Kyler Murray, the quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, extended his contract significantly on Thursday; Lamar Jackson, the top quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, ought to follow suit.
Murray, who now has an average annual pay of $46.1 million, is the second-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL, according to ESPN, after agreeing to a five-year, $230.5 million deal with $160 million in guarantees.
The average annual value of Murray’s new contract is higher than Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills ($43 million), Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns ($46 million), Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs ($45 million), and only slightly lower than quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers ($50.2 million average salary).
Murray is third in terms of overall compensation over the course of the contract, behind only Allen ($258.034 million) and Mahomes ($450 million).
In spite of lengthy discussions, the two parties have not yet reached an agreement on a long-term extension as Jackson is about to enter the final year of his contract in 2022.
Jackson can only benefit from Murray’s contract because he has a stronger resume and is only one year younger than Murray at 25.
Since being chosen by the Ravens with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson has played in four NFL seasons. He is 37-12 as a starter and has sent Baltimore to the playoffs three times, winning one postseason game in the process.
Most notably, he has ran for 3,673 yards and 21 touchdowns. He has also completed 64.1 percent of his throws for 9,967 yards, 84 touchdowns, and 31 interceptions.
Jackson, a first-team All-Pro and two-time Pro Bowler, was chosen NFL MVP in 2019 after leading the league with 36 touchdown passes, throwing just six interceptions, and rushing for 1,206 yards and seven scores.
In contrast, since being chosen first overall by Arizona in the 2019 NFL Draft, Murray, 24, has a record of just 22-23-1 in three seasons as a starter.
The Cards have only made one playoff appearance under Murray’s leadership, and last year when they lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Wild Card Round, they were not competitive.
In addition to 1,786 yards and 20 touchdowns in the air, the former Oklahoma standout has completed 66.9 percent of his throws for a career-high 11,480 yards, 70 touchdowns, and 34 interceptions.
Although Murray was the 2019 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and a two-time Pro Bowl participant, he lacks Jackson’s first-team All-Pro selection and MVP honours.
Due to their propensity for using their legs and their smaller frames compared to the ideal quarterback, Jackson and Murray both lost significant time due to injury last season, and moving forward, there are some injury worries with both.
That didn’t stop the Cardinals from spending a lot of money on Murray, so the Ravens shouldn’t be discouraged from doing the same with Jackson.
Jackson certainly deserve a little bigger deal than Murray, but it is tough to see him matching the overall amount of the contracts given to Mahomes and Allen considering that they both led their teams further in the playoffs than he has in the AFC.
Jackson would thus become the second-highest-paid quarterback in terms of average annual value and the third-highest-paid quarterback in terms of overall deal value if the Ravens awarded him somewhere in the neighbourhood of $240 million over five years with $170 million guaranteed.