After much speculation about where Lamar Jackson will end up next season, Raven’s head coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta said they want Jackson to return to Baltimore.
Jackson with the Ravens
Jackson was drafted in the last pick of the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He was highly regarded for winning the Heisman Trophy in his sophomore season at Louisville. Jackson was selected the 2019 NFL MVP in his second season in the NFL. He threw for 3,127 yards, rushed for 1,206 yards and completed 36 passing touchdowns. His passer rating was elite at 113.3. Since the 2019 season, Jackson’s rating has varied, with an average passer rating of 96.7. Jackson finished his latest season with 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 59.1 QB rating. In the post season Jackson sat out in the Wild Card game against the Bengals due to a lingering knee injury. Many believe his absence resulted in the Ravens’ loss.
Jackson is reportedly looking for a fully guaranteed contract, similar to Deshaun Watson’s contract with the Cleveland Browns (5 year, $230 million). There is speculation around Jackson’s request, but the Ravens will not guarantee anything upwards of $130 million.
It is likely that the Ravens will franchise-tag Jackson (1 year, $45 million) for the 2023 season. There is also possibility that the Ravens will trade Jackson, with interest from the Atlanta Falcons.
Harbaugh and DeCosta Discuss Jackson
Harbaugh expressed his appreciation for Jackson, saying “he’s my quarterback, he’s my guy, I love him.”
DeCosta did not get specific about contract discussions with Lamar. He is choosing to keep discussions private, but also acknowledged that he is adamant that Lamar comes back for the 2023 season.
Both Harbaugh and DeCosta have stated that they have been in communication with Jackson about the future. DeCosta says the franchise is remaining optimistic about the circumstances.
Decisions to Make
While it is clear that there is uncertainty around where Jackson will end up next season, the Ravens are confident that he is their franchise quarterback. Baltimore has until March 7 to make a decision about Jackson’s and the team’s future.