The Baltimore Ravens finished last in the AFC North. They crashed and burned big time while Lamar Jackson battled injuries, losing six straight games to finish their season. With the emergence of the Cincinnati Bengals in their division, they need to get it together this offseason
Despite having a shaky season, Jackson earned a Pro Bowl nod. In 12 starts this season, he threw for 2,882 yards and 16 touchdowns while rushing for 767 yards and two touchdowns. He did, though, throw 13 interceptions and fumble six times. Still, the 25-year-old’s talent is undeniable and he will be an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming season.
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta called the negotiations with Jackson “unusual” and added that they will operate at Jackson’s pace. What makes the negotiations more interesting is the fact that Jackson represents himself.
Eric DeCosta on Lamar Jackson contract talks: "This is an unusual negotiation, because I've been dealing with the player. For me to talk about any specifics would be prohibitive."
DeCosta said he's spoken to Jackson five or six times over the past year about his contract.
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) February 4, 2022
DeCosta on Lamar Jackson extension talks: "We're working at Lamar's pace. He's comfortable with where we are now. … We will operate based on his urgency. That's basically where we stand." #Ravens
— Luke Jones (@BaltimoreLuke) February 4, 2022
The Ravens’ success hinges on Jackson moving forward. Despite not having a superb cast around him (save for tight end Mark Andrews) he can lead a good offense. Baltimore needs to find more sure-handed receivers and fortify their offensive line in order to get back to dominating the league.
The 2019 MVP is still among the best quarterbacks in the league. With a bounceback year, he can solidify himself a massive payday. Tom Brady stated that Jackson has next and he has the talent to prove it. But the Ravens will have to keep him in-house and give him the necessary supporting cast to do so.