GM thinks Lamar Jackson wants to retire at Ravens – ESPN

GM thinks Lamar Jackson wants to retire at Ravens – ESPN

OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The Baltimore Ravens remain confident they can sign quarterback Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal despite two years of negotiations, though there is no deal.

“I have a strong belief that Lamar wants to finish his career in Baltimore,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Thursday at the team’s 45-minute end-of-season press conference.

Jackson, 26, ended the option for the fifth year of his rookie deal. If a new deal isn’t finalized by March, Baltimore Jackson will be franchise-tagged to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh also expressed optimism that Baltimore will land a new deal with Jackson, saying he’s “crossing my fingers and toes and I’ll say my prayers.”

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“I have every confidence that it will be done,” Harbaugh said. “Eric wants him here. i want him here steve [Bisciotti, Ravens owner] wants him here and Lamar wants to be here. So it will work.”

Without a new deal, the Ravens can only keep Jackson in Baltimore for two more seasons with the franchise tag.

DeCosta declined to say if the Ravens would make trade offers for him.

“We’re not going to talk about that here,” DeCosta said.

When asked if Jackson would be the Ravens’ starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2023 season, DeCosta said, “I don’t see any reason why he won’t be.”

Jackson was unable to complete his second straight season due to injuries. He missed the last six games of the season, including a 24-17 wildcard loss at the Cincinnati Bengals, with a cruciate ligament injury in his left knee.

DeCosta doesn’t think Jackson’s absence is related to not having guaranteed cash beyond this season.

“Lamar was injured,” DeCosta said. “His unique style as a mobile quarterback and being a freaky athlete out there on the field and a serious knee injury make it difficult. I know he tried to come back.”