Courtesy of ESPN
By: Araceli Reynoso
Edited by: Gabrielle Nordstrom
As the play snaps, the ball is thrown into his hands, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson begins moving around in the pocket. When the Broncos defensive line starts making their way past the Ravens, he begins to step out of the pocket, doing what he does best.
His dark cleats digging into the turf, starting to take off down the field. Being such a mobile quarterback is one of the best qualities about him. Jackson is only able to evade being sacked for only a few moments. Until he is tackled to the ground, landing on his knee.
Watching your quarterback get injured is a scary sight that no NFL fan ever wants to see.
Jackson signed his contract on April 27, 2023. His contract being a 5-year, $260M deal. He is now the highest paid quarterback in the league per year, and has the highest contract behind Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
Only a few weeks prior to Jackson’s contract, Philadelphia Eagles Jalen Hurts was the highest paid quarterback per year. The highest paid average per year is as follows:
Kyler Murray - $46.1 million
Russell Wilson $49.0 million
Aaron Rodgers - $50.3 million
Jalen Hurts - $51.0 million
Courtesy @NFL on Instagram
Prior to Jackson’s singing, there had been a lot of controversy about whether he would return to Baltimore. He had been hurt twice in the past two years. For some, this can be seen as being “injury prone.” Many fans had mixed opinions on the quarterback. Some would say he deserved to be paid, especially after all he had done for the Ravens in the last five years.
Some would say Jackson didn’t deserve the contract. He supposedly was getting hurt too much, or he wasn’t good enough.
Or that he was good enough, more than deserving of his money. It was just a matter of Baltimore not paying him. But what would make Jackson stay when he didn’t have many receivers to throw to? The Baltimore Ravens traded WR Marquise Brown to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2022 NFL draft for the 23rd pick. Marquise, otherwise known as “Hollywood,” was one of his most promising receivers.
So when this trade happened, it was a little unclear as to who Jackson would be throwing to. And when his second injury took place, things only seemed to get worse. There was so much uncertainty if Jackson would stay with Baltimore. In situations when quarterbacks are paid, there usually seems to be conflict between the player and the team. It’s usually a matter of if the player is deserving of it or not. If that player isn’t paid, then they walk free.
As someone who is a Lamar Jackson fan, I believe he was deserving of his contract. I don’t think it’s fair to call a player injury prone after two injuries in two different seasons. If it was to happen on occasion, then that might be different.
I was not convinced that he would stay at first. He was coming off his injury, and didn’t have many weapons on offense. When his contract did come, I was not expecting it to be as high as the second highest contract in NFL history.
However, with Jackson returning to the team, the Ravens adding some new weapons to their offense, things might look different this upcoming season for Baltimore. As Jackson said when drafted in the 2018 NFL draft, “they gonna get a Super Bowl out of me,” that just might happen.