The Baltimore Ravens are giving Lamar Jackson a historic contract — and more offensive freedom.
Not that long ago, the commonly held belief among NFL fans was that Lamar Jackson would be leaving the Baltimore Ravens for greener pastures — both in a figurative monetary sense and in a more abstract, self-happiness sense. Well, it was not to be.
As it turned out, the Ravens and Jackson were simply playing hard to get. The two sides did eventually come together on a historic contract that gives Jackson an annual average value of $52 million. That’s superstar money for a superstar player.
Now the Ravens are building a new offense around Jackson under first-year offensive coordinator Todd Monken. So far, the former MVP likes what he’s seeing.
Ravens’ new offense will feature more throwing, less running for Lamar Jackson
“Less running and more throwing,” is how Jackson described the new offense to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Baltimore is evidently going away from Jackson’s legs to focus on the new receiving corps, featuring newcomers Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers.
Jackson definitely favors the change:
"“Running can only take you so far. And I feel like with this new era of teams and offenses in the league, I feel like we need that. Coach Todd Monken, what I’m seeing in his offense so far, is looking tremendous.”"
The Ravens are also giving Jackson more freedom to audible and adapt at the line of scrimmage. Jackson said Monken has given him and his teammates the “free will” to make changes based on what they see out on the field.
It’s clear the Ravens are investing fully in Jackson’s football mind and ludicrous talent. That’s the move when you spend $260 million to retain a player’s services — you go all in. Jackson already has one MVP under his belt and two Pro Bowl appearances. Last season was Jackson’s weakest since becoming the full-time starter in 2019, but he still accounted for 20 total touchdowns and threw for well over 2,000 yards and ran for almost 800 more. Jackson has accomplished quite a lot individually. The next step is leading Baltimore to the Super Bowl.
The public opinion on Jackson has cooled significantly since his MVP season in 2019, but it’s clear Baltimore still has a lot of faith in him. Jackson has an absolute cannon, capable of launching the ball 60 years down field with effortless precision. He also remains quite possibly the most electric runner in football. The Ravens are favoring the pass more under Todd Monken, but we should still expect a fair amount of Jackson improvisations and scrambles next season. It’s what makes him special.