What’s Up with Lamar Jackson?

It’s the end of the NFL regular season and the star quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, Lamar Jackson still has not come to a deal with a new contract.

Jackson again proved himself this season as a top quarterback with 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns, leading the Ravens to an 8-4 record before he was injured against the Broncos. Since, the Ravens have gone 2-3 and ended up making the playoffs with a 10-7 record with backup quarterback Tyler Huntley leading the charge to contention.Β 

Many fans and other spectators speculated that Jackson didn’t get the fully guaranteed contract with more money than he asked for rather than the $250 million with $133 million guaranteed at signing the contract because he was injury prone. The argument was that if Lamar could stay healthy this season and prove that he was worth spending more money for, he would most likely get the contract he wanted at the end of the season. Their greatest fears came true when Jackson went down with an injury in week 13 against the Denver Broncos.

To many, this didn’t come as a surprise as Lamar has been injured every season since 2020, and these last two seasons, he has missed the last handful of games ending the regular season. In these last two seasons, Tyler Huntley has come in and proved himself to be a decent backup quarterback, but nowhere near enough to take the position, and impact Jackson has on the team. Throughout the seasons, it has been shown time and time again that the Baltimore Ravens are a much worse team without Lamar Jackson at quarterback.

In 2021, the Baltimore Ravens started great with an 8-3 record, becoming the #3 seed in the AFC with Jackson spearheading at quarterback. Once Jackson got injured with an ankle sprain, the Ravens lost the rest of their games and finished the season 8-9. This 2022-23 season, Jackon was healthy and the Ravens were the #3 seed in the AFC with an 8-4 record. But again, Jackson got injured with a reported knee sprain, and the Ravens lost half their games, falling to 10-6. Overall, the Baltimore Ravens are a much better team than Jackson.

This was proven when last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals in the wild-card round of the playoffs, the Baltimore Ravens lost 24-17 to be eliminated from the playoffs. Starting quarterback Tyler Huntley threw for 226 passing cards on 17/29 completions, with an early game interception. That interception wasn’t his only costly mistake as when the game was nearing its end the game was 17-17, and Huntley fumbled at the goal line. The ball was then scooped up and returned by Sam Hubbard on a playoff record-breaking fumble return of 98 yards for a touchdown. This score made the game 24-17 and gave the Bengals the win.

Now that their season is over, the Baltimore Ravens have to decide whether they should reoffer Jackson a contract that fulfills his needs. Just before their game against the Bengals, the Ravens signed LB Roquan Smith to aΒ $100,000,000 contract, making him the highest-paid off-ball linebacker in the NFL. Due to this being a big spend, many believe for the upcoming season either Jackson will not be playing for Baltimore, or he will be franchise tagged for the upcoming season.Β 

This news, with Jackson’s injury history, led many to believe that Jackson will not be on the Ravens for the upcoming season. After news that the New York Jets were β€œmonitoring” a trade for Jackson, Jets fans and retirees have been pressing the matter on social media. The Jets have a good, young offensive core with Garrett Wilson and Breece Hall, that would complement Jackson’s game and would most likely propel them to go farther in the postseason for the upcoming season.

But, recently, head coach John Harbaugh said in a press conference, β€œLamar Jackson is our quarterback, he’s been our quarterback… [the team] is based on his ability and competitiveness.” Harbaugh also claims he is 200 percent confident that Jackson will stay with the Ravens. Another claim Harbaugh made is that he, general manager Eric Decosta, and majority owner Steve Bisciotti, have claimed they all want Jackson back next season.

These statements cleared up speculation of many football fans and players alike and made it obvious for many that Jackson will likely be with the Ravens next season.

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