John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta to meet with reporters on Thursday

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At a time when many questions linger regarding the relationship between the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson, some answers may emerge on Thursday.

This afternoon, Ravens coach John Harbaugh and Ravens G.M. Eric DeCosta will meet with reporters for their usual end-of-season press conference. There won’t be anything usual about it, not with reporters poised to ask question after question about Lamar Jackson.

While Harbaugh and DeCosta surely will stickhandle their way through the potential minefield of words and phrases that could take on a life of their own, inevitably there should be something tangible regarding the short- and long-term plan for their franchise quarterback.

They’ll try to negotiate a long-term deal with him between now and the deadline for applying the franchise tag. There’s no reason for them to not admit that.

What they likely won’t admit is what they’ll do when the deadline arrives on March 7. The options are: (1) exclusive franchise tag; (2) non-exclusive franchise tag; (3) transition tag; or (4) nothing.

For now, the non-exclusive tag makes the most sense. It would give Jackson a chance to negotiate with other teams, in an effort to get the five-year, fully-guaranteed contract he wants. If someone signs him to an offer sheet, the Ravens could match it or accept a pair of first-round picks as compensation. The other possibility would be to trade him to a team that would then sign him to a new deal.

This presumes Jackson will do with another team what he hasn’t done with the Ravens — reach an agreement on a multi-year deal. If the Ravens can’t do it, why would another team be able to do it?

Yes, all it takes is one team. And maybe there will be a team that does what the Browns did last year, coughing up a five-year, fully-guaranteed contract.

That team won’t be the Ravens. Whether they say it or not during today’s press conference, we already know it. And it feels as if they’re ready to move, if Lamar refuses to adjust his expectations and take the best offer they’ll make.

8 responses to “John Harbaugh, Eric DeCosta to meet with reporters on Thursday

  1. Roman is getting fired and Lamar will be non exclusive tagged if they can’t reach a long term deal. No need to waste time watching.

  2. Who would give up 2 1st rd picks in order pay this guy 50 mil per? It’s not a leverage play at all for Baltimore and it would just stonewall the process, because any NFL team knows Baltimore really wants to move him, so why not just wait and force Baltimore’s hand for a lesser compensation package?

    He’s not worth 2 1st rders. He’s been hurt the last 2 years and can’t throw consistently as a QB.

  3. Lamar Jackson has shown he can be a very good and even excellent regular season QB. He has also shown he gets hurt a lot, which isn’t surprising for QB who runs a lot and is not very big. As for his performance in playoff games, at best his grade could be “incomplete” and at worst his grade could be “fails.”

    If the Ravens could sign him for 2 years guaranteed and some sort of vesting options based on performance and playing time (meaning that he stays healthy and plays full seasons) for 3rd and 4th year guarantees, and if the annual comp was *not* at the very top of the QB scale, that could be reasonable. But to pay Jackson 5 years guaranteed at the top of the QB scale is a recipe for weakening a team, not making it better. Better to go with another cheaper QB and spend the salary cap dollars saved on other position players.

  4. John Harbaugh: One play off win in the last 9 play off appearances. The problem is not Lamar. It is the HC and his offensive philosophy. He is a dinosour in the modern NFL offense

  5. The problem is Decosta. Look at the 49ers with their 3rd string QB now look at Baltimore with their backup. One scores 30 every game the other scores 12. Lots of backups have played this year has any other offense gone in the Toilet like the Ravens? The problem is Decosta. He built this team terribly and missed the opportunity to extend Jackson by trying to be cute. Elite players elevate those around them and Jackson elevate the Raven to 5th in offensive DVOA/12th in scoring without him 30th/32nd in scoring all with guys who could not make the roster (Robinson and Drake) being his most reliable wide receiver and running back and an NFL record drop rate. Jackson is an elite QB (and a better pure passer than alot of your favorites numbers don’t lie) and should be paid more than non elite fully guaranteed guys like Cousins and Watson.

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