While he has yet to sign his quarterback to a longterm deal, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta is confident that Lamar Jackson will remain a key fixture within the team for the foreseeable future. As of now, Jackson would play under the fifth-year option that would pay him $23 million guaranteed for the 2022 season.
Speaking from the NFL Scouting Combine, DeCosta said that he and Jackson have spoken recently as it relates to his contract. He added that he believes that Jackson will "be a big part of our team" 3-5 years from now.
"We will work at Lamar's urgency," DeCosta said, via NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala. "He knows how to find me, I know how to find him."
Jackson's market value is projected at $215.6 million over five years, according to Spotrac. That would put him in rare company as it relates to quarterbacks who make at least $40 million annually. That list currently includes Patrick Mahomes ($45 million), Josh Allen ($43 million) and Dak Prescott ($40 million).
Jackson has been everything the Ravens envisioned he would be (and probably more) after the franchise selected him with the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Over the past four years, Jackson has become one of the NFL's most successful, exciting and popular players. The league's MVP in 2019, Jackson is a two-time Pro Bowler and one-time All-Pro. Along with throwing 84 touchdowns against just 31 interceptions, Jackson has rushed for 3,673 yards and 21 touchdowns while becoming the first quarterback in league history to run for 1,000 yards in multiple seasons.
The 25-year-old Jackson is 37-12 as the Ravens' starting quarterback during the regular season. He lost his first two playoff starts before he led Baltimore to an upset win over the Titans in the wild card round of the 2020 AFC playoffs.
An ankle injury that limited Jackson to just 12 games last season largely contributed to the Ravens missing the playoffs for the first time since 2017. Offensive line, defensive line, and cornerback are just a few of the positions the Ravens will look to address during free agency as well as during the 2022 NFL Draft.