Jackson and Ravens to stop negotiations when NFL season starts

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is seeking a massive contract extension, but he is just not willing to let negotiations interfere with the 2022 season.

Jackson set Friday as the deadline to work out a new deal before shutting down negotiations to focus on the regular season, ESPN reported.

"As of right now, we're still talking," Jackson said after practice Wednesday. "The week isn't over yet."

The Ravens open the season by visiting the New York Jets on Sunday.

If a new contract isn’t signed in the next two days, Jackson will play the 2022 season on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, netting him $23 million.

The quarterback market has been booming this offseason, with Deshaun Watson, Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson each signing extensions with an average annual value of at least $46 million.

At 25-years-old and with an MVP award already on his mantle, Jackson could be looking for even more than that.

Jackson was unwilling to comment on whether he and the Ravens are close to a new deal.

"I have no clue," Jackson said. "You have to ask the guy who I'm talking to. You talk to the GM [Ravens' Eric DeCosta] about that."

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey and tight end Mark Andrews are among the Baltimore players who have said publicly that Jackson has kept his focus on preparing for the season and that the contract negotiations have not been a distraction.

Still, Jackson has been clear that he would like to secure his long-term future in Baltimore sooner rather than later.

"It was a pretty big risk [playing] last season. The year before," Jackson said. "I'm just playing football.

"Anything can happen. God forbid the wrong thing happens."