The Baltimore Ravens have been mum on a contract extension for the dynamic dual-threat from Louisville, Lamar Jackson. This lull in negotiations on a lucrative long-term extension can be seen as a surprise, considering what Jackson has meant to the franchise the last three seasons as the starting quarterback.
You have to believe there’s no way Jackson steps on the gridiron without a new deal secured. The situation got NFL insider Adam Schefter throwing flags when the subject came up during his appearance on the “Ari Meirov Show” this past Tuesday. The veteran ESPN reporter cautioned Lamar Jackson about suiting up this fall.
Hell ya🚀🚀 https://t.co/9rN7Cst7LH
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) February 16, 2022
“If I were Lamar Jackson, it would be my offseason priority to make sure that I don’t step foot on a football field again until I have one of those lucrative contracts that puts me in line with these higher-paid quarterbacks in the league. …
“Lamar is his own agent. If I’m my own agent, I’m making sure that my deal gets done, especially with the way he plays … I’d be real leery about stepping on a football field until my deal is done.”
He shouldn’t have played last year without a deal.. https://t.co/4V3PQSTBlA
— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) February 24, 2022
Jackson’s Style Of Play Could Be A Hiccup In Lucrative Deal: Nagging Injuries Are Beginning To Mount
There’s no doubt Jackson has been dynamic for the Ravens, winning the 2019 NFL MVP and becoming just the second unanimous MVP in league history. He’s accounted for 63 percent of the team’s offense in his three seasons as the starter. His first two years as starter he led the team to playoff berths and home field advantage with a 14-2 record in 2019.
This past season he was 8-3 before a janky ankle sent the season into a tailspin. Some believe Jackson shouldn’t have played this past season without a new deal in place.
This Lamar Jackson to Mark Andrews connection is still absolutely bonkers pic.twitter.com/gpZYl8qgkd
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) February 23, 2022
Jackson’s Playoff Struggles Come Into Play When Talking Lucrative Deal: Are The Ravens On The Fence?
As great as Jackson has been in the regular season, that hasn’t been the case in the postseason. Jackson’s lack of consistency in the passing game has reared its ugly head in the four playoff games he’s played in. He’s got a 1-3 record in those games, with home losses to the Chargers and Titans and a road loss to the Bills. The Ravens trailed early in each of the losses, and Jackson couldn’t bring them back with his arm.
— Hudl (@Hudl) September 30, 2021
Jackson’s Passing Has Regressed: Needs Development & Better Passing Game Concepts
In 2019, Jackson led the league with 36 touchdown passes and just six interceptions. That number dipped to 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions in 2020. The numbers took an even bigger nosedive in 2021 with just 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
Not exactly numbers that make a team want to give you that $40 million per year bag you’re seeking. But again, it’s not all on Jackson as the offensive scheme and passing game concepts aren’t conducive to his development and his specific needs as a passer. But he still needs to show better than this past season’s numbers.
— NFL (@NFL) January 9, 2019
Ravens Need A Byron Leftwich/Eric Bieniemy Type
Jackson’s down season has possibly made the numbers of the deal a little trickier, but there’s no way the Ravens don’t extend their franchise player. Passing numbers aside, he’s carried the Ravens since he was given the keys in late 2018-2019.
Now it’s up to them to first pay him and then put him around some upgraded coaching minds. That may mean parting ways with offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who isn’t known for developing QBs as passers.
He can design the hell out of a running game but has never been a great developer of signal callers. Just ask Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Smith became a much better passer under Andy Reid, while CK7, a dynamic player at the position, never really became a great passer. Sort of like what we’re witnessing with LJ8.
LAMAR. JACKSON. @Lj_Era8 TO THE HOUSE ‼️‼️
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) November 10, 2019
Jackson being his own agent will probably affect how much we hear about a deal. No need to posture for public support when you’re doing your own negotiating. But the expectancy has to be that one gets done so that Jackson protects himself heading into the 2022-23 season. Franchise QBs don’t usually get to the fifth and final year of their deal before an extension is given.
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