Is the Baltimore Raven’s latest signing a hint that star quarterback Lamar Jackson will stay with the team?
The Baltimore Ravens nearly pulled off an upset over the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round, but just fell short. Now, the team is preparing for an important offseason, where star quarterback Lamar Jackson is in need of a new contract. The team said at their end of year press conference that Jackson would be their quarterback in 2023, but they still need to negotiate a new deal.
But, did the team’s latest transaction hint that Jackson will be with the team?
On Monday, the Ravens claimed cornerback Trayvon Mullen off of waivers from the Dallas Cowboys. As Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes that the Ravens needed a cornerback on the roster, but also brought up the point that Mullen is Jackson’s cousin.
This is interesting because the Ravens need to add cornerback depth, for one. And two, Mullen is the cousin of Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. https://t.co/jHSVvDh2x7
— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) January 23, 2023
Ravens claim Trayvon Mullen, Lamar Jackson’s cousin, off waivers
This decision likely has nothing to do with the team trying to convince Jackson to stay. Like Zrebiec says in his tweet, the team really needed a cornerback. Baltimore is preparing for Marcus Peters and Kyle Fuller to hit free agency this offseason.
Mullen was a former second-round draft pick by the Las Vegas Raiders in 2019. After three years with the team, he was traded to the Arizona Cardinals. Mullen played eight games with the Cardinals before he was released in mid-December. The Cowboys claimed him off waivers one day later, but he played in just one game.
In his nine games played this season, Mullen recorded 16 combined tackles, one pass defensed, and one forced fumble.
Jackson missed the Ravens’ final five regular-season games and the Wild Card Round game due to a PCL sprain.
Head coach John Harbaugh said during the end of season press conference that he believes Jackson will be the team’s quarterback of the future. Harbaugh even said there was a “200-percent” chance that that would be the case.
General manager Eric DeCosta, however, said that he hopes contract negotiations will work out.
“Well, it certainly takes two to tango, but I think Lamar and I have a great relationship,” DeCosta said, h/t NFL.com. “I think we communicate quite often; we spent some time together today as a matter of fact. We’ve spoken throughout the season multiple times. These negotiations all happen differently. … I wouldn’t characterize the percentages of getting any deal done or how long it’s gonna take, except to say that we’ll communicate effectively, we’ll be as fair as we can be and we’ll try to hammer out a deal. Hopefully we can get to that point.”
It will remain to be seen what the Ravens do in regards to Jackson. Will they sign him to a contract extension? Or will they place the franchise tag on him?