It was previously impossible to determine whether Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson should have accepted the best long-term contract offer the team made, rather than playing out the final year of his rookie contract for $23 million.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com, Jackson turned down a six-year contract (i.e., a five-year extension) worth $133 million guaranteed at signing.
That is more than Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray ($103.3 million) and Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson ($124 million) received in full guarantees on longer (seven-year) contracts signed in recent weeks.
Over the course of six years, Jackson “could have earned” more than $290 million. According to Mortensen, the new-money average would have exceeded the $48.5 million paid to Wilson by the Broncos.
(Wilson’s contract was reported to have a new-money average of $49 million; however, as explained here, failing to include the value of the 17th-game checks for 2022 and 2023 in the old/new-money comparison reduced the average to $48.5 million.)