ESPN personality Stephen A. Smith has shared a fascinating update regarding the future of Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson.
"I was absolutely and emphatically assured that Lamar Jackson has never asked for a fully guaranteed deal," Smith said during Friday's edition of "First Take" about what he'd heard from Jackson’s camp, per of The Spun. "Now I don't want to dispute or refute what other NFL insiders for this network and beyond are saying... But I just want to make sure that I'm clear and echoing what Lamar Jackson's camp said because they personally reached out to me yesterday."
It's widely been thought that Jackson, who is not represented by an agent, has wanted a deal similar to the five-year contract reportedly worth $230 million in fully guaranteed money that the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson last year.
reported that "Jackson turned down a five-year, $250 million contract in September that included $133 million guaranteed" from Baltimore and that "all of his counteroffers to the Ravens last year were for fully guaranteed contracts that exceeded that of Watson."
Smith said he was told by Jackson's camp that the Ravens "stopped" negotiations at $133 million guaranteed.
"That is an insult if true," Smith added. "That is a lowball offer in today's market."
wrote in January that "it’s impossible to fully evaluate a deal without knowing the full value of it," including information such as all incentives and bonuses attached to the contract.
Whatever Baltimore offered Jackson, in total, it seems clear he and the club aren't close to coming to terms on a long-term deal ahead of the March 7 deadline for teams to use their franchise tags.
One team source admitted to Fowler and Hensley it now "feels like anything is possible," including a tag-and-trade scenario, as it pertains to Jackson.
The Atlanta Falcons have repeatedly been linked with Jackson this winter, but it's also believed the New York Jets could "seriously consider" acquiring the Most Valuable Player for the 2019 season if they miss out on Green Bay Packers starter Aaron Rodgers and free agent Derek Carr.
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