Decosta still 'optimistic' regarding contract talks with Lamar Jackson

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta 'hopeful' to get deal done before March 7 franchise tag deadline
Eric DeCosta
Posted at 5:35 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 17:35:58-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL Scouting Combine. This week it is the center of the football world.

The marriage between the Ravens and star quarterback Lamar Jackson is front and center.

"Lamar and I are talking. We met recently," said Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta on Wednesday. "It’s an ongoing discussion. We both understand the urgency of the situation."

The urgency is to get Jackson signed to a long-term contract. That is something thus far negotiations have yet to produce with the former MVP quarterback set to become a free agent.

"It’s been a good dialogue, a good discussion," said DeCosta. "I’m optimistic as I continue to be optimistic and we’ll see where it goes."

Where it could go next is for the Ravens to slap the franchise tag on Jackson, ensuring he plays at least one more season for the team. The deadline to apply the franchise tag is March 7.

On the topic of the tag:

"We’re hopeful that we’ll get a deal done with Lamar before that happens." said DeCosta. "We’ve got four or five or six different plans based on what happens over the next ten days."

DeCosta and head coach John Harbuagh said their preference is keeping Lamar in purple.

"He’s my quarterback. He’s my guy. I love him, and as a coach, I’m looking forward to seeing it get done, but it’s not easy. It’s never easy; it’s the business part of it," said Harbaugh. "I’m very hopeful and excited – fervently hopeful – and I can’t wait for it to get done."

"You can’t win in this league without a strong quarterback; that’s been proven. So, we want Lamar here. We think he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league. He’s certainly one of our best players, and we want him back. So, we understand that. Living in a world without a quarterback is a bad world to live in... we’re aware of that."

It's fair to say in these negotiations Jackson is aware of that as well.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook