Ravens Make Huge Pre-Draft Splash

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A few hours before the 2023 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens said, “We’ll take that,” grabbing NFL headlines and ending a months-long saga.

Baltimore extended Lamar Jackson’s contract, affixing the former MVP to the franchise for five more years.

Ravens Make Huge Pre-Draft Splash

NFL insider Josina Anderson confirmed the Jackson extension, “One league source just told me Lamar Jackson’s contract is a 5-year deal, $260M total.”

Ravens Make Huge
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ESPN’s Adam Schefter explained the guaranteed part of the new deal, “Lamar Jackson’s five-year deal is worth $260 million, including $185 million guaranteed, per sources. On an average per year basis, it makes Jackson the NFL’s new highest-paid player.”

Jackson’s re-upping with Baltimore is a fundamental change of heart, as many believed he had played his last game with the franchise — and for good reason. On March 27th, Jackson tweeted, “I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y’all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me.”

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“Let me personally answer your questions. in regards to my future plans. As of March 2nd, 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. You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I’ll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You’ll See me again,” Jackson concluded.

And seeing him again evidently meant one month later. Jackson turned 26 in January and will now be a part of the Ravens until age 31, barring another trade request.

Jackson won the 2019 NFL MVP award but has fallen injured in back-to-back seasons, 2021 and 2022, hampering the Ravens playoff pushes. He didn’t play in a Wildcard loss to the Cincinnati Bengals three months ago and failed to qualify for the postseason in 2021 because of lingering injuries.

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But when he’s healthy, Jackson is a Top 5 quarterback, able to slice and dice defenses on the ground and through the air. Baltimore also added future Hall of Famer Odell Beckham this offseason to Jackson’s stable of weapons.

The Minnesota Vikings were briefly rumored in the Jackson trade rumor mill, but nothing materialized.

Jackson’s Ravens have won one playoff game in the last five years.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.