Lamar Jackson’s Injury and Contract Drama with the Baltimore Ravens

This season, it felt like Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were playing hardball with each other.
Jackson’s knee injury ended up costing him more time than expected — the rest of the regular season and Baltimore’s lone playoff game — raising questions about whether the quarterback was being cautious due to the lack of a long-term contract. And Ravens head coach John Harbaugh did little to quell those rumblings, inadvertently feeding the beast by praising backup Tyler Huntley for playing hurt in Baltimore’s wild-card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Who is to blame for the saga, which is the result of the parties’ inability to reach a long-term agreement before the 2022 season? Of course, it depends on who you ask. But it’s worth noting that Harbaugh didn’t go further to defend Jackson against outside criticism. Most NFL coaches would most likely agree.
“That is exactly how things are done, except if your last name is Harbaugh, right?” said an executive from another NFL team to The Athletic’s Mike Sando recently. “That’s what he and his brother (Jim) do, and there’s another guy who does business in that manner — he wears cutoff-arm sweatshirts with hoodies, and his name is Bill Belichick.”
Injecting Patriots head coach Bill Belichick into the discussion obviously doesn’t mean much, other than to provide context for Harbaugh’s tough stance on the situation. But what if the stare-down continues into the offseason? So, what are the Ravens going to do with their All-Pro quarterback?
Jackson (who does not have an agent) and the Ravens will most likely return to the negotiating table in the hopes of reaching an agreement. If that isn’t possible, Baltimore could slap Jackson with a non-exclusive or exclusive (more likely) franchise tag, or even trade the 2019 MVP.
It’s unusual for a quarterback of Jackson’s caliber and age (26) to become available, so this will undoubtedly be a storyline to follow for as long as the cloud of uncertainty hangs over Baltimore.