The Baltimore Ravens have big plans for Lamar Jackson in the future, but this season he’s only intended to serve as ‘tremendous insurance’ for Joe Flacco.
NFL teams don’t typically use first round draft picks on players who aren’t expected to play as rookies. Evidently the Baltimore Ravens are an exception. Team officials are excited about the future of Lamar Jackson, but they still believe Joe Flacco is their quarterback of the present.
Ravens assistant GM Eric DeCosta went so far as to claim that Jackson is intended to provide the team “tremendous insurance” at the quarterback position this season. His comments echo Baltimore’s party line about its decision to draft Jackson. They believe he has a lot of potential, but he’s not intended to threaten Flacco’s place this season.
Flacco himself isn’t quite sure what to make of the team’s decision to spend a high pick on another quarterback. His philosophy is to keep preparing for the season like he always does. Specifically, Flacco intends to get the offense “on the same page” so they can operate at a “high level.” He doesn’t intend to spend any time wondering about what Jackson’s selection might mean for him down the line.
Credit Flacco for handling this situation like a professional. Other quarterbacks in his position have managed to repeatedly make foolish comments to the media about their rookie competition. Ben Roethlisberger has been forced to clarify his comments about third round pick Mason Rudolph on several occasions. Flacco had the good sense not to get himself into the same sort of predicament.
No matter what everyone in Baltimore says, it’s clear that Flacco’s career is on the clock. He can prolong it by playing well and leading the Ravens into the playoffs this season, but Lamar Jackson is coming for his position sooner or later. A team spending a first round pick on a player to sit on the bench for one season is rare. Spending such a high pick on a player to be a spectator for two or more seasons is never the ideal plan.