The Baltimore Ravens previously implied earlier in the offseason that quarterback Lamar Jackson and other players would have the opportunity to have their input heard regarding their search for a new offensive coordinator.
The team shockingly hasn’t said anything about how or when that might have taken place. But according to the always reliable Stephen A. Smith, Jackson reportedly had no input at all in the Ravens’ hiring of Todd Monken. As a reminder, Jackson is due to become a free agent in March, although it seems inevitable he will be tagged.
“Lamar Jackson was never consulted or talked to or asked what his opinions would be. He was informed, ‘This is your new boss at the offensive coordinator spot, who will be calling plays for you’”, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk quoted him as saying.
Monken does have NFL experience, although he most recently spent a couple of seasons working the George Bulldogs’ offense. He has been coaching since the end of the 1980s, primarily in college, though this will be his ninth season in total in the NFL with his fourth different organization.
His most recent post in the NFL was with the Cleveland Browns in 2019; however, it was in an offensive coordinator role without the privilege of calling plays. He spent three years as offensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers prior to that.
The Ravens have had the same offensive coordinator since 2019, Jackson’s first season as a full-time starter, after moving on from Marty Mornhinweg and naming Greg Roman offensive coordinator. He helped turn their offense into one of the highest-scoring outfits in the league, yet the sense was that it had grown stale over time and failed to develop the passing game.
Monken praised Jackson in his introductory press conference and described his game as a passer as being underrated. However, he declined to elaborate on the specifics of his opinion, referring instead to the pre-draft conversation surrounding what his true position ought to be.
ESPN reported that the Ravens never offered Jackson a contract that exceeded $133 million fully guaranteed, while also reporting that every one of Jackson’s counteroffers exceeded the $230 million fully guaranteed that the Browns gave Deshaun Watson.
As time marches on, the possibility that Jackson ends up playing somewhere else in 2023 and beyond grows. But it hinges entirely upon the supposition that a team out there will be willing to follow the Browns’ approach to signing Watson, and that doesn’t seem to be a sure thing by any means.