The Baltimore Ravens made the first big move of their offseason, hiring Todd Monken as their offensive coordinator, While a new architect of the offense should help things improve in 2023, quarterback Lamar Jackson‘s future with the team is still uncertain.
Jackson, one of the top NFL free agents in 2023, could become an unrestricted free agent in March. However, Baltimore is prepared to place the franchise tag on him, likely using the exclusive tender to prevent Jackson from talking to other interested teams.
- Lamar Jackson stats (2022): 59.1 ESPN QBR (9th), 17-7 TD-INT, 764 rushing yards
However, the possibility of a trade still exists. Jackson’s contract demands and the Ravens’ offers are far apart. As a result, there is an increasing belief around the league that Baltimore might entertain offers this spring.
While Jackson is a pending free agent, organizations would typically keep their franchise quarterback heavily involved when choosing a new offensive coordinator. The new hire will likely call plays for the Ravens’ offense for at least the next two seasons. Despite the importance of the position, though, it seems Baltimore didn’t make their MVP a leading voice in the search.
According to CBS Sports’ Jonathan Jones, the Ravens didn’t fully integrate Jackson into the hiring process for their new offensive coordinator. While Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes that Baltimore did provide Jackson with multiple opportunities to provide input, it seems evident the franchise quarterback didn’t have strong say in the final decision.
The reports won’t erase any of the growing speculation that Jackson isn’t guaranteed a long-term spot on the Ravens’ roster. Baltimore became a bit frustrated by the lack of progress in contract talks last offseason. With no signs of progress at the negotiating table and Jackson now coming off two injury-marred seasons, there’s a higher possibility of a split.
Baltimore won’t let Jackson dictate the exit. If the two sides can find no common ground in contract negotiations, the Ravens will still have Jackson on the franchise tag and can then trade him for multiple first-round picks.
While it’s a path that would set the Ravens back several seasons and potentially throw them into quarterback purgatory, it’s a better alternative than rostering Jackson for the next two seasons then losing him to unrestricted free agency in 2025.