As Lamar Jackson’s contract saga rolls on, the NFL industry continues to discuss how it is possible that a 26 year-old former MVP remains available, after the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. The quarterback’s reported desire to land a close-to fully guaranteed deal appears to be a turn off to the majority of teams.
While some people may think Jackson’s asking price is too high, Richard Sherman chose to defend Jackson. Instead, Sherman believes a few quarterbacks who failed to capitalize on Kirk Cousins’s fully guaranteed contract are more at fault.
“When Kirk Cousins got his guaranteed deal, I thought quarterbacks from then on were gonna be like ‘if it ain’t guaranteed, I ain’t taking it,” he said. “Then [Patrick] Mahomes took that BS deal, 10 years and wanted it to like like half a [billion]...when he didn’t set it, then Josh Allen didn’t set it.”
Cousins signed his deal in 2018, which could have been a shift in the market price for quarterbacks towards a standard of fully-guaranteed contracts. However, Mahomes’s deal in 2020 and Allen’s in 2021, among others, were not capitalizing on that opportunity.
Therefore, even though Deshaun Watson received an even bigger guaranteed deal than Cousins’s, NFL teams don’t want that to set the precedent moving forward.
“Now Lamar is trying to set it after Deshaun’s already set it, and [teams are] like ‘Nah,’” he said.
Former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was on Sherman’s podcast with the former cornerback, agreed with the take.
“They don’t want to allow certain things to happen because it sets a trend going forward,” he said.
Sherman added that he is skeptical that no team is actually interested in acquiring Jackson for just two first round picks when that is also the asking price for a top pick used to take a rookie quarterback, and that teams should just accept that this is the way that top quarterback contracts should go.