How Lamar Jackson contract impacted Baltimore Ravens and Calais Campbell

Ravens, Calais Campbell Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Calais Campbell Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

The Baltimore Ravens released Calais Campbell in a move that was both shocking and expected at the same time. There was always a glimmer of hope that the Ravens and Campbell could figure things out, but those were solely on the back of the team extending Lamar Jackson.

Baltimore Ravens release Calais Campbell

The Ravens could not carry his cap hit, and sign free agents, and carry a heavy cap hit for Lamar Jackson. The reality is that on the franchise tag, the Ravens have to eat all $32M and change from the salary that Jackson has.

Most teams can restructure their quarterbacks’ salaries. So, a quarterback is always making a chunk of change, but it is never crushing a team on the salary cap. Even if the Ravens gave Lamar Jackson an extension worth over $50M per year, they could push the first-year cap hit down and push the money into future years. This would save a ton of money on the cap, and would not have them in a position to release Campbell at this point.

It is fair that Campbell could have taken an extension and also lowered his cap hit. Beyond that, where Campbell is at with his age, it is hard to say for sure that the Ravens will have a lot of interest in bringing him back.

Campbell was still at the peak of his powers when we last saw him play, but he will start falling off sooner than later, and the Ravens do not want to be stuck holding the bag if they do not have to.

The divorce may be complete, but Campbell may also test the market and come back. We are not sure yet. However, it would have been an easier decision if the team was able to extend Jackson.

Or, we would at least know exactly where the Ravens stand when it comes to how they view him on the field. Right now, we have to assume that this is just a cap decision, and they probably would have liked to keep him.

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This is not blaming Lamar Jackson or the Baltimore Ravens, but realizing that both sides not coming together will cause decisions like this.