Ravens Part Ways With Offensive Coordinator, John Harbaugh Says ‘200 Percent Chance’ Lamar Jackson Returns Next Season

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If Twitter speaks for Baltimore Ravens fans, then Thursday was the perfect day for the purple and black. Not only did they part ways with offensive coordinator Greg Roman — as real-life fans demanded earlier this season — but head coach John Harbaugh practically guaranteed Lamar Jackson would be back.

Fans quickly let the team know they approved of the Greg Roman decision.

Greg Roman molded his entire offense around Lamar Jackson. He helped Jackson become a league MVP despite lacking the ability to throw the football effectively. Now, he’s gone and Ravens fans are rejoicing. What a time to be alive.

That wasn’t the only news to come from the team Thursday. Head coach John Harbaugh and General Manager Eric DeCosta addressed the media to discuss the offensive staff change and the future of Jackson.

“We’re excited to start up negotiations again with Lamar Jackson,” DeCosta said.

Harbaugh was much more clear about Jackson’s future in Baltimore.

Not only that, but Harbaugh said Jackson will have input on the next offensive coordinator now that Greg Roman is gone.

That’s not particularly surprising, as it’s becoming a trend in the NFL. Quarterbacks are being given more and more latitude, not just on the field, but off it as well. The Los Angeles Chargers said Justin Herbert would be involved in their OC search, as well.

What that actually means is anyone’s guess, but the teams are saying it publicly.

Future of Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens

So, it appears Baltimore has made up its mind and it’s time to pay Lamar Jackson. That’s a mistake, but it’s theirs to make.

The problem is that the Ravens haven’t won anything with Jackson making rookie deal money. Now, they’re going to try to build around him making $30-40M per year. That’s nearly impossible to do.

The media loves Jackson and they take up for him all the time. They make excuses when things don’t go well. But his resume is what it is. He’s 1-3 in the playoffs. He missed this year’s playoff game with an injury. Injuries are part of the risk that come with signing him long-term (he’s missed 11 games the past two seasons). The team is 1-4 in playoff games with him on the roster.

He hasn’t just lost those games, either. He’s been BAD. Jackson completed less than 56% of his career playoff passes and has more interceptions (5) than touchdown passes (3). He’s also been sacked 19 times.

My favorite new excuse from the media lapdogs is that the Ravens are a lot better with Lamar Jackson than without him. Crazy hot take, right? Turns out most teams are better with their starting quarterback than the backup. Who knew??

By the way, the Ravens scored 17 points in their Wild Card game against the Bengals with Tyler Huntley at quarterback. Baltimore averages 13 points in four Jackson playoff starts.

Let me be clear, though: the Ravens are better next season with Jackson on the roster. And, with the structure of his likely contract, they’ll still have cap space for 2023. Jackson is better than potential veteran options like Derek Carr or Jimmy Garoppolo.

The problem is that his window, and in turn the team’s window is going to be very, very small. The Ravens are going to sell out to try and win a Super Bowl in the next two seasons. Once he starts making big money and gets into his later 20s, the contract is going to look terrible.

Competition is a problem for Baltimore

The biggest issue, though, is that this is not a great time to try and open a championship window in the AFC. The best three teams in the conference have elite quarterbacks. The Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals can afford to pay their QBs because they are at the top of the profession.

Lamar Jackson is not in their class. He’s not all that close, either. And he carries significantly higher risk. He’s also likely to age much less graciously because of how much he relies on athleticism to be successful.

Look, the Ravens don’t have much choice. They don’t ever pick high enough to get an elite quarterback through the draft. And they can’t really draft one to develop because it will hurt Lamar’s feelings. As mentioned, no veteran gives them a better chance to win.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson spent the final five regular season games and one playoff game out with an injury for John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson spent the final five regular season games and one playoff game out with an injury for John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

So, they’ll pay Lamar Jackson a ton of money, not win anything of note, and then the media will blame coaching, the organization, the defense and everyone around Jackson.

It’s not his fault, they’ll say.

Pretty sweet deal for Jackson. Make a ton of money, win or don’t win, who cares? Everyone else takes the blame.

I’d take that deal in a heartbeat.

Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @OutkickDanZ

Written by Dan Zaksheske

Dan began his sports media career at ESPN, where he survived for nearly a decade. Once the Stockholm Syndrome cleared, he made his way to Outkick. He is secure enough in his masculinity to admit he is a cat-enthusiast with three cats, one of which is named “Brady” because his wife wishes she were married to Tom instead of him.

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