OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Baltimore Ravens remain confident they can sign quarterback Lamar Jackson to a long-term deal despite no deal after two years of negotiations.
“I truly believe Lamar wants to finish his career in Baltimore,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said Thursday in the team’s 45-minute, end-of-season news conference.
Jackson, 26, finished the fifth-year option of his rookie deal. If no new deal is completed by March, Baltimore will place the franchise tag on Jackson to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh also expressed optimism that Baltimore will get a new deal completed with Jackson, saying he’s keeping “fingers and toes crossed, and I’ll be saying my prayers.”
“I have every faith that it’s going to get done,” Harbaugh said. “Eric wants him here. I want him here. Steve [Bisciotti, Ravens owner] wants him here, and Lamar wants to be here. So, it’s going to work out.”
Without a new deal, the Ravens can keep Jackson in Baltimore for only two more seasons with the franchise tag.
DeCosta declined to say whether the Ravens would entertain trade offers for him.
“That’s not something we’re going to talk about at this point,” DeCosta said.
Asked if Jackson would be the Ravens’ starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2023 season, DeCosta said, “I don’t see any reason why he won’t be.”
Jackson was unable to finish his second straight season because of injuries. He missed the last six games of this season, including a 24-17 wild-card loss at the Cincinnati Bengals, because of a sprained PCL in his left knee.
DeCosta doesn’t believe Jackson’s absence was related to him not having guaranteed money beyond this season.
“Lamar was hurt,” DeCosta said. “His unique style as a mobile quarterback and a freaky type of athlete out there on the field, and having a serious knee injury, makes it difficult. I know he was trying to come back.”