A player betting on himself when generational wealth is at stake is always a little scary, but Lamar Jackson should feel good about the bet he made when his contract expires after this NFL season.
Jackson is not just the face of this franchise, he is in The reason why the Baltimore Ravens was able to become one of the most explosive players during the first three weeks. Offensive line injuries, an inexperienced receiving room, a revolving door while running back while J.K. Dobbins recovers—none of that stopped Jackson from playing like an MVP quarterback and putting the Ravens on his back.
Not only is Jackson overcoming problems on offense, he also doesn’t get much help from his defense. The Ravens are currently passing 6.5 yards per game on defense, which is 31st in the league. However, the Ravens are 2-1 and would have been undefeated had they not lost a three-touchdown lead against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. This team lives and dies thanks to their quarterback, and he proves that he is damn good.
Jackson is so far from proving that his pre-draft doubters were wrong about his ability to play quarterback. Not only has he proven he can be an effective NFL starter, to say the least – Jackson already holds the NFL MVP title since 2019 – he has also established himself as one of the most dangerous hitters in football. His accuracy has been outstanding this season, creating opportunities for the Ravens’ growing group of receivers. He was one of the best quarterbacks in the league against blitz. second place overall in expected points added for pullback (0.382) according to Ben Baldwin of The Athletic. Jackson also ranks seventh in successful rollbacks (52.5%), which is in line with the rate at which Jackson scores positive expected scores for his games.
Not only has Jackson proved his detractors wrong, he is beginning to master aspects of his game that were previously considered negative. He has become a quarterback that is scary to play out of pocket because of his accuracy and how well he sees the field.
And, of course, Jackson’s trademark ability to gain yards with his feet was on full display. Jackson currently ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards and has back-to-back 100-yard games. His presence makes Dobbins returns to football easier, being arguably the most electric player in the entire league. This is undeniably an MVP level game and his team needs that to have a legitimate chance of winning.
Where does this leave the Ravens as an organization? Obviously they should pay Jackson because he’s the reason they can flirt with playoff status while the rest of the team tries to play at their talent level and recover from injury. The Ravens could technically play Jackson in a franchise game after the season, but right now he has all the leverage in the world to secure a long-term deal that’s closer to the guaranteed money he’s looking for.
The Ravens need No. 8 under center, and that becomes painfully obvious with every game, drive, and game. He is the engine of the whole attack. It’s built around him and it works because he’s just an elite quarterback. An elite quarterback who makes the defense play a tough game based on his unique skill set. Jackson’s contract is coming to an end, and it was absolutely incredible to see how the bet he made on himself and his abilities paid off so far.