The NFL is in its limited quiet time for the 2022 offseason. That only means most of the noise you hear about the league is much ado about nothing.
Sometimes, such as the case of Lamar Jackson missing OTAs for the Ravens, hot takes serve as the extreme over action to the cold period.
Jackson isn’t worried about not having a lucrative contract extension beyond the 2022 season. The Ravens’ coaches, front office and ownership are also being patient about him re-signing.
That hasn’t stopped many from trying to create some drama that isn’t there.
The Ravens have constructed their offense with Jackson’s unique quarterbacking in mind since his rookie season. They have continued to build on his passing and running strengths with their other personnel decisions.
Why would they do that if there was concern about locking him down for the long-term future? Yet for a QB who already has proved he’s league-MVP caliber, the left-field commentary has about how he needs to still prove himself to Baltimore.
Consider some of the examples of what’s been floated out there:
Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson to get paid at the top of the QB market. Lamar Jackson is very upset about the Ravens’ moves. Lamar Jackson should sign now instead of later because he’s a big durability risk.
First, there are many established QBs and other stars in the NFL skipping some or all of OTAs. That part of the business of preservation in the annual marathon of practices and games.
Second, there’s little questioning Jackson will be worth somewhere between $46-$48 million in average annual salary. That would put him in elite quarterback category with all the recent QBs who got paid more.
Third, despite the trade of wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, the Ravens have committed to more of the ideal supporting personnel for Jackson. That includes versatile skill players and an upgraded offensive line.
Last, the ankle injury that cost Jackson the final four games could have happened to any QB taking a hit from a pass rusher while trying to pas. His absence from OTAs is better tied to committing to making sure he’s back at full health.
Every narrative can be flipped to be controversial, but Jackson gets it more than QBs because it’s still somehow difficult for some to get over the fact his style of play works well for what the Ravens want to do. Jackson isn’t holding their offense back and if anything, it would be the other way around.
Jackson deserves credit for the way he’s handling his contract situation vs. the traditional sense, because he should be empowered with confidence to bet on himself. Likewise, the Ravens deserve the benefit of the doubt that they are a class organization with stable coaching who tend to always make the right decisions at the right times.
Any takes to the contrary don’t hold any water. It’s time to chill on the Jackson inaction and just prepare for him having another big season as the Ravens’ quarterback of the present and future.