With the 2021 NFL Draft's commencement just a couple of days away, the Baltimore Ravens have raised an eyebrow or two as a glaring name remains from the 2018 first-round draft class who's yet to have his fifth-year option exercised.
2019 AP NFL Most Valuable Player Lamar Jackson is that glaring omission, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh took it upon himself to quell any scuttlebutt by emphatically guaranteeing Baltimore would exercise the option of the dynamic dual-threat signal-caller.
"I don't know. I could walk across the hall right now and ask [Ravens general manager] Eric [DeCosta], but I'm quite sure that – could I make that guarantee right now on your show? We'll fill the vacuum up right now. His fifth-year option will be picked up," Harbaugh said Tuesday on the Rich Eisen Show when asked why the option hadn't been picked up as of yet. "Guarantee it."
Jackson certainly isn't the only big name without an option exercised -- Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Bills quarterback Josh Allen are a couple, for instance. Still, with the draft drawing closer and next week's deadline for options, speculation rises.
Though Harbaugh didn't offer a reason as to why the option had yet to be exercised, he was adamant there were no underlying reasons involved.
"Nothing. There's nothing to the fact. No. He's our guy," Harbaugh said. "His fifth-year option's gonna get picked up. He's definitely gonna be our quarterback. That's the plan, absolutely."
The only quarterback to have ever tallied two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Jackson is a supernova never seen before and Harbaugh realizes it. While critics point to the need to improve the passing game and to make a push in the playoffs, Harbaugh is confident he has something special in Jackson and excited to see where it all goes.
"I think he's a very unique guy," Harbaugh said. "He's a guy that's different in a lot of ways than any quarterback probably that's ever played. No two players are exactly the same. But Lamar is somebody that, he breaks the mold a little bit. He does it in a way that a lot of people didn't anticipate, Rich. They didn't see this coming. They didn't think that a quarterback could play in this style. You know, they talked about him playing other positions and all of that. He's very determined and we're very determined to prove those people wrong, but also to pave a new path and show what's possible with a different type of a skill set. How that is exactly going to look when it's all said and done, that's what we're gonna find out."