The 2022 season is officially underway which means any conversations regarding Lamar Jackson and his ongoing contract negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens should be over for the time being. Right?
Perhaps not quite.
Former All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman recently spoke about Jackson’s contract situation and was firmly on the side of the former MVP.
Sherman believes that Jackson was right to turn down the Ravens’ final offer before his contract deadline, a six-year deal reportedly worth $290 million with $133 million guaranteed.
He took it one step further too. Sherman believes that Jackson should hold out from the team next summer if the Ravens place the franchise tag on him. He wants Jackson to put as much pressure on the Ravens as possible.
"“The distraction that it will be for the Baltimore Ravens when their starting quarterback doesn’t show up for training camp and can’t get punished, might show up Week 1 out of shape on purpose? You all might want to pay the man and stop pissing him off.”"
The Ravens have a very important decision to make regarding Lamar Jackson next offseason
It’s impossible to predict what the Ravens will do with Lamar Jackson next offseason without seeing how the coming months unfold first. That said, a franchise tag does feel like a reasonable short-term solution.
If Jackson is dead set on receiving a fully-guaranteed contract akin to what Deshaun Watson was given by the Cleveland Browns, it’s hard to imagine this situation being resolved this offseason.
The Ravens are highly unlikely to give Jackson the fully-guaranteed deal he’s seeking, even if he bounces back and returns to his 2019 MVP form. It’s just not the way general manager Eric DeCosta and the Ravens’ front office operates.
The franchise tag allows them to have team control, although it would come at the cost of a hefty financial burden, not to mention potentially upsetting their star quarterback. That’s a situation the Ravens would like to avoid, but it might not be possible.
If Jackson takes Sherman’s advice and puts additional pressure on the Ravens, things could get ugly.
Right now, that’s still a few months away. Jackson and the Ravens remain focused on the 2022 season ad returning to the playoffs after a disappointing, injury-riddled 2021 campaign.
But it’s hard to shake the persistent feeling of uncertainty surrounding Lamar Jackson’s future in Baltimore.