In four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, quarterback Lamar Jackson has met and even exceeded expectations, becoming a two-time Pro Bowl selection and an NFL MVP. But with Jackson seeking a new contract, the team has made a stunning announcement.
On Friday, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta released a statement announcing that the two sides could not come to terms on a new contract. As a result, Jackson will play out the entirety of the 2022 season and the sides will try to work on a new deal in the offseason.
"Despite best efforts on both sides, we were unable to reach a contract extension with Lamar Jackson," DeCosta said. "We greatly appreciate how he has handled this process and we are excited about our team with Lamar leading the way. We will continue to work towards a long-term contract after the season, but for now we are looking forward to a successful 2022 campaign."
For some NFL fans and analysts, this makes the 2022 NFL season a chance for Jackson to bet on himself. For others, it's a sign that he may be playing his final games in Baltimore. Still others find the whole situation laughable.
In an odd sense, this announcement effectively settles the speculation for this coming season. Lamar Jackson will now play out the season.
But the moment the Ravens either miss the playoffs or see their postseason run end, the hand-wringing will begin anew and with even more wild speculation than we saw this past offseason - and there was a ton.
Will this be Lamar Jackson's final season in Baltimore?