Could Lamar Jackson Be the First Billion Dollar Man in the NFL?

The player most-responsible for winning managers their respective fantasy football league titles is… Lamar Jackson. If that isn’t a convincing intro into why Lamar Jackson could be the first billion dollar man in NFL history, what is? The Baltimore Ravens quarterback burst into superstardom during the 2019 season and there’s no reason to think he’s slowing down anytime soon. Before we get into the business of being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, let’s take a look at some of the ridiculous stats/records Jackson put up during the 2019 regular season while leading the Ravens to the NFL’s best record.

  • Quarterback Rushing Yards – Jackson set the single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,206 rushing yards surpassing Michael Vick’s previous high of 1,039.
  • Quarterback Rushing TDs – Jackson set the Ravens franchise record for rushing TDs with seven. This beat his previous high of 5 in 2018 and was more than the Jets and Jaguars and the same as the Lions and Steelers. (That’s the entire team by the way)
  • Dual Threat QB – Jackson was the first quarterback in NFL history to have over 3,000 yards passing and 1,000 yards rushing in a single season. He’s also the first quarterback in NFL history to have 1,000-plus rushing yards and 30 touchdowns.
  • Record Setting Pace – The Ravens signal caller is the only quarterback in NFL history to amass over 3,000 yards passing and 1,500 yards rushing in his first two seasons in the league.
  • Touchdown Machine – Jackson threw for a touchdown on 9% on his attempts. This was the highest rate in the NFL and a Ravens record. His 36 touchdown passes were the most in the NFL in 2019 and 6 more than the Ravens previous record.

By now you get the picture that the second year quarterback is nothing short of a phenom. He’s been branded as a new bread of quarterback that takes his ability to run and throw to an entirely new level. There’s always a question if a quarterback can stay healthy, especially a mobile one like Jackson. If Lamar does, he has a chance to be the NFL’s first billion dollar man.

Inside the Numbers – Salary

The NFL has seen it’s player salaries balloon in the past couple years. This is largely due to the success of the league as a whole, but NFL superstars are raking in the big bucks. Let’s look at Tom Brady as an example. In his 20-year career he’s banked $200 million dollars in contract money. Brady is an anomaly because of his longevity and ability to stay healthy, but he’s also anomaly in that he’s restructured his deal many times and taken LESS money to help the team. The projections on this are Brady has probably sacrificed close to $60 million in salary throughout the life of his career. Let’s take it a step further in that Brady isn’t even in the top 10 of player salaries in the NFL of late and due to rising salaries players like Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan, who have played far less than Brady, have earned more total salary dollars in their career.

Today’s going market for the best of the best in NFL quarterbacks is approximately $30-$35 million per year. Russell Wilson, the league’s highest paid player, is under a 4-year, $140 million contract. Even Jared Goff, who threw a lame 22 TDs this year, makes $33 million a year. His contract is 4 years at $134 million with $100 million guaranteed. Right now, Lamar Jackson is 22-years old and essentially on a year-to-year deal that pays him $18.4 million a year. He has incentives that kick in that’ll add another $10 million, but for sure the Ravens will be in the market to lock him up to a long term deal. Without question Jackson will be looking at top-QB money, which could very well mean a contract of close to $200 million. Going back to the longevity piece, if Jackson, at 22, can piece together 3-4 contracts of that nature over the course of a 10-plus year career he’ll be on his way to hitting that billion dollar number.

There’s one other small tidbit you need to know about Lamar Jackson’s financial future. He doesn’t have an agent and keeps it all in the family. It’s a remarkable situation that has the NFL poised for a dynamic change, but also keeps an extra 5% or so in his pocket!

Endorsements

This is where it’s going to get fun. Through his second year in the league, Lamar Jackson doesn’t have any major endorsements. Marketers have been watching very closely on how Jackson conducts himself on the field and he’s being dubbed the “perfect pitch guy“. That inevitably means that Nike, Under Armour, Gatorade et. all are going to be lined up to sign the Ravens QB and pay a hefty price for his “pitch services”. Russell Wilson, who we use as the pinnacle of earnings in the NFL as a comparison signed a long-term deal with Nike and the terms were not disclosed. It’s easy to think this deal is close to $100 million over several years. It’s also easy to think that Lamar Jackson is set-up for a similar deal and you can also tack on some other brands as well. The salary plus endorsements alone put him on the doorstep of a billion.

Personal Business Ventures

With regards to Lamar Jackson’s personal business future, this is where we can only speculate. It’s hard to count this on his journey to a billion because more athletes fail in this arena that succeed. However, if done right it could trump his salary earnings long-term. The bottom line here is that Lamar Jackson has a platform to build a personal business worth 9-figures itself. If he follows the right playbook of his predecessors, the guy who is dubbed as the “perfect pitch guy” and is also building a monstrous fan-base can build something personally that will be invaluable. Let’s just hope he does it right.

The Journey to a Billion

There’s no doubt that Lamar Jackson has the world at his fingertips. His monster 2019 season has put him among the NFL elite and there’s no reason to think that he won’t be considered the best quarterback in the NFL. With the playoffs around the corner, Jackson also has an opportunity to be the youngest ever Super Bowl winning QB (Ben Roethlisberger was 23). Even if he doesn’t win this year, he’ll have plenty of more chances on his way to tres commas.


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