Step aside Jalen Hurts, the NFL has a new highest-paid player.
The Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson have agreed in principle to a five-year deal worth an estimated $260 million.
The contract exceeds the five-year, $255 million deal the Philadelphia Eagles gave quarterback Jalen Hurts earlier this month, which previously made him the priciest player in the league.
Better yet, Jackson's deal was announced Thursday night just hours before the first round of the NFL draft, five years after the Heisman Trophy winner was passed over by every other NFL team in the draft. One year later, Jackson was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player.
The deal concludes a negotiation saga that has dragged on for months and put the franchise in limbo. After playing out his rookie contract, Jackson's future with the Ravens was in doubt. Now, however, they'll keep their quarterback, who has been the focal point of their offense, in Baltimore for at least five more years.
The team tweeted out the announcement with a video from Jackson addressing speculations that he may have been exploring other teams to join.
"For the last few months, there's been a lot of he said, she said, a lot of nail biting, a lot of head scratching going on," Jackson said. "But for the next five years, it's a lot of flock going on."
The end was a reference to the phrase used by Baltimore fans: "Ravens Flock."
"Let's go baby. Let's go, let's go," Jackson added. “Can't wait to get there, can't wait to be there. Can't wait to light up M&T [Bank Stadium] for the next five years, man. Let's get it."
Shortly after the announcement, the Ravens went on to pick up a new weapon for Jackson, selecting Boston College receiver Zay Flowers with the 22nd pick in the draft.
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson still has the largest fully guaranteed contract in NFL history after Cleveland gave him $230 million in assurances to join the team last year. But Jackson's contract is nothing to discount. He gets an estimated $185 million in guarantees and will bring in a higher annual salary than any other player in the league.
Additionally, Jackson represents himself and does not have an agent like most players, meaning he secured the deal all on his own and nobody else will be taking their percentage.
Ranking the NFL's largest contracts for 2023 (They're all quarterbacks)
1) Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens - $52 million
2) Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles - $51 million
3) Aaron Rodgers, New York Jets - $50.3 million
4) Russell Wilson, Denver Broncos - $49 million
5) Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals - $46.1 million
6) Deshaun Watson, Cleveland Browns - $46 million
7) Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs - $45 million
8) Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills - $43 million
T-9) Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys - $40 million
T-9) Daniel Jones, New York Giants - $40 million
T-9) Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams - $40 million
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