Well, let’s get it out of the way. The Ravens will not be extending Lamar Jackson before the 2022 season.
Statement from General Manager Eric DeCosta. pic.twitter.com/HpaD2ccSp2
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 9, 2022
I’m not surprised, for two reasons.
- There’s really no reason to expect that either Jackson or the Ravens are suddenly going to give up ground to get a deal done.
- I think it’s more advantageous at this point for the Ravens to wait until the beginning of next offseason to extend Jackson with a low 2023 cap hit and enable them to go after a major acquisition in free agency or trade.
A Jackson extension would have been exciting, for sure, but I’m just ready to get to some real Ravens football at this point.
… and football.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) September 8, 2022
The Ravens’ 2022 hype video is a little more reserved than in years past, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. There’s a quiet confidence to this team that I absolutely love, and I think the video reflects that.
Plus, I love Josh Charles and his devotion to Baltimore sports, and you can tell he’s having the time of his life doing it!
I also like how they had him line up against players in Jets green at the end of the video, getting ready for the Ravens’ Week 1 matchup in New York, aka the return of Joe Flacco.
This Sunday Joe Flacco will face his former team and former backup QB, Lamar Jackson, for the first time. pic.twitter.com/uqEVLWDwrV
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) September 8, 2022
Baltimore’s young defenders will have their opportunity to shine, with Patrick Queen manning the middle of Mike Macdonald’s new defense and Odafe Oweh getting the chance to get off to a hot start against a weakened Jets offensive line.
Coach Saleh says T Duane Brown will miss Sunday's game against Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/t40lYCCveA
— New York Jets (@nyjets) September 9, 2022
Recently signed left tackle Duane Brown has been ruled out, moving George Fant back to the left side and slotting in rookie Max Mitchell at right tackle. Fant is no slouch, so Flacco’s blindside should be fairly well protected, but Fant has played right tackle for most of the preseason. Mitchell was an impressive right tackle in college but he’ll have his hands full with the uber-athletic Oweh flying off the edge snap after snap.
Patrick Queen vs Breece Hall and Michael Carter is probably one of the key matchups.#Ravens DL will take care of business. Queen will be all over the field in the run game and likely covering RBs out of the backfield.
— Cole Jackson (@ColeJacksonFB) September 9, 2022
Patrick Queen will have a chance to get a third-year breakout going as well. He looked much improved in training camp in pass coverage and will hopefully help the Ravens lock down more tight ends and running backs this year.
And finally, shout-out to Dan Orlovsky, ex-NFL QB turned ESPN analyst who not only picked Lamar Jackson to win 2022 NFL MVP, but also predicted that the Ravens would win the Super Bowl.
"Lamar [Jackson] is going to go absolutely on a fire blazing trail of the NFL this season. … The Ravens are the team to beat in a conference that's absolutely loaded and he's going to win MVP."
— First Take (@FirstTake) September 8, 2022
It’s bold – the Ravens aren’t typically thought of as a frontrunner – but Orlovsky’s words about the talent on the roster, the steady coaching staff and of course, Jackson’s ability to take over games, ring true.
A few things would have to go right (Ronnie Stanley, primarily) for me to feel as confident as Orlovksy, but as we all know in the NFL, it’s a league of Any Given Sunday.