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How the NFL’s new interview rule could impact the Ravens next season

How the NFL’s new interview rule could impact the Ravens next season

Before Tuesday, teams were allowed to block requests to interview assistant coaches on staff for head coaching positions. Now, that’s not the case.

Should assistant coaches have a bonafide chance at being hired for a coordinator or assistant general manager job with another organization, their current organization will be unable to stop them. 

The Ravens allowed defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale and offensive coordinator Greg Roman to interview for head coaching positions after the conclusion of the 2019 regular season. They’ll likely be in a similar situation next season, if both sides of the ball perform as expected.

Baltimore extended Martindale to a three-year contract in the offseason. 

“They'll be very prepared,” coach John Harbaugh said at the time. “Both of those guys would be great head coaches in the National Football League. I put (assistant head coach/passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach) Dave Culley in the same category. It's just a matter of the fit, whatever coach that the team sees as the best fit for their team and organization.” 

While the move doesn’t affect the Ravens’ likely top targets for next offseason, it could have collateral impacts. 

Clearly, the Ravens’ top targets for head coaching jobs won’t be impacted by this next offseason. But if Roman or Martindale, or both, leave for head coaching jobs, the Ravens will be able to pluck whomever they wish off the interview pile next season. 

Additionally, if they’re able to retain their offensive coaching staff after the 2020 season, there’s nothing they could do to stop quarterbacks coach James Urban from interviewing elsewhere. 

The NFL is hopeful this will promote a bigger net of candidates to interview for high-level jobs. That, to the NFL, means the potential for more minority candidates being hired across the league. 

"The NFL is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, which I believe is critical to our continued success," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "While we have seen positive strides in our coaching ranks over the years aided by the Rooney Rule, we recognize, after the last two seasons, that we can and must do more. The policy changes made today are bold and demonstrate the commitment of our ownership to increase diversity in leadership positions throughout the league."

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How does Patrick Mahomes' mega-extension impact the Ravens and Lamar Jackson?

How does Patrick Mahomes' mega-extension impact the Ravens and Lamar Jackson?

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes has agreed to a massive 10-year mega-extension with the Kansas City Chiefs, a deal that ESPN's Adam Schefter has classified as the "richest in NFL history."

In Kansas City, fans rejoiced. The best quarterback in the NFL is under contract for their favorite team for the next 12 seasons.

But in Baltimore? Ravens fans likely immediately thought about Lamar Jackson and the potential deal he could command next offseason.

Jackson is entering his third NFL season and currently is in a similar position to where Mahomes was just a year prior. While they have different playing styles, the career arc through each of their first two seasons has plenty of similarities.

Both quarterbacks sat for the majority of their rookie seasons before becoming their respective team's starter the following year. In each of their first full seasons as the starting quarterback, Mahomes and Jackson led their respective squads to the No. 1 seed in the AFC while earning NFL MVP honors along the way. Both of them even graced the cover of Madden following their MVP seasons, too.

What Jackson does as a curtain call for his incredible 2019 campaign will certainly impact his future contract. Mahomes parlayed his MVP season in 2018 to a Super Bowl title and MVP last year, which confirmed Kansas City's belief in the need to invest in the QB long-term.

Baltimore is expected to be one of the NFL's best teams once again this fall, and Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has publicly stated he expects Jackson to make a leap as a passer in 2020.

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As far as how much Jackson will make, it's unjust to put him in the same ballpark as Mahomes at this time -- the Chiefs passer has had arguably the best two years to begin his career as a starter than any quarterback in NFL history.

But, if the Ravens quarterback follows up his incredible 2019 season with an even better 2020, Jackson certainly could have an argument to command a deal similar to the Chiefs' QB just agreed to.

Entering the NFL, much of the knack on Jackson had to do with his arm. Well, the Ravens quarterback led the NFL with 36 touchdown passes a season ago, while also breaking the single-season rushing yards record by a quarterback. Sure, Jackson may not have the arm talent that Mahomes has, but there are also things the Ravens QB can do that the Chiefs passer simply cannot.

For Jackson, next offseason is likely the time the quarterback will sign an extension, similarly to how Mahomes did on Monday. In recent years, we've seen Jared Goff and Carson Wentz also sign lucrative extensions following their third professional season.

But as the salary cap continues to change, and now with Mahomes' record deal, the reality is that Jackson's future contract numbers are a guessing game.

Houston Texans QB Deshaun Watson and Dallas Cowboys signal-caller Dak Prescott are both due for extensions, and each could happen before Jackson signs a new deal. Those future deals will likely only increase what Jackson, who has an already more impressive resume than both of them, can command.

What Jackson does as an encore to his MVP season will be crucial in contract negotiations next summer. If Jackson regresses slightly but still turns in a solid season, a deal like Goff's (four years, $110 million) or Wentz's (four-years, $107 million) could be two baselines to follow. Yet, if he improves upon his great 2019 year, Mahomes has set the bar for what the Ravens QB can ask for.

Regardless, Jackson's future deal in Baltimore won't be cheap. But, as the quarterback has proven thus far in his career, it will be worth it. Remember, good quarterbacks win Super Bowls, not cheap ones.

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QB Patrick Mahomes agrees to 10-year extension with Chiefs

QB Patrick Mahomes agrees to 10-year extension with Chiefs

The first two years of Patrick Mahomes being the Kansas City Chiefs starting quarterback could not have gone any better.

Now, he's getting rewarded for it.

Mahomes has agreed to an incredible 10-year extension to remain with the franchise through the 2031 season, the team confirmed on Monday. ESPN's Adam Schefter was first to report the news.

The deal with worth $503 million with $140 million guaranteed, which is the richest deal in NFL history.

Mahomes' extension surpasses Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson's annual figure north of $35 million per season. According to Schefter, Mahomes will earn $450 million over that span with a $140 million injury guarantee. For comparison, that is more than MLB's stars Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, Gerrit Cole and Nolan Arenado have signed in recent years -- in a sport without a salary cap.

The quarterback enters his fourth NFL season in 2020, coming off his first Super Bowl title where he was named the game MVP. Mahomes threw for a league-best 50 touchdowns in 2018, where he earned MVP honors in his first year as a starter. 

Through three seasons, Mahomes is 24-7 as a starter with 9,412 passing yards, 76 touchdowns and just 18 interceptions. He's totaled 500 rushing yards and four touchdowns with his legs, too.

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