- The Washington Times - Monday, September 13, 2021

Lamar Jackson is putting contract negotiations on the back burner with the Baltimore Ravens as the quarterback shifts gears to focus on the regular season, according to a report.

ESPN reported Monday that Jackson, who is representing himself and does not have an agent, still will negotiate with the Ravens during the season — but only when the former MVP has “time to focus on the negotiations, according to sources.”  The Ravens and Jackson are still optimistic that a long-term deal can be completed, ESPN’s Adam Schefter wrote.

Jackson, the 32nd pick in 2018, would be the second quarterback of his draft class to reach an extension. This offseason, the Buffalo Bills and quarterback Josh Allen agreed to a massive six-year, $258 million contract — and Jackson could be in line for a similar pay day. 

Jackson won league MVP in 2019 for a dynamic season in which the Louisville product threw for 3,127 yards and rushed for another 1,206. He combined for 43 touchdowns that year (36 passing, seven rushing), as voters made him the second unanimous MVP in league history. 

Last year was a bit of a down season for the Ravens and Jackson, as the offense took a slight step back and the team again was eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs. The 2020 Ravens, at least, won a playoff game, unlike the year before, avenging their 2019 defeat to the Tennessee Titans. 

The Ravens open the season Monday against the Las Vegas Raiders. 

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