A few days ago, fans were finally able to take a look at the official 2023 NFL schedule. After a few days of prolonging, the moment had arrived, and the Baltimore Ravens found out they were going to open the year against the Houston Texans, at home, in Week 1.
In a game that could wind up being rookie C.J. Stroud's first career start with the Texans, he'll face off against a veteran and former MVP who has paved the way for young, athletic, mobile quarterbacks such as himself: Lamar Jackson.
Speaking of Jackson and the schedule release, it turns out that one of the reasons why it was delayed a little bit had to do with the Ravens' contract situation with their star quarterback.
Jackson wasn't alone in being a reason why the schedule took longer to become official, though.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, along with new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, aided in delaying the 2023 NFL schedule release
So it was not just Jackson, but also New York Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers, formerly of the Green Bay Packers, who were partially responsible for the schedule taking longer to set in stone.
Obviously, Jackson's contract situation had been going on for almost a couple of months right before it got squared away on draft day. Originally slapped with the transition tag, Jackson didn't seem to like the idea of playing on the one-year deal, and wanted a long-term contract.
Once Jalen Hurts and the Philadelphia Eagles announced their agreement on a massive extension, the pressure was on Baltimore to get one done for Jackson.
Meanwhile, in New York, the Jets were unwilling to give up what the Packers wanted in exchange for Rodgers -- until they were, indeed, willing. The Packers got what they desired, and the Jets went all-in on a Super Bowl this season by landing the former MVP.
Now that two of the biggest offseason stories are over with, and the draft and first wave of free agency are in the rear view, we can start analyzing the official schedule with more merit. Will the Ravens end this coming year over or under their win total set at 9.5?
So long as Jackson is healthy and under center, my money is on the over. Here's to hoping the next three months fly by