INDIANAPOLIS -- The Baltimore Ravens know they maximized their value when they selected Lamar Jackson in the 2018 draft, but they're not worried about losing him any time soon.
Jackson's contract status has been a constant topic of discussion for much of the last year, especially after the Buffalo Bills struck a long-term deal with Josh Allen before the 2021 season. Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta has fielded plenty of questions regarding Jackson's future, and maintained the same tone at the NFL Scouting Combine on Wednesday.
"Well I hope so, at some point, yeah, we will," DeCosta said when asked if the Ravens would strike an extension with Jackson soon. "We've discussed this at length and I've said this before: We will work at Lamar's urgency. He and I have had ongoing discussions. We've talked fairly recently as well. He knows how to find me; I know how to find him. I was very happy to see him working out on the West Coast recently with some of our guys. That's exciting. Something that we really think will help us this year be the very best team we can be.
"He's a guy that when we think about the Ravens three, four, five years from now, we envision Lamar being a very, very big part of that team and definitely a player that can help us win Super Bowls."
This is a topic that exists solely because the deal hasn't gotten done yet. Jackson won NFL Most Valuable Player in 2019 and his presence makes the Ravens a perennial contender. They were seen as a playoff team until the injury bug finally reached Jackson via an ankle sprain that ended his season.
Tyler Huntley played "winning football" in place of Jackson, but he's not a replacement. Baltimore built its offense around the skills of Jackson and capitalized with two division titles and three playoff appearances in Jackson's first four seasons. The only thing they haven't secured with Jackson is the most important: a Lombardi Trophy.
As DeCosta said, Jackson is a key part of a pursuit of multiple titles. It's highly likely they'll get the deal done at some point. Waiting might set Jackson's market more accurately, but there's little pressure to get the deal done now. That only changes if we reach July without any movement on the front.