Where will Ravens star QB Lamar Jackson end up? Only time will tell

Where will Ravens star QB Lamar go? 
(Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons)

Where will Ravens star QB Lamar go? (Courtesy / Wikimedia Commons)

Jordan Tavares, Crier Staff

The NFL offseason is in full swing. Big names such as Jalen Ramsey, Darren Waller, Derek Carr, and Jimmy Garoppolo have found new teams. While in most years these moves would be the talk of the league, there is one situation that is catching everyone’s eye. 

2019 NFL MVP Quarterback Lamar Jackson has been in contract talks with his team the Baltimore Ravens for the better part of the last year. It was reported back in September that Jackson turned down a contract extension worth up to $200 million. This immediately made people shake their heads and wondered what is going on within the Ravens organization. 

The rift between the Ravens and Jackson only grew as the 2022 season progressed. In a week 13 matchup with the Denver Broncos, Lamar suffered a PCL sprain which team doctors determined wasn’t season ending and would be dubbed as week to week. 

Other medical experts determined that this was only an injury with only a couple week timeline, therefore it wasn’t seen as a big deal. However, as the weeks went on, Jackson never returned to the team, furthering speculation of dissatisfaction between Jackson and the Ravens organization. 

While no one really knew the inner workings of Lamar’s absence, it was evident that something was wrong in terms of his relationship with the team. Whether it was a personal decision by the former MVP or the team doctors, there was great debate on whether the Ravens and or Jackson were doing the right thing in staying away from the team. 

The Ravens wound up finishing the regular season at 10-7 and went 2-3 in Jackson’s absence. All three losses were crucial divisional matchups Jackson could have easily made a difference in. 

While the Ravens still made the playoffs, they lost in heartbreaking fashion to the Cincinnati Bengals in a 24-17 game. The standout play was backup Quarterback (and now Pro Bowl QB) Tyler Huntley diving for the end zone but fumbling on the goaline, which the Bengals scooped up and took back to the other endzone for a touchdown of their own. 

It was evident that Jackson’s presence was missed and if he decided to suit up, the season would probably have ended completely differently. Which now brings us to today. Lamar Jackson was set to become a free agent, but the Ravens were determined to keep their MVP Quarterback. 

On March 7, at the franchise tag deadline, the Ravens and Jackson came to a rather interesting agreement. Jackson was put under a non-exclusive franchise tag. While he is tagged for the year and hopefully the two sides can come to some form of agreement, Jackson is free to talk to other teams and see what is out there. 

If a team were to offer Jackson a contract, the Ravens can either match that offer, or gain 2 first round picks and let Lamar walk. One thing to keep in mind throughout this whole saga is that Lamar Jackson, unlike most players, does not have an agent. 

It was reported that Jackson had recently found an agent, however, the agent was not a certified agent with the NFLPA. Therefore, Jackson cannot have his new agent. While this tension between Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens has seemed rather messy, it has gotten even uglier and messier over the last few days. 

On March 27, Lamar publicly addressed the situation on twitter. In this statement, Lamar requested a trade from the Ravens. 

In a lengthy twitter thread, Lamar stated “As of March 2, I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that’s has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl”. 

Lamar was very strategic with his timing for dropping this bomb. He posted his thread at 10:48 am. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was set to meet with the media at the NFL’s yearly league meetings at 10:45. So, as Harbaugh spoke praising Lamar and how much he wanted him around, Lamar went and made his trade request public. 

With this news now out there, it is now a matter of when and where he will end up. There have been rumors of teams like the Washington Commanders having interest. However, there is one rumor that is one to keep an eye on. It was reported by Albert Breer that rapper Meek Mill told New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft that Lamar wants to be in New England. 

Kraft responded with that it’s a Bill decision not his which is being blown up by the media. What Kraft meant was that Bill Belichick is the GM of the team, and if he wants Lamar, he’ll do whatever it takes to get him. 

But there seems to be limited interest in bringing Jackson to New England and the Patriots are committed to Quarterback Mac Jones. However, the Patriots can’t be overlooked in the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes. Only time will tell what franchise will land this team changing, matchup nightmare in Lamar and propel themselves to contender status.