What good is a franchise quarterback if he’s never available? That has to be among the factors that will go into the Baltimore Ravens‘ decision regarding Lamar Jackson and his contract situation — which is by far the biggest storyline of the offseason, not just for the organization but the entire NFL.
Jackson is of course the biggest Ravens free agent this offseason, and the organization’s decision on how to handle his situation will send ripple effects throughout the league. We go through the Ravens’ options, plus explore their cut candidates and team needs in their offseason preview.
Baltimore Ravens Offseason Preview: Decision Time
It didn’t have to get to this point for the Ravens and Jackson.
They’ve known this day was coming for two years. The two sides could have ironed out an extension any time since March 2021. Yet, for a host of reasons, they did not.
Those reasons include Jackson’s decision to represent himself and the market-destabilizing impact of Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed contract.
Spotrac estimates Jackson’s market value at six years, $244.6 million. This would make him the seventh-highest-paid quarterback in the league. It’s hard to believe, however, that he will settle for that figure, unless it includes the guarantees that Watson got.
But given the fact he’s missed 10 regular-season games to injury the last two years, that’s a pipe dream.
Rather, there are three realistic outcomes here:
- The Ravens and Jackson come to an agreement on a long-term deal ahead of March 7’s franchise tag deadline.
- The Ravens tag Jackson (at an estimated $32.4 million) and the two sides continue to work on an extension.
- The Ravens tag Jackson and trade him for a jackpot of draft picks and/or players.
There’s no conceivable scenario in which the Ravens simply let Jackson walk for nothing except the 2024 third-round compensatory pick they’d get in return. It would be professional malpractice.
Ravens’ 2023 Salary Cap Space
According to Spotrac, the Ravens had $48.8 million in 2023 salary cap space as of early January, fifth-most in the NFL. That is subject to change, however, when the full details of the Roquan Smith contract extension are known.
That figure includes $5.7 million in dead cap and less than $1 million in rollover space. It is based on an estimated $225 million NFL salary cap in 2023.
The exact cap figure will not be known until the NFL announces it in early March.
Ravens Free Agents 2023
The following Ravens players are set to hit free agency. (Restricted free agents are noted with the abbreviation RFA, exclusive rights free agents by ERFA.)
- OLB Vince Biegel
- C Trystan Colon-Castillo (RFA)
- RB Kenyan Drake
- CB Kyle Fuller
- RB Justice Hill
- DE Justin Houston
- QB Tyler Huntley (RFA)
- QB Lamar Jackson
- RT Ja’Wuan James
- DE Steven Means
- LS Nick Moore (ERFA)
- TE Josh Oliver
- CB Marcus Peters
- LB Del’Shawn Phillips (RFA)
- DE Jason Pierre-Paul
- G Ben Powers
- WR Demarcus Robinson
- CB Kevon Seymour
- S Geno Stone (RFA)
- DE Brent Urban
- WR Sammy Watkins
- LB Kristian Welch (RFA)
Cornerback Marcus Peters
Spotrac’s calculated market value: Two years, $19.8 million ($9.9 million AAV)
Overview: Peters earned generational wealth in his four seasons with Baltimore. He saw every penny of the three-year, $42 million contract extension the Ravens granted him in late 2019, and he’s been a steadying force on a secondary rocked by injuries.
Peters, 30, probably has one last significant payday in him, and we could see him pushing hard for a third year. That might be tough to secure, however. Peters’ yards per completion, yards per target, and passer rating against all ticked up in 2022.
Potential Cut Candidates
- DE Calais Campbell ($6.5 million in cap savings)
- SS Chuck Clark ($3.7 million)
Ravens’ Team Needs Heading Into 2023 Offseason
- Wide receiver
- Defensive tackle
Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast
Listen to the PFN Dolphins Podcast! Click the embedded player below to listen, or you can find the PFN Dolphins Podcast on iTunes, Spotify, and all major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and leave us a five-star review! Rather watch instead? Check out the PFN Dolphins Podcast on our NFL YouTube channel.