Lamar Jackson's Uncertain Future Already Messing with Ravens' Free Agency
The Baltimore Ravens are embarking on a pivotal offseason. While they've been good enough to make the playoffs in four of the past five years, their postseason record is 1-4 and they've yet to advance past the Divisional Round. It's clear that if the Ravens want to compete with the likes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, they need to get some help.
That may prove difficult, however, until they get Lamar Jackson's contract situation sorted out.
Lamar Jackson Contract
Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey experienced this first-hand at the Pro Bowl over the weekend. When the three-time Pro Bowler went around trying to recruit fellow stars to come to Baltimore, he said the players responded by asking if the Ravens were going to pay Jackson.
Clearly, playing with Jackson would be very appealing to most NFL players. The 2019 MVP winner is one of the best quarterbacks in the league and owns a 46-19 record as a starter (including playoffs), so his numbers speak for themselves. When he's on the field, Baltimore's been close to unbeatable.
When he's not on the field, however, the Ravens are a very different team. Baltimore's just 4-9 in Jackson's absence (including postseason) since he took over as a starter in 2018, which demonstrates how important he is to the team and how much he elevates the roster with his play. That's been especially evident in each of the past two seasons, when Jackson got hurt down the stretch and Baltimore limped to the finish line without him.
No wonder free agents are waiting to see how Jackson's contract situation plays out. It could be the difference between signing with a possible Super Bowl contender or signing up for a losing season.