John Harbaugh Confirms Ravens Will Keep Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh ended the speculation about the Ravens’ quarterback future.
It was rumored that the Ravens could be moving on from quarterback Lamar Jackson ahead of the NFL Draft. There was speculation that Baltimore would allow Jackson to walk in free agency, and the team would make moves to trade up in the draft. Moving up in the draft would have allowed the team to draft a quarterback like Justin Fields or Trey Lance in the first round of Thursday’s 2021 NFL Draft.
However, that is no longer true because Harbaugh confirmed that the team will retain Jackson. “He’s definitely going to be our quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “That’s the plan, absolutely.”
The 24-year-old Jackson has recorded 30 regular-season wins since taking the starting job midway through his rookie season in 2018. It’s the most wins in the NFL during that span. Not only that, but he is the only player in league history to throw for more than 5,000 yards and run for more than 2,500 during his first three seasons. The quarterback became the second unanimous NFL MVP in 2019. In the same MVP season, Jackson set a single-season NFL record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 1,206 yards.
One of the main concerns for holding onto the former MVP quarterback is the impact he will have on the team’s salary cap. Exercising Jackson’s option will have his salary increase dramatically. This season, the quarterback is only making $1.7 million since he is still on his rookie contract, but it will increase to $23.1 million next year. The team will then have to negotiate a contract extension with the quarterback.
The Ravens are confident in the ability of the Pro Bowler and are behind him.
“I feel like it all points to one thing and the thing he talks about all the time: He wants to win a Super Bowl,” Harbaugh said. “I think he’s a very unique guy. He’s a guy that’s different in a lot of ways than any quarterback that’s ever played. Lamar is somebody that just kind of breaks the mold a little bit. He does it in a way that a lot of people didn’t anticipate. They didn’t see this coming. He’s very determined — and we’re very determined — to prove those people wrong.”
Baltimore currently has two first-round picks in the draft. The team holds the No. 27 and No. 31 overall picks.