It’s been a foregone conclusion for weeks now that Lamar Jackson will be the Baltimore Ravens quarterback in 2023.
But that belief became official Thursday when the Ravens announced that they and Jackson finally ironed out the terms of a contract extension that will keep him in Charm City for years to come.
Contract Update for Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
It’s no accident the deal — which was two years in the making — came just four hours before the start of the NFL Draft. And it’s certainly no accident that it came shortly after Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts got paid.
The first hint something was close came when Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer tweeted the following:
“In non-draft scoopage, hearing there’s been major progress between Lamar Jackson and #Ravens. Source close to Jackson told me if no hiccups could be done VERY soon, any day now”
A short time later, the deal was done.
And it was significant.
For starters, it eliminates the possibility that the Ravens take a quarterback with their first-round pick (22nd overall).
Some have speculated that might be in on Anthony Richardson — a logical theory, considering the University of Florida quarterback and Jackson have overlapping skills. Plus, the Ravens scheduled a top-30 visit with Richardson earlier this month.
But much has happened since then.
For one, the Ravens signed Odell Beckham Jr. — with Jackson’s blessing and public endorsement.
“Our feelings about Lamar have not changed one bit since the end of the season,” Ravens GM Eric DeCosta said at Beckham’s introductory news conference on April 13. “We’re hopeful, still, that we’ll get a long-term deal done. He’s the right player for this team to lead us to where we want to be.
“I think the locker room knows that; the organization knows that; I think the fan base knows that. So, it’s ongoing, but I can’t think of a situation where we wouldn’t think that our best team is with Lamar Jackson on the team in September.”
But the most significant development since Jackson went public with his trade demand in late March was that Hurts reset the quarterback market in a way more palatable to franchises than the deal the Browns gave Deshaun Watson in 2022.
Hurts signed a record-breaking, five-year, $255 million extension in recent days, a deal that included $179.4 million guaranteed.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
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