Lamar Jackson Did It His Way, So You Can Apologize to Him Now

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Lamar and his mom are laughing all the way to the bank.

Only a few short hours before Thursday night’s NFL Draft, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens stole football headlines by announcing the two had reached an agreement on a new deal for their star QB.

The parties agreed to a five-year $260 million deal with $185 million guaranteed. That means that Jackson is now the highest-paid player in league history ($52 million per year), eclipsing the five-year, $255 million history-making deal that Jalen Hurts signed only last week ($179 million guaranteed; $51 million per year).

Jackson’s deal stunned the NFL community, particularly because it happened as everyone waited anxiously for the Draft.

To truly understand the significance of the moment, you must go back five years to the 2018 NFL Draft, where we first witnessed the doubt that shrouded both Lamar’s successful past and what would become an extremely bright future.

As a three-year starter for the Cardinals, Lamar was a star who improved each season. 

In his freshman year in 2015, he threw for 1,840 yards with 12 TDs and 8 INTs while rushing for 960 yards and 11 TDs. The next year he threw for 3,543 yards with 30 TDs and 9 INTs and had 1,571 yards rushing and 21 TDs. In his final season with the team, he amassed 3,660 passing yards, 27 TDs and 10 INTs while rushing for 1,601 yards and 18 TDs.

He won multiple conference and national awards, including the 2016 and 2017 ACC Player of the Year, the 2016 Walter Camp Player of the Year Award and the 2016 Heisman Trophy. He also led the conference and nation in multiple categories during his final two years.

Yet despite the accolades and on-field performance, many doubted whether he could be an NFL quarterback. That included former Colts’ GM Bill Polian who infamously disrespected Lamar to the highest degree.

“Short and a little bit slight,” said Polian at the time. “Clearly, clearly not the thrower that the other guys are. The accuracy isn’t there.”

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