Will he stay or will he go? Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s future continues to be a minefield for rumors and speculation in 2023.
Jackson is currently playing out the last year of his rookie contract and will presumably resume extension talks with Baltimore this offseason. Last September, Jackson reportedly rejected a contract with over $130 million in guarantees, a deal worth more than what Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray or Denver Broncos’ Russell Wilson received earlier that year.
He may be looking for a contract in the same ballpark as Deshaun Watson’s mega-deal, though it’s difficult to justify any quarterback receiving $230 million in guaranteed money in the modern NFL.
Bleacher Report’s Zach Buckley recently predicted where the top free agents will end up in 2023 and had Jackson working things out in Baltimore:
"[Jackson] is, essentially, a functional offense on his own, leading a Baltimore attack that severely lacks playmakers around him. He’s a good enough passer to elevate lesser receivers and an electric runner who can routinely create something out of nothing.If the Ravens can’t get a long-term deal done, they can always use the franchise tag to keep him around, but it’s in their best interest—and his—to get a lengthy agreement ironed out."
Lamar Jackson predicted to sign five-year contract in 2023, will stay with Ravens
While Buckley doesn’t go into the nitty gritty details of Jackson’s future extension, seeing him stay with the Ravens’ franchise feels like a fairly reasonable bet.
In 2022, the Ravens haven’t been the Ravens without him — ever since Jackson got injured in Week 13, they haven’t scored more than 20 points since the Jaguars game and were dealt tough losses against the Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers.
Once considered a serious Super Bowl contender, the Ravens have fallen far down the pedestal among the AFC wild cards, mixed in with the inconsistent Miami Dolphins and cursed Los Angeles Chargers.
Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley can’t fully be blamed for the Ravens’ recent decline as offensive coordinator Greg Roman has made several questionable calls in the last few weeks. The defense remains elite as ever, but the offense has struggled in all categories across the board and sorely needs the return of their 2019 league MVP.
There will be a lot of quarterback-needy teams in 2023, but expect the Ravens to try their best to hold onto Lamar Jackson for the foreseeable future.