Surging Salary Cap Will Help Ravens Build Around Lamar Jackson’s Huge Contract

As the Ravens can attest, having a franchise quarterback on his rookie contract is essentially the most invaluable asset an NFL crew can have in constructing its roster. Lamar Jackson’s cap hit was by no means greater than (simply greater than) $3 million in his first 4 seasons.

Those days ended when Jackson signed a five-year, $260 million contract extension final offseason that briefly made him the highest-paid participant within the league and elevated his cap hit in 2023 to $22.2 million. That quantity will proceed to considerably improve in 2024 and every subsequent yr.

However, The Baltimore Banner’s Jonas Shaffer stated the NFL’s surging wage cap might assist the Ravens construct a profitable roster round Jackson’s enormous contract.

“General Manager Eric DeCosta’s huge funding in Jackson has already paid off within the quick time period — Jackson’s second NFL Most Valuable Player award is proof constructive of that — and now may age gracefully in the long run as effectively,” Shaffer wrote. “With the league’s announcement Friday that the 2024 wage cap would rise to $255.4 million per crew, a report leap of $30.6 million, the Ravens can have their most vital contract locked in for a interval of probably skyrocketing spending.”

Shaffer accurately identified that the paradox of roster building is that it is onerous to win the Super Bowl and not using a top-10 quarterback, however top-10-quarterback contracts make it onerous to win the Super Bowl.

“Only one QB this century has gained an NFL title with a deal taking on greater than 13% of his crew’s wage cap,” Shaffer wrote. “He occurs to be possibly essentially the most gifted passer in league historical past. The Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes did it in 2022 (17.2% of the cap) and once more this previous season (16.8%).

“Jackson’s 2024 cap hit (12.6% share) is much from onerous, however that was by design. His contract was back-loaded to accommodate extra spending in these early years. The longer Jackson performs below his deal, the more durable it is going to be for him to ship surplus worth. To maintain their Super Bowl window open down the street, the Ravens will both want Jackson to stay a famous person — particularly one who stays off the damage report — or the league’s wage cap to begin a torrid climb. Or, ideally, each.”

Shaffer added: “There are solely so many gamers who can lead a franchise to glory, and with that glory comes, sure, much more cash. But it by no means hurts to have just a little extra spending energy. The solely factor higher than having a famous person quarterback is a much bigger finances to get him one other star or two.”

Mel Kiper Jr. Mocks Georgia CB to Ravens

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has launched his newest mock draft, and he has the Ravens choosing Georgia cornerback Kamari Lassiter with the Thirtieth-overall decide.

“I’d prefer to see the Ravens make strikes on protection this offseason, they usually probably must use their cap area to maintain a few of their very own gamers, together with security Geno Stone and defensive sort out Justin Madubuike,” Kiper wrote. “Those strikes ought to begin at nook, so how about yet another on this high 32? Lassiter makes six.

“Lassiter did not get beat usually final season. He did not permit a single landing as the closest defender in protection, and in whole, he allowed 9 receptions for 91 yards. Those are elite numbers. The downside? He had one profession interception, and that got here in 2021. Teams can have questions on his lack of on-ball manufacturing. I’m a believer that manufacturing from corners might be developed, and I’m not apprehensive. I’m excited about seeing Lassiter’s 40-yard sprint time in Indianapolis, although.”

Check out our newest mock draft roundup to see all of the gamers who’re being mocked to the Ravens.

Pundit Says Florida State WR Is Ideal First-Round Pick for Ravens

The Ravens have chosen a large receiver within the first spherical in three of the previous 5 drafts, and Pro Football Focus’ Dalton Wasserman stated the crew’s fundamental purpose on this yr’s draft must be to maintain including to the receiving corps.

Wasserman stated Florida State broad receiver Keon Coleman is the best first-round decide for the Ravens.

“The Ravens are nonetheless extremely loaded regardless of their disappointing playoff loss to the Chiefs,” Wasserman wrote. “They have the NFL MVP at quarterback, subject arguably the perfect protection in soccer and are stacked at tight finish with Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely. Their broad receiver room nonetheless wants work, although. Zay Flowers had a superb rookie season, however Odell Beckham Jr. and Rashod Bateman did not give them constant sufficient manufacturing.

“A second consecutive first-round choice at broad receiver could be a smart transfer. Florida State’s Keon Coleman might give Baltimore a contested-catch choice that they do not at the moment possess. Georgia’s Ladd McConkey additionally is smart as a clean route runner who has familiarity with Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken.”

The high receivers below contract for the Ravens are Flowers, Bateman, Nelson Agholor, and Tylan Wallace. The crew is anticipating Bateman, whose profession has been hampered by accidents, to make an enormous leap in Year 4.

Kyle Van Noy Says He Didn’t Leave His House for a Week After AFC Championship Loss

Outside linebacker Kyle Van Noy sat in with the “Good Morning Football” crew yesterday and mirrored on his season as a Raven and the way onerous he took the loss to the Chiefs within the AFC Championship.

“I actually took it to coronary heart as a result of I haven’t got a few years left in me,” stated Van Noy, 32. “I do not know what my future holds so this one actually did not settle inside me very effectively. I sat at my home for every week after this sport. I did not go away. That’s how onerous I took it.”

Despite the disappointing ending to the season, Van Noy, who is likely one of the Ravens’ many pending free brokers, stated the longer term is brilliant in Baltimore.

“What transpired from that is I feel the core group of fellows, that is going to encourage them — Tyler Linderbaum, Kyle Hamilton, Roquan Smith, and Lamar Jackson. It comes all the way down to how is [Jackson] going to bounce again from that sport, and I actually consider on this dude.”