‘It’ll work’ – Ravens confident on long-term deal for Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens are confident they can strike a long-term deal with franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson amid a contract dispute.

The Ravens’ 2022 season ended in a 24-17 Wild Card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, rekindling the debate about the future of the 2018 NFL MVP after shelved talks during the regular season.

After the Ravens opted to give the 26-year-old a new five-year contract in 2022, an awkward relationship developed between Jackson and the team after the QB played the fifth-year option to his rookie deal this season.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh told reporters on Thursday they are committed to keeping Jackson.

“Lamar Jackson is our quarterback,” Harbaugh said. “He was our point guard. Everything we do in terms of building our offense and team, putting people around us is based on this young man and his talent, talent and competitiveness.

“I’m going to cross my fingers and toes, I’ll pray, I’m sure it will happen. Eric wants him here, I want him here. [owner] Steve [Bisciotti] she wants him here and Lamar wants to be here. It will work.”

Self-representing Jackson wants a guaranteed money deal, and the Ravens will likely place the franchise tag on him to ensure he doesn’t become an unrestricted free agent if any deal isn’t completed by March.

DeCosta added that he is in constant communication with Jackson and is hopeful of completing a new deal.

“Tango definitely takes two, but I think Lamar and I have a great relationship,” DeCosta said.

“We communicate quite frequently. We actually spent some time together today. We talked many times throughout the season. These negotiations, they all happen in different ways.

“We will communicate effectively, be as fair as possible. We will try to make a deal. I hope we can get to that point.”

When asked if Jackson would be a Week 1 of Baltimore starting QB next season, DeCosta added: “I see no reason why he shouldn’t.”

The Ravens fired offensive coordinator Greg Roman on Thursday and had input about a replacement player as a sign that they’re moving forward on the assumption that Jackson will stay.

Harbaugh added that although he was unable to complete the last two seasons due to injury, Jackson had no concerns about his endurance.

He’s a very resilient player,” he said. “I know people may object to that. But I don’t believe there will be a problem in the future because I know how hard he has worked.”

Jackson started 12 games in the 2022 season and added three fast tank destroyers and 764 yards on the field, with a 62.3 percent completion rate for 17 goals and seven interceptions.

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