How Lamar Jackson Will Influence the Baltimore Ravens’ Offensive Coordinator Search

After four seasons at the helm, Greg Roman is out as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator. Roman’s scheme had become a subject of consternation in Baltimore, where head coach John Harbaugh will begin a search for his seventh OC in 16 seasons. Speaking to the media on Thursday, Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta made it clear Lamar Jackson — a pending free agent who will likely be assigned the franchise tag — will have input on who takes over as the Ravens’ play-caller.

Ravens Searching for New OC as Lamar Jackson Contract Looms

The Ravens have made the playoffs in four of the past five seasons, but they haven’t advanced past the Divisional Round since winning the Super Bowl after the 2012 campaign. Jackson hasn’t been part of Baltimore’s final game in either of the past two years, as injuries have taken him off the field for critical late-season contests.

Now, the Ravens are facing dual concerns as their offseason begins. Not only do they need to find a replacement for Roman, but they’ll have to figure out a solution for Jackson before the free agent market opens in March.

Jackson will have input on Baltimore’s next offensive coordinator, as Harbaugh told reporters. Harbaugh also called the Ravens OC position “one of the top coaching jobs in the world” and added Baltimore would consider both internal and external candidates.

MORE: Possible Lamar Jackson Landing Spots in 2023

Still, it’s fair to wonder how attractive the Baltimore coordinator role will be. Eight other NFL teams — plus the five clubs with head coaching vacancies — are looking for new offensive play-callers, so high-profile candidates around the league should have their pick of jobs.

Even if coordinator candidates believe Jackson will be back in 2023 on the franchise tag, that’s only a one-year commitment. Additionally, the Ravens have failed to build a playoff-caliber receiver room, as Harbaugh and DeCosta admitted on Thursday.

Roman wasn’t exactly a hot candidate when Baltimore initially added him to their staff in 2017 after a failed stop with the Bills, and it remains to be seen what type of play-caller the Ravens can entice this time around.

Ravens Reaffirm Commitment to Lamar

If there’s one thing Harbaugh and DeCosta made clear, it’s that the Ravens see Jackson as their long-term quarterback. Jackson, who works as his own agent, is reportedly searching for a fully guaranteed extension in the mold of Deshaun Watson. DeCosta declined to discuss specifics of his negotiations with Lamar, but Harbaugh was adamant that Jackson is in Baltimore’s plans.

“Lamar Jackson is our quarterback…” Harbaugh said. ”…Everything we’ve done in terms of building our offense and building our team, how we think in terms of putting people around him, is based on this incredible young man, and his talent, ability, and competitiveness.”

If the Ravens can’t work out a long-term deal with Jackson, they’ll have until March 7 to franchise tag him. DeCosta said he’s thought every day about whether he’d use the exclusive or non-exclusive franchise tender on Jackson, adding that he’d further discuss scenarios with owner Steve Bisciotti.

MORE: Lamar Jackson’s Contract, Salary, Bonuses, Net Worth

An exclusive tag would cost more than $45 million and wouldn’t allow rival teams to negotiate with Jackson. A non-exclusive tag will run the Ravens roughly $32.5 million, but other clubs could attempt to work out an offer sheet with Lamar. If Baltimore declined to match, they’d pick up two first-round picks from the acquiring team.

Theoretically, the Ravens could place the franchise tag on Jackson and then attempt to trade him. However, DeCosta wasn’t willing to address that possibility on Thursday, reiterating that Baltimore’s “singular focus” is extending Jackson.

“Eric wants him here, I want him here, Steve wants him here, and Lamar wants to be here,” said Harbaugh. “It’s gonna work out.”

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