Thinking about Jackson’s timeline with the Ravens organization, it’s been a wild ride. Now, the Ravens’ focus should be on signing Lamar Jackson.
In 2016, Lamar Jackson won the Heisman trophy without a single WR who was a starter in the NFL. Jackson also won the MVP in 2019 with a WR corp including Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Seth Roberts, Miles Boykin, and Willie Snead. Also, Jackson is the first player in Ravens history to win the MVP award. Not only did he win MVP, but he also won it at age 22, making him the youngest player in history to win the prestigious award. Although he’s had an MVP season, he has never had an actual corp of top receivers.
Will The Ravens Tag Lamar?
Per Tom Pelissero, Baltimore Ravens plan to tag and keep quarterback Lamar Jackson, but a big trade is also possible. There have been talks of Lamar returning to the team, but both parties have difficulty agreeing to a long-term deal. Lamar has been holding out due to wanting fully guaranteed money. Both parties have until March 7th to reach a new agreement. Whether or not they come to a deal, Jackson should be in a Ravens uniform.
Lamar wants to hold out for something similar to Deshaun Watson’s 5-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns. The Ravens could tag Jackson and explore options for a trade. Suppose Baltimore places the non-exclusive franchise tag on the QB, it would be worth $32.416 million. In that case, it will allow him to negotiate a contract with another team. If the Ravens don’t match Jackson’s offer, they will get two first-round picks as compensation, and Lamar will get a new home.
Ideally, if Jackson were to play on the tag in the 2023-2024 season, the Ravens could tag him again in 2025. We’ve seen this before with Kirk Cousins, who signed a three-year, $84 million fully guaranteed deal from Minnesota in 2018. Watson also had leverage, despite allegations of sexual misconduct, because the Texans allowed him to negotiate deals with other teams.
What Does This Mean For Jackson?
Things could be looking better for Lamar if he wants a contract extension with the Ravens as of now. The QB has to go above and beyond to prove himself to the critics and the Ravens organization. The world has seen glimpses of what Jackson can do on the field, and his talent is undeniable.
Some QBs in the league have signed deals, such as Kyler Murray, Kirk Cousins, Derek Carr, and Deshaun Watson. None of those quarterbacks has accomplished the things that Lamar has in the league. Unfortunately, Jackson has yet to be signed to a long-term deal, even though he deserves it.
HC John Harbaugh said there’s a 200 percent chance of signing Jackson. Still, there are many possibilities that he’ll look elsewhere if a deal isn’t determined.
Potential Landing Spots
Lamar has a legitimate shot of going to the Atlanta Falcons; the Falcons have the second-highest cap space in the NFL with $56 million. The Falcons could include Desmond Ridder in the trade, too. Watching Lamar in Atlanta would be fun, especially as a mobile QB, reminiscent of Michael Vick.
The Las Vegas Raiders could be another potential landing spot for the QB. Even though they don’t have an O-line, the Raiders’ offense has weapons. Lamar Jackson has never had a true #1 receiver other than mister ol’ reliable himself, Mark Andrews. Lamar could take this offense to the next step.
With their QB identity woes, the New York Jets is another team who could get Jackson. Per Zack Blatt, GM Joe Douglas wants to upgrade the QB position by any means necessary (money, assets, etc.) Well, Lamar is money hungry, and he deserves it. Plus, the Jets have some offensive weapons that he could utilize especially OROY, Garrett Wilson.
This off-season should be a fun one. Who knows where Lamarvelous will land? Stay on Stadium Rant for all of your off-season news and speculation!