How will the Lamar Jackson saga end this offseason? One NFL insider thinks it could be resolved on an anti-climactic note.
The Lamar Jackson contract standoff with the Baltimore Ravens arguably boiled over following Jackson’s surprise letter to his fans on social media, yet there’s a realistic way everything ends amicably.
Relatively amicably, that is. Jackson still hasn’t received any serious offers from other NFL teams after voicing his public desire to be traded out of Baltimore, and at least one NFL insider thinks he’ll end up patching things up with the Ravens when the 2023 season comes around.
NFL’s Ian Rapoport appeared in an episode of The Pat McAfee Show and said he believes Jackson will be the Ravens quarterback in the near future:
“The most likely is, he comes back to the Ravens. His market seems to be the best with the Ravens. Other teams know how good he is, but I do feel like the Ravens, like, that’s their guy…. Best case for all, he lands back with the Ravens on a really nice deal.”
Rapoport mentioned that Jackson getting an offer sheet from another team is feasible in theory; however, given the lack of interest Jackson has gotten so far, he and the Ravens may be the perfect match for each other.
Lamar Jackson will have jumped through hoops of fire just to land back in Baltimore
In the last three weeks, several teams have declared that they were out on Jackson, whether for personnel or financial reasons. Jackson’s most rumored destinations — the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, and Seattle Seahawks — all explicitly told the media that they weren’t going to pursue him this offseason.
The only team that hasn’t slammed the door shut is the Indianapolis Colts, and even that franchise is considering cheaper, more sustainable options under center.
Where does this all leave Jackson? Right back where he started.
Rapoport notes that Jackson can stay in Baltimore on a “really nice deal,” but it’s the specifics of such a deal that caused him to try and force his way out in the first place.
Earlier this year, the former MVP reportedly turned down a three-year deal (likely part of a more extensive five-year deal) with $133 million fully guaranteed. As he continues to negotiate his terms sans an agent, rumors continue to spread about whether Jackson will hold out in 2023 if the Ravens don’t give him the contract he’s looking for.
Jackson says he wouldn’t. Then again, no one thought he would viciously ambush his own head coach and team, either.
For all the drama started and chaos unleashed during Jackson’s contract war, he may just end up in Baltimore when everything is said and done. Whether or not he will be happy playing in the purple-and-black again is an entirely different question.