Jonah Jackson is now one of three Detroit Lions left from the final draft of the "Quinntricia" regime, and by the time training camp is done he may be the only one left from that 2020 draft class. The former third-round pick has quickly become a mainstay on a good offensive line, starting 45 games in three seasons.
Being a third-round pick in 2020 also means Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie contract. With a Pro Bowl selection on his resume (2021), and solid play overall, he's in line for a nice second contract. For his part, Jackson said he wants to spend his entire career as a Lion.
But as some other key players (Amon-Ra St. Brown, Penei Sewell) move closer to second contracts of their own, the Lions will have some difficult decisions to make on who to pay and who not to. This offseason's contract extension talk has centered around Jared Goff.
Spotrac does not have a market value projection for Jackson right now. But Christian Booher of SI.com took a stab at projecting what his extension might look like.
Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom is the top of the market among guards, with his five-year, $105 million deal. Booher, obviously, came in below that with a projection for Jackson.
"While his production isn't exactly to the level of matching Lindstrom's extension, he should command a hefty extension somewhere in the range of four years, $75 million. "
Contract extension for Jonah Jackson advanced as a priority for the Detroit Lions
In his recent piece suggesting one last offseason move for all 32 NFL teams, ESPN's Field Yates (subscription required) had a case for extending Jackson as the move for the Lions.
"An unmistakable part of the Lions’ offensive identity is their nasty offensive line, with Jackson as a key cog in that operation,” “He is extension-eligible for the first time in his career this offseason and would seem a prime candidate for Detroit to reinvest in."
The urgency to get Jackson signed to an extension is simply different than doing the same for Goff, with one year left on his contract vs. two left for Goff. One or both could get done sometime soon, Keeping Jackson in the fold for years to come will ultimately come down to how much the Lions value their left guard, and broader continuity along the offensive line beyond 2023.