nfl

Roquan Smith got paid. Now it's Lamar Jackson's turn!


Author: Kate MagdziukPublished: 01/10/23

GET SPORTS STORIES WITH A BETTING TWIST FROM THE PEOPLE'S PLAYBOOK.

Sent twice weekly so you can stay on top of what’s good in sports.

The Ravens and LB Roquan Smith agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract extension, Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday. The team acquired Smith from the Chicago Bears prior to the 2022 NFL trade deadline in exchange for a 2023 second and fifth-round pick, and he now becomes the fifth most highly paid linebacker in the NFL.

What does that investment mean for QB Lamar Jackson, though, as he seeks a long-term deal with Baltimore?

In short, it shouldn't mean too much as Jackson seeks a monster extension of his own. Spotrac projects the Ravens with just over $48.8 million in available cap space in the 2023 season (fifth-most among NFL teams) and another $128.3 million in 2024 (eighth-most).

Why should we feel like there's enough money to go around? Simply put, there's just not a ton of money tied up in the offense moving forward. Left tackle Ronnie Stanley is the team's highest-paid player on offense ($19.75 million per year), followed by TE Mark Andrews ($14 million). There's not much else after that can't be tinkered with to make room, if necessary.

Essentially, they've built the foundation of their team with studs on defense, drafted well, and utilized offensive skill players on rookie deals to fill in the rest. It's been an effective method for saving up money to pay your star quarterback. The only question is — can Jackson prove he's worth it?

He's struggled to stay healthy over the last two seasons, which could cost him when it comes to negotiating his second contract. However, should he be able to play this postseason, he could just lead the Ravens to the Promised Land (of the Lombardi) just in time to snag a monster contract.

Lamar Jackson isn't the only AFC North quarterback in line for a big payday this offseason. Click to read 5 reasons the Bengals need to pay Joe Burrow ASAP.

Now wager on the Ravens vs. Bengals AFC North showdown in the Wild Card round with Gaming Society's Bet Club!

Test your knowledge with our predictor game — Bet Club! Wager on real NFL odds with tokens instead of cash. Play risk-free, practice your betting skills, and climb the leaderboard by making accurate picks to win real prizes.

Or, if you're ready to graduate to the sportsbooks, bet on the game with FanDuel!

(Photo by Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)


MORE FROM nfl

background
Nfl

Philly’s wideouts could have a day against the 49ers

background
Nfl

I wish I could quit you, Trenton Irwin anytime touchdown prop bet

background
Nfl

My new favorite reason to root for the Eagles

background
Nfl

Bengals vs. Bills: Josh Allen’s legacy game?