When Deshaun Watson was traded to the Browns, they essentially rewarded him with a five-year, $230 million deal that was fully guaranteed.
Steve Bisciotti is like many league executives who are not fans of that deal at all. The Baltimore Ravens owner, speaking at the annual league meeting on Tuesday, was openly critical of the Browns’ decision to give Watson that massive deal.
“It’s like, ‘damn, I wish they hadn’t guaranteed the whole contract,’” Bisciotti said, via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. “I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract.
“To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to play that game, you know? We shall see.”
Bisciotti’s comments follow CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora’s report that the rest of the NFL is not happy with the precedent the Browns may have set with the contract as it relates to the quarterback market moving forward.
Watson’s deal may complicate matters for Bisciotti’s club when it comes to Lamar Jackson’s contract situation. When asked about Jackson’s contract, Bisciotti reiterated that Jackson does not appear to be in a hurry to discuss a new deal.
The former league MVP is currently set to make just over $23 million this season after the Ravens picked up his fifth-year option last offseason.
“We’ll pay him when he’s ready,” Bisciotti said of Jackson, who last season was selected to his second Pro Bowl despite missing the season’s final five games with an ankle injury. “Without a QB you believe in, life (stinks) as an NFL owner and as a fan base. … We appreciate (Lamar). All I know is that his teammates love him and the front office loves him.”
If the Ravens fail to secure a long-term deal with Jackson, the franchise can tag the two-time Pro Bowler in ’23.