The Baltimore Ravens and linebacker Roquan Smith have reached an agreement on a five-year extension of Smith's current deal, which has resulted in a new pay record for a linebacker in the National Football League.
A five-year contract for $100 million (£82.2 million) has been agreed upon between the Baltimore Ravens and Smith. As a result of this agreement, the linebacker will become the first player in his position to ever earn $20 million (£16.45 million) each season.
As a result of the transaction, entire guarantees for $45 million (£49.5 million) and full guarantees up to $45 million (£37 million) have been assured.
It is thought that Smith represented himself for the whole of the bargaining process, and as a result, the Ravens may at least rest concerning one of their big talents going ahead.
However, questions continue to be asked about the future of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who, according to one scenario, may retire after the current season.
Jackson made a significant decision earlier in the current season when he decided against signing a five-year, $250 million (£208.5 million) contract with the Ravens. Under the terms of the pact, he would have received a guaranteed $133 million (£111 million).
It is said that Jackson was on the fence about committing to the Ravens while the team was having a tough time at the time. The quarterback may have believed that he could provide more value to the organization.
When taking into consideration the amount that DeShaun Watson was given when signing with the Cleveland Browns in March, his demands are somewhat justifiable. Watson signed a fully guaranteed, five-year, $230 million (£189 million) deal, making it the largest contract and most guaranteed money in the history of the NFL at the time. His deal was also the most expensive.
Although Jackson had injury issues during the season, the Ravens concluded the regular season with a record of 10-7. Tyler Huntley had a significant role in the team's success. Jackson is in a race to be ready for their playoff fight against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but any week now has the potential to be his last game. The contest is set to take place in Cincinnati.
The Ravens have the power to put off further discussions, giving them additional time to re-sign the player who was originally selected in the first round of the draft. There is a good chance that they will make a new proposal, but Jackson has made it quite clear to the organization that they are aware of the value he places on himself.
John Harbaugh, the head coach of the team, has lately been quoted as saying the following about Jackson: "You are aware of my feelings for Lamar. Everything about Lamar appeals to my senses. Always have, and always will go on having."
However, he does not have control over the decision, and supporters of the Baltimore Ravens will have a tense offseason as they wait to see whether or not Jackson will still be a part of the organization when the new season begins. After the Smith trade, the Ravens have shown that they are eager to make a deal, but other clubs will be monitoring the situation.