Chris Canty, Domonique Foxworth and Kimberley Martin pick between Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen to be this year’s MVP. (1:32)
BALTIMORE — Von Miller wants to beat Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Sunday, but the Buffalo Bills pass-rusher says Jackson deserves a big victory off the field.
Miller said Jackson has earned a record-setting contract extension because he does whatever it takes to win games.
“And that’s why he should be the highest-paid player in the NFL, and that’s why he should have the biggest contract out of all the quarterbacks,” Miller said. “He’s done everything he can possibly do to put himself in a great situation for that.”
Miller and Jackson collide at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday (1 p.m. ET, CBS) in one of the biggest games of Week 4.
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Jackson is playing under his fifth-year option after he turned down the Ravens’ offers for an extension before the start of the regular season. The sides have suspended contract negotiations until after the season.
Betting on himself, Jackson is off to a historic start. He is the first player since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 to rank in the top five in both touchdown passes and rushing yards through the first three weeks of a season, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Jackson leads the league with 10 touchdown passes and ranks fifth with 243 rushing yards.
“Lamar is as dynamic as it gets,” Miller said. “Early on in his career, they tried to say he was just a runner. He has done nothing but prove that he’s the total package.”
Jackson turned down what league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter was an offer worth about $250 million. Sources told ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that Baltimore proposed a six-year contract believed to pay Jackson a higher average salary and more guaranteed money than deals signed this summer by Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray ($46.1 million per season, $189.5 million guaranteed) and Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson ($48.5 million per season, $161 million guaranteed).
But Jackson’s wish was for a fully guaranteed deal, similar to Deshaun Watson’s record-setting $230 million, fully guaranteed contract, sources told Schefter.
Without an extension, Jackson doesn’t have any guaranteed money beyond his $23.016 million base salary for this season.
“Trust me, it’s a tough situation to be in [and] to not have anything promised and you go out there and you’re one of the fastest and most dynamic players in the world and everybody’s gunning for you,” Miller said. “Hats off to him. He’s handled it with respect. He’s really put it off to the side and not make it a distraction with his teammates. He’s done everything the right way. He’s not holding out and letting it bleed all to the media.”
Jackson became the first player in NFL history to record back-to-back games with at least three touchdown passes and 100 yards rushing. He is first in the league in passer rating (119) and rushing average (9.35 yards per carry).
Asked if he’s ever played better than what he’s doing now, Jackson said, “I don’t know. It’s too early right now. It’s only three games in.”
Jackson said he appreciates the outside praise but tries to block it out.
“I play ball — that’s all,” Jackson said. “I don’t feed into it, because they were just saying what they were saying. I’m still hungry about that, since the beginning of the season.”