An extension is beneficial to both Lamar Jackson and the Ravens
The biggest question mark heading into the 2022 offseason for the Baltimore Ravens is the future of Lamar Jackson and whether or not he will sign a new long-term extension to keep him in Baltimore for the foreseeable future.
There isn’t much doubt that Lamar Jackson will eventually sign a huge extension with the Ravens, it’s just a matter of when it is signed. However, getting the deal done sooner rather than later could benefit both Jackson and the Ravens heading into the offseason.
If Jackson does not sign a long-term deal this offseason, he will be forced to play the 2021 season on his fifth-year option. His cap hit would be roughly $23 million, per Spotrac, although this may seem like a favorable number for the Ravens this season, it could put them in a slight predicament going forward.
Jackson’s reasoning for wanting an extension is pretty obvious — long-term security and one of the most lucrative deals in NFL history, as well as not having the burden of pursuing a new contract hanging over his head. In Jackson’s words, he gets to focus on football and nothing else.
An extension benefits both Lamar Jackson and the Ravens
Having the 2019 unanimous MVP locked up for the future would also put to bed all the rumors that the Ravens are not fully content and happy with Lamar Jackson and could opt to move on.
Most importantly, extending Jackson would allow the Ravens to start building a roster around him, with the knowledge of how much cap space they have at their disposal to help construct a championship-level team.
Extending Jackson would also allow the Ravens to cut his 2022 cap hit which would give the cap-strapped organization more financial flexibility this offseason.
Letting things play out doesn’t benefit anyone in this situation. The Ravens will remain on edge not knowing which direction they should go with regards to the future of the franchise. At the same time, Jackson won’t have long-term security if an unfortunate injury were to occur.
There is no doubt that if Jackson should reach free agency, he would be snapped up instantly for the price of his choosing. It is certainly advantageous for the Ravens to get this done as soon as possible, and both sides should look to get this wrapped up swiftly.