Man, times are tense as hell in Baltimore.
First of all, we are sitting here in mid-January and yet Lamar Jackson does not have a contract extension. He only led the the Ravens to three straight playoff appearances, including winning the AFC North twice.
That doesn’t include Jackson winning the MVP in 2019.
Hell, the Ravens were in first place BEFORE he got hurt. The Ravens also averaged over 27 points per game with Jackson, and below 20 since his injury.
And to make matters worse, the Ravens recently gave Roquan Smith a brand new $100 million deal, with at least $40 million guaranteed — which was much deserved, by the way. The fact that Smith got a new deal instead of Jackson spoke volumes.
I mean if Ravens’ management are STILL on the fence on Jackson after all he’s done for the franchise, what more could he do?
So the next question is, has Jackson played his last down as a Raven?
I think the answer is an unfortunate “YES”. Well, fortunate for ME because I am a Steeler fan who despises the Ravens.
After the way the Ravens treated Jackson this season, if I were advising him I wouldn’t want him to come back. Sure the Ravens could franchise him, but I have a feeling he wouldn’t show if that were to happen.
While a lot of NFL teams would love to have him, I think there is a team that would make the most sense. The Carolina Panthers.
The Panthers have at least three things that could make it work for both Jackson and Baltimore: a great running game, damn good defense, and draft capital.
Jackson could conceivably thrive with and complement the Panthers’ running game, and they have nice weapons on the perimeter. The defense would love having Jackson to help sustain long, time-consuming drives to give it some rest.
The Panthers could offer the Ravens their 2022 first round pick (they will be picking 9th), next year’s first rounder, and their own second round pick this season (they already have the 49ers’ second round pick thanks to the McCaffery trade).
It all makes too much sense for this not to happen.
Hell, even if Lamar is not a member of the Panthers, there is no way in the hell he will go back to Baltimore. Not after the way the Ravens’ brass treated him…