorrow night at 8:30 p.m. ET, or Lamar isn’t playing.”

Given that he hasn’t done it yet, chances are he won’t do it now. Regardless, he needs to. It’s for his own good. Hopefully, there’s a family member, a friend, or a teammate who can and will get his attention and persuade him to get the financial protection he needs. Not in the form of an insurance policy, but in the form of a contract with significant guarantees for injury.

Lamar Jackson should get his second contract done now originally appeared on Pro Football Talk