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Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens reach record-breaking deal

<i>Patrick Smith/Getty Images</i><br/>The 26-year-old has played for the Ravens since he was drafted in 2018.
Getty Images
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The 26-year-old has played for the Ravens since he was drafted in 2018.

By Jacob Lev and Thomas Schlachter, CNN

On an evening dedicated to selecting the best new talent to play in the NFL, it turned out to be a player drafted in 2018 who made all the headlines on Draft Night.

The NFL’s 2019 MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens agreed in principle to a new five-year contract extension, the team announced on Thursday.

The new five-year contract between quarterback Jackson and the Ravens is valued at $260 million, making him the highest-paid player in the league, according to multiple reports.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to break the news.

According to the reports, the deal includes $185 million guaranteed.

Earlier this month, Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a new extension for $255 million, according to reports. At the time, that made the 24-year-old quarterback the highest-paid player.

CNN has reached out to the Ravens for comment.

In a video posted via the Ravens‘ official Twitter account, the quarterback said: “You know for the last few months, there’s been a lot of he said, she said.

“Lot of nail-biting, lot of head scratching going on but for the next five years, there’s a lot of flock going on! Let’s go baby. Let’s go. Let’s go man. Can’t wait to be there. Can’t wait to light up M&T (Bank Stadium) for the next five years. Let’s get it.”

In March, Jackson requested a trade from the Ravens after the team applied the non-exclusive franchise tag on the quarterback after failing to come to terms on a long-term contract over the last two years.

Last season, the 26-year-old threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and ran for 764 yards along with three touchdowns in 12 games played.

This year the Ravens offense will also be boosted by the pickup of Odell Beckham Jr. and the No. 22 pick in the 2023 draft, Zay Flowers.

These two wide receivers will provide Jackson with bags of speed in an offense led by the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Speaking to the Ravens after he was picked, Flowers seemed excited by the prospect of linking up with Jackson.

“I knew if I got to 22, I knew I was going to be a Raven,” Flowers said. “We’re just going to make every team that didn’t pick me pay for it.

“When I saw him [Jackson] sign that, I was like, ‘Oh, if I go there, it’s going to be a lot of trouble.’ Now we’re double juiced up.”

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