Lamar Jackson is a star. A selection from the first round of 2018, which could agree to an extension before the 2022 season

Lamar Jackson is a star.  A selection from the first round of 2018, which could agree to an extension before the 2022 season

After three NFL seasons, first-round draught selections have a greater chance of receiving contract extensions than second- through seventh-round picks. First-round picks have an option for a fifth year, therefore the fourth year is not a contract year for them like it is for other draught picks. Only a few first-round picks each year agree to new contracts prior to the start of their fourth season as a result. For the opening round of 2018, this was accurate. Only three players signed extensions after playing three seasons: Bills quarterback Josh Allen, Raiders left lineman Kolton Miller, and Lions centre Frank Ragnow. The majority of first-round pick extensions take place as the fifth season draws near. For first-round picks, the option year counts as a contract year.

Jackson participated in last week’s mandatory minicamp after skipping Baltimore’s other offseason workouts. He is one of the few NFL players who has operated his entire career without an agent. Jackson indicated he spoke to Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta about his contract during minicamp. Whether Jackson had substantive contract discussions is unknown. He hasn’t taken a training camp holdout off the table, which many suspect is just a negotiating ploy.

Signings of first-round picks from 2018 have already resumed this year. The Packers and Browns put Jaire Alexander and Denzel Ward in the elusive $20 million-per-year cornerback club with respective four- and five-year extensions. The Steelers recently made Minkah Fitzpatrick the league’s highest-paid safety.

Jackson would be justified in insisting on a fully guaranteed contract comparable to Deshaun Watson’s. The Browns gave Watson a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million contract in connection with his trade from the Browns to the Texans. The deal shocked the NFL community because of the sexual assault and misconduct allegations Watson is still facing and he had four years worth $136 million remaining on the four-year extension, averaging $39 million per year, he signed in September 2020.

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