Ravens sign quarterback Lamar Jackson to rookie deal

June 05, 2018 | Luke Jones

The Ravens have signed first-round quarterback Lamar Jackson to his rookie contract.

The four-year deal includes a fifth-year club option for the 2022 season, a factor that led general manager Ozzie Newsome to trade 2018 and 2019 second-round picks to Philadelphia to move up to the final pick of the first round to select Jackson and secure that extra year. Only first-round picks carry a fifth-year team option with their rookie deals.

First-round tight end Hayden Hurst is now the only unsigned rookie of the Ravens’ league-high 12 picks from April’s draft.

Despite much discussion and speculation about when Jackson might replace veteran Joe Flacco, Baltimore has made it clear that the latter remains the starter, a proclamation reinforced by the distribution of reps during spring workouts. The talented rookie from Louisville has often worked with young players on another field while Flacco and veteran backup Robert Griffin III have worked with the first- and second-team offenses during organized team activities.

“He’s a talented guy; he’s practiced well every practice he’s been out here,” said head coach John Harbaugh about Jackson two weeks ago. “But the toughest thing for him is calling the plays right now. He’s never been in that kind of a system. I would say he’s made a big jump in calling the plays and annunciating the offense. He’s done well with that.”

Jackson was the third quarterback to be drafted by the Ravens in the first round in the 23-year history of the franchise, joining Flacco in 2008 and Kyle Boller in 2003.