The Baltimore Ravens announced that they are moving on from offensive coordinator Greg Roman. What exactly does this move mean for quarterback Lamar Jackson?
The Baltimore Ravens’ 2022 season ended this past weekend at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals, losing 24-17 in the Wild Card Round.
Baltimore was without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the team’s final six games of its campaign after he suffered a PCL sprain in Week 13. Now, the Ravens have to figure out what to do in regard to Jackson, as he’s set to become a free agent and is seeking a near-fully guaranteed contract.
Could this latest move by the Ravens hint at Jackson’s future in Baltimore?
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens have moved on from offensive coordinator Greg Roman. The veteran assistant coach’s agency, Athlete’s First, said in a statement that he was “stepping away from the team to pursue other opportunities.”
What does Greg Roman’s departure mean for Lamar Jackson’s future with the Ravens?
Roman had been with the Ravens organization since 2017, serving as assistant head coach, tight ends coach, and senior offensive assistant before being named offensive coordinator in ’19. That just so happened to be Jackson’s first year as Baltimore’s starting quarterback, and he won the NFL MVP award.
That season, Jackson threw for 3,127 yards, a league-high 36 touchdowns and six interceptions while completing 66.1 percent of his passes. Jackson also ran for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns on 176 carries.
With Jackson healthy and under center, the Ravens offense thrived. No team in NFL history was able to record over 3,000 rushing yards in consecutive seasons. The Ravens accomplished this feat in 2019 and ’20. Let’s not forget that Roman experienced similar success with the San Francisco 49ers with Colin Kaepernick, a similar-style quarterback as Jackson.
This season, with Jackson missing the team’s final five games of the season, the Ravens averaged 338.8 yards of total offense (16th in NFL) and 20.6 points (19th) per game, via ESPN. Yet, they averaged the second-most rushing yards per game in the league with 160.0, only behind the Chicago Bears’ 177.3.
Considering how well Jackson performed with Roman as his coordinator, this may very well be a sign of things to come in Baltimore. As in, they could be moving to a more pass-heavy offense, or they are bracing for Jackson to leave the organization.
Prior to the 2022 season, the Ravens and Jackson were unable to agree to terms on a contract extension. He is seeking a similar deal as what Deshaun Watson received from the Cleveland Browns, who received a five-year, $230 million contract that is fully guaranteed.
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, Jackson turned down a five-year, $250 million contract, with $133 million being guaranteed at signing. Both the team and player were unable to reach an agreement, and paused contract talks prior to the start of this season.
With Jackson seeking a $50 million per year, nearly fully guaranteed deal, the Ravens have a choice to make. Would they keep their face of the franchise, even though he suffered lower body injuries in the pst two seasons?
Well, they could opt to place the franchise tag on Jackson, which would cost approximately $45.2 million for the 2023 season. That would be the highest priced franchise tag in NFL history If the Ravens tag him, they could field trade offers for interested teams, where they could receive multiple first-round picks in return. Jackson would be the top quarterbacks available this offseason, and there are teams that are in desperate need to find a better option.
The Ravens are in an unenviable position. Either they will have to almost fully guarantee a deal to Jackson, who has dealt with injuries in the past two seasons, or will have to find another option at the position, which won’t be easy.
Roman’s exit only clouds Jackson’s future in Baltimore.
UPDATE: Head coach John Harbaugh said in a press conference on Thursday that Jackson will be involved in the hiring of a new offensive coordinator to replace Roman.