Many predicted that his unprecedented fully guaranteed contract would change the way NFL contracts are structured from this point forward.
In essence, there is no turning back.
Former Browns’ CEO @JoeBanner13 believes Deshaun Watson’s fully-guaranteed, $230 million contract will change the way NFL contracts are done from now on.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2022
The first NFL owner to speak out about the trade along with the large contract with $230 million fully guaranteed is Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti during this week’s annual meeting.
What Bisciotti Said:
Bisciotti touched on all of the hot button issues that accompany this trade and contract.
Watson’s 22 outstanding civil lawsuits are still pending, and any NFL discipline from his legal issues is yet to be determined.
“I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others.”
On Tuesday, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said he didn’t believe three-time Pro Bowler Deshaun Watson should have received the massive $230M fully guaranteed deal.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) March 30, 2022
Naturally, Bisciotti and his fellow NFL owners have concerns about this, especially with young players on their teams whose agents will be clamoring for similar deals.
In the Ravens’ case, Lamar Jackson could be among the first to get an extension in the post-Watson contract era.
Lamar Jackson’s Extension
Lamar Jackson’s negotiations have always been an item of interest.
To begin with, he has no agent so he is representing himself.
This approach is described by Bisciotti as “unique as hell.”
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti on Lamar Jackson's lack of urgency to negotiate an extension: "It’s unique
as hell … The kid is so obsessed with winning a Super Bowl, that I think deep down, he doesn’t think he’s worthy. I think he wants that to say, ‘Now, I deserve to be on top'"
— Jamison Hensley (@jamisonhensley) March 29, 2022
That has slowed down the process as he is focused on football the majority of the time and focuses on the business side in the offseason.
However, it is interesting to note that Jackson, who is playing under his fifth-year option, seems to be in no hurry yet this offseason to negotiate an extension.
Bisciotti does not anticipate Jackson’s extension to get done this offseason unless Jackson himself calls GM Eric DeCosta to get the process moving.
More confirmation that Lamar Jackson is in no rush at all… https://t.co/KL5ZIj4N06
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 29, 2022
What It Means For The Ravens
The Ravens know that Jackson’s price tag most likely took a steep increase now that the Browns gave Watson this deal.
His fifth-year option costs the Ravens $23 million.
If nothing else, the Browns forced the Ravens to open their wallet on Lamar Jackson. Things might get dicey over there. The Lamar experiment might be coming to a close #Browns
— CleWest (@erjmanlasvegas) March 29, 2022
In a couple of years, the Cincinnati Bengals will be in the same predicament with Joe Burrow.
And these deals may start with quarterbacks, but other position players will seek them also.
This contract with Watson is a groundbreaker in so many ways, many which we are not even aware of yet.