On the finish of Thursday evening’s 27-22 comeback win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson had a easy message, courtesy of a fan.
“Pay ’Em Now.”
As Jackson headed down the Raymond James Stadium tunnel after the Ravens’ second straight victory, a fan threw an indication towards the 2019 NFL Most Priceless Participant with these phrases and Jackson’s No. 8 jersey written on it. Jackson picked it up and skim the message earlier than strolling again out towards the gang and holding it triumphantly above his head. He added his autograph and handed the signal again to the fan as the gang cheered for the South Florida native in his return to his house state.
After a shaky begin, Jackson put collectively one in every of his greatest performances of the season, finishing 22 of 38 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns whereas speeding for 43 yards handy future Corridor of Fame quarterback Tom Brady his first three-game dropping streak since 2002. After going 19-for-30 for 144 yards within the first half, Jackson accomplished all eight of his makes an attempt within the second, main the Ravens again from a 10-3 deficit.
Jackson’s contract negotiations have been the topic of a lot scrutiny during the last two years. The No. 32 total decide within the 2018 draft is taking part in beneath his fifth-year possibility value $23.016 million this season after he and the Ravens failed to achieve an settlement on a long-term contract extension earlier than Jackson’s self-imposed Week 1 deadline. If he and the Ravens don’t agree on an extension by March 7 of subsequent yr, Baltimore would want to make use of its franchise tag to maintain him from turning into a free agent. Below an unique franchise tag, Jackson would seemingly be owed about $45 million in 2023.
The Cleveland Browns redefined the quarterback market earlier this yr after they signed Deshaun Watson to a five-year, $230 million deal, totally assured. Ravens proprietor Steve Bisciotti commented on that deal when he spoke with Baltimore reporters on the finish of March: “To me, that’s one thing that’s groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations more durable with others.”
As Jackson sat down for his postgame interview on the sphere with Amazon Prime’s “Thursday Night time Soccer” crew, the remaining Ravens followers chanted “Pay that man!” Not one of the commentators, together with host Charissa Thompson, former tight finish Tony Gonzalez, former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, former left sort out Andrew Whitworth and former cornerback Richard Sherman, requested Jackson immediately concerning the signal, however Sherman mentioned he needs to see Jackson eclipse Watson’s contract.
“What I actually need to discuss to you about is the signal you picked up. As somebody who’s represented themselves, I need you to get all the cash you deserve,” Sherman mentioned. “I do know you ain’t speaking about it in season, so I ain’t gonna make you discuss it in season, however pay the person. Give him $231 million assured.”
In response to a query from Whitworth about his ardour for the sport, Jackson credited the crew for its perception in him. “I really feel like several quarterback would need that from their group, particularly their coach, who it’s a must to see every single day,” he mentioned.