NFL Rumors: Signs Point to Baltimore Ravens Keeping Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson have let their relationship deteriorate nearly to the breaking point, but a recent transaction may have been the first sign that things aren't beyond saving quite yet. Appearing on Good Morning Football, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport suggested that the Ravens' recent signing of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was the best indication yet that the team expects to hold onto the 2019 MVP.

The Ravens signed Beckham to a one-year, $15 million deal earlier this week, reportedly with extended recruiting help from Jackson. According to Rapoport, Jackson assured Beckham he would be throwing passes for the Ravens and met the three-time Pro Bowler in person as well as via Facetime.

Jackson recently requested a trade from the Ravens in his pursuit of a deal exceeding Cleveland Browns' quarterback Deshaun Watson's in total guarantees, but has apparently met with a frosty market. The Ravens have yet to make a long-term offer to Jackson's liking, but the same goes for every other team in the league. At this point, Jackson may have no choice but to swallow his pride and accept a still massive deal or try to improve his prospects by playing out the 2023 season on the franchise tag.

That would be a risky proposition. The Ravens have declined on offense every year since Jackson's breakout 2019 campaign, falling to 7th in points scored in 2020, to 17th in 2021, and finally to 19th in 2022. Jackson has also missed 11 games in the regular season and postseason over the past two years.  His effectiveness (and his value) are heading in the wrong direction.

Unfortunately, Jackson appears to have put his pride on the line. He has his heart set on a record-setting, precedent-shattering deal, but unless he becomes a record-setting, precedent-shattering player, it isn't coming. Without a transcendent season that lifts him back up to the upper echelon of the NFL's quarterbacks, he'll remain in a tense stalemate with not just the Ravens but every team in the league.

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