Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is the highest-paid player in NFL history — and he calls his mother, Felicia Jones, the “superhero,” who inspired his success.
Jones, a single mother, served as Jackson’s manager since he was drafted into the NFL in 2018 and have trained together and prepared for Jackson’s football career since he was a child growing up in Pompano, Beach, Florida. In 2023, the twosome negotiated Jackson’s record-setting 5-year $260 million contract with the Ravens while reupping his contract.
Keep scrolling to get to know Jones:
How Did Felicia Jones Train Lamar Jackson to Become a Football Star?
In an interview with The Players Tribune in November 2016, Jackson said that Jones was his first football coach and his best coach.
“I’m not saying that just because she looked out for me and encouraged me to pursue football and all that stuff. I mean she actually made me grind to get better,” he said. “I grew up in a town called Pompano Beach, and there was a big bridge by our house. My Mom and I would run on it just about every day. Didn’t matter how hot it was. We’d go back and forth, and then back and forth again. And let me tell you, Mom was in shape! I’ve never played in a football game that was more tiring than those long runs on that bridge.”
He continued, “After we ran, we’d go into our backyard, put on equipment and start hitting — me, my younger brother and my mom. Now she was never like trying to put a lick on us or anything, but we’d all run through drills together.We bonded that way. Thinking back on it, imagining my mini self in a three-point stance blocking Mom, it’s kind of hilarious. But she knew what she was doing. She had a vision for my football career even before I did.”
How Was Felicia Jones Involved in Lamar Jackson’s Record-Setting $260 Million Contract?
After winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016 at the University of Louisville, Jackson decided not to be represented in the NFL draft by an agent. Instead, he chose his mother as his manager and together they negotiated his first contract.
Jackson was chosen by the Baltimore Ravens in the first round of the draft and his mom was instrumental in getting her son a four-year, $9.5 million deal as a rookie.
In May 2023, Jackson signed the largest contract in NFL history: $260 million over five years with the assistance of his mother.
Former Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy praised the Ravens quarterback’s mother for making history.
“I got to give a big shout-out to Action Jackson’s mother, Mama Jackson. I want to say congratulations to you also., he told Sportskedda.com at the time. “You’re in a male-dominated sport as an agent, and she did her thing. Everybody kept saying, ‘Oh, he needs a real agent, he needs this, he needs that.’ No, he don’t.”
“He trusted his mom. He trusted his ability, his talent, and he got a deal done,” McCoy continued. “So all those people out there to say he needs a real agent, he got a real agent and a real agent got the job done. So, Mama Jackson, congratulations to you also.”
How Did Lamar Jackson Reward Felicia Jones After He Became the NFL’s Highest-Paid Player?
When Jackson was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018, he told Denver 9News he did not hire an agent because he did not want them to “take a cut of my paycheck and I feel I deserve it.”
When he signed his $260 million contract in 2023, he avoided paying a 3 percent commission to his agent. Jackson showed his appreciation to his mother by awarding her that 3 percent fee, amounting to $7.8 million.
How Did Felicia Jones Inspire Lamar Jackson to Get His Grades Up?
Jackson was a standout quarterback at Boynton Beach High School in Boynton Beach, Florida. However, he had academic problems. When his GPA dropped to 1.5, he was not allowed to play in tenth grade and was forced to focus on his studies.
The star athlete remembered that his mother refused to allow his football skills to diminish because he wasn’t playing.
“She would tell me, you’re going to train like you’re playing and I used to hate it,” he said in December 2016 after winning the Heisman Trophy. “I used to tell her I don’t want to train today, so I owe it all to her.”
During his acceptance speech, he told his mother, “I love you so much,” adding, “All my achievements are due to her.”
How Did Felicia Jones Prepare Lamar Jackson for the Future After His Dad’s Death?
Lamar’s father, Lamar Jackson Sr., died from a heart attack when he was 8 years old — the same day his grandma passed away. Years later, Lamar remembered how as a single mother, Jones never complained and never asked for help in raising him, his younger brother and two younger sisters.
“If she can do that, I can do anything,” Lamar said during an NFL press conference in May 2023. “This woman’s a superhero to me.”
When he won the Heisman, Jackson recalled what his mother told him when his father and grandmother died.
“Losing my father and my grandma on the same day. It hurt me. I wanted to cry real bad, but my mom was the real soldier, because I was going to be the baby, the female that day. But she told me, ‘Lamar do not cry,’ and I’ll remember that for the rest of my life. So every time when certain things don’t go my way, or this and that don’t happen, I just own up to it and be a man about the situation,” he said.