If he didn’t play like an MVP early in their campaign, their season could have been over early.
Instead, the former Louisville standout was putting up impressive numbers every week to carry the team on his back.
Unfortunately, an ankle injury caused him to miss the Ravens’ last four regular-season games.
His absence and injuries to some of their key players led to elimination from the playoffs.
Despite missing games in 2021, picking up Jackson’s fifth-year option worth $23,016,000 was a no-brainer for the Ravens.
However, Jackson is still not guaranteed a massive new deal even if he has a fantastic 2022 season.
Perhaps the Ravens’ front office would like to see his production first to assess a fair value for negotiations.
But Jackson could use his leverage to put pressure on Baltimore to finalize his next contract.
Should Lamar Jackson holdout for a new deal? pic.twitter.com/4yXwSfFCbF
— PFF (@PFF) February 24, 2022
In the tweet above by Pro Football Focus, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter said on The Ari Meirov NFL Show that, “If I was Lamar Jackson, I wouldn’t step on the field until a deal is done.”
What’s Taking Baltimore So Long?
Jackson has been one of the most versatile quarterbacks in the NFL.
He had consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons and has led the Ravens to the playoffs multiple times.
His passing accuracy is passable, but he can make pressure-packed throws.
Likewise, he has been a league MVP.
Unfortunately, those credentials still seem to be not enough to earn Jackson a long-term deal.
Is he still auditioning to become the franchise quarterback five years into his career?
Are the Ravens not sold that he’s the long-term solution under center?
What would be their succession plan if Jackson leaves after the 2022 season?
If Jackson wants to secure his future, making a protest by staying out of official team activities will send a strong message to the Ravens’ top brass.
When that happens, they will start contract talks in no time.