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Ravens 'working at Lamar's pace' when it comes to new contract for QB

General Manager Eric DeCosta sheds light on negotiations with Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 2:55 PM, Feb 04, 2022

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — During Eric DeCosta's 45-minute end-of-season press conference the Ravens general manager shed some light on where things stand when it comes to a potential new contract for Lamar Jackson.

The Ravens quarterback is set to play next season, the final year of his contract, under his fifth-year option. DeCosta said he has been negotiating with Jackson exclusively. No agent. No family member. Nobody else. That is certainly not the norm.

"This is an unusual negotiation because I’ve been dealing with a player," said DeCosta. "Lamar and I have had probably five or six conversations at different points over the last year in regards to his contract."

It sounds like the ball is in Jackson’s court.

"We’re working at Lamar’s pace. He’s comfortable where we are right now," said DeCosta. "I think he feels that we have a lot of unfinished business. He has a lot of unfinished business. He wants to win the division. He wants to win the Super Bowl. I think he and I both share that same vision. So, that’s basically where we stand. There’s a great line of communication. We will operate based on his urgency."

Jackson is coming off a bone bruise in his right ankle that caused him to miss the final four games of the season. Before he was injured his production declined from the start of the season. Does DeCosta still feel comfortable offering Jackson a deal among the richest for NFL QB’s?

"Nothing has changed," he said. "Lamar is a Pro Bowl quarterback. He played some brilliant football this year and we had some struggles. Certainly, as a group, when you consider the turmoil we had on the offensive line, at the running back position, that’s a factor. Lamar’s health this year, he had some issues. He was sick. He hurt his foot and all those different things. We had a lot of different injuries, a lot of different things that we dealt with. So, I think there is a lot of upside with our offense. Lamar is a big part of that. He is the right person to do it. He is a leader. He is beloved. He is a phenomenally talented player and he makes us better."

DeCosta added that he is comfortable with the relationship he has with Lamar and the line of communication is "great". He did not say whether he expects a new deal to be completed before the start of the 2022 regular season.

Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter @StepnerWMAR and Facebook