Yes, the AFC has lots of good quarterbacks. Specifically, the AFC North has lots of good quarterbacks. With the Baltimore Ravens signing Lamar Jackson to a five-year contact extension to make him he highest-paid player in NFL history on Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers will now face Jackson, Joe Burrow and Deshaun Watson twice a season for the foreseeable future.
Burrow and Watson bring their own problems to the table, but when it comes to the Ravens inking Jackson long-term, the Steelers shouldn’t exactly be shaking in their boots.
Mike Tomlin and the Steelers defense have dominated the 2019 NFL MVP in his five games against the Black and Gold. Against Pittsburgh, Jackson is 56 of 94 for 634 yards, with four touchdowns, six interceptions and a 67.4 passer rating. He has been sacked 16 times, losing 72 yards, and his 4.72 adjusted yards per attempt against the Steelers is the second-lowest of any Jackson opponent.
Make no mistake about it, Jackson is a dangerous player and will make the Ravens better than if they ran Tyler Huntley back as a starter or had to start over at the quarterback position. But if there’s any team that should be extremely comfortable with him staying right where he is, it’s the Steelers.
The Ravens will pay Jackson $52 million a year for the next five years. If he doesn’t perform better against the Steelers, that money being pulled from elsewhere will be a net win for the Black and Gold.
Now, as far as the rest of the quarterback talent populating the AFC like Burrow, Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Herbert, Aaron Rodgers and others? Yeah, that’s going to be a tough road forward.