Ravens GM Eric DeCosta Admits Lamar Jackson Mistake

Eric DeCosta

Getty Eric DeCosta admitted he's made mistakes with Lamar Jackson.

Eric DeCosta admitted he’s gotten it wrong with Lamar Jackson. The Baltimore Ravens’ general manager acknowledged he hasn’t always done the best job surrounding his franchise quarterback with talent, but that will change thanks to the arrival of Odell Beckham Jr.

DeCosta made the confession to Mike Florio during an appearance on PFTPM for NBC Sports, describing how signing OBJ will help correct his past mistakes:

“We want to maximize Lamar’s ability. I’ve probably done a poor job of doing that over the last couple of years in some ways, by not having more receivers around him. We love the guys we have, but you know, in terms of building the best possible offense, that’s a factor too.”


EDC went on to emphasize how the Ravens think veteran wide receiver Beckham will help the franchise in a number of ways: “Every situation has residual values associated. Every player that you bring in is different, and they affect things differently. Leadership, ability, community, whatever that might be long-term, and we see OBJ as a big part of that whole thing.”

While there are ancillary benefits to Beckham joining the team, his primary impact will be helping the Ravens become more explosive on offense. The result will be making Jackson a more dynamic passer, something DeCosta also ensured by selecting Zay Flowers 22nd overall in the 2023 NFL draft.

Flowers and Beckham are the headline additions in a focused overhaul of Jackson’s offense. The transformation may have ultimately swayed Jackson to sign his new long-term contract.

Eric DeCosta Made Good on Overhauling Lamar Jackson’s Supporting Cast

Jackson got a five-year deal worth $260 million to end what had developed into a protracted contract saga. The resolution came shortly before the draft, and Jackson seemed acutely aware of the plan to take a wideout in Round 1.

Using prime draft capital to select Flowers showed how committed DeCosta was to improving Jackson’s supporting cast. So did giving Beckham a front-loaded, one-year deal worth $15 million.

That’s quite an investment in a 30-year-old who has torn his left ACL twice and hasn’t played since the 2021 season. Beckham’s last action involved helping the Los Angeles Rams win Super Bowl LVI, and the Ravens are hoping for a similar impact from the three-time Pro-Bowler.

OBJ’s chances of making Jackson better and delivering a championship will hinge on a more expansive scheme called by new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The two worked together with Baltimore’s AFC North rivals the Cleveland Browns in 2019, the last time Beckham posted a 1,000-yard season.

Speaking at a press conference for his official contract signing on Thursday, May 4, Jackson revealed he’s enthusiastic about what this season’s offense will look like following conversations with Monken, per Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.

The enthusiasm is already leading to some lofty expectations.

Lamar Jackson Can Set the Bar High for New Offense

Having Beckham and Flowers in the same lineup as All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews, as well as a more creative play-caller, should lead to big things from the Ravens’ offense this year. There’s also an underrated core of complementary playmakers, including running back J.K. Dobbins, tight end Isaiah Likely and wideouts Rashod Bateman, Devin Duvernay and Nelson Agholor, signed from the New England Patriots in free agency.

This group has greater star power and potential than the one used by Monken’s predecessor Greg Roman last season. Roman called a run-heavy scheme short on big plays through the air, but his attempts to do more were hardly helped by DeCosta signing receivers like little-used Demarcus Robinson and worn-down veterans like DeSean Jackson and Sammy Watkins.

It’s no wonder Jackson is already willing to set the bar high for what he and his revamped group of targets can produce, per ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.

Okay, so a 6,000-yard season is surely a tongue-in-cheek prediction, but there’s no reason to suppose Jackson won’t shatter the 4,000-yard plateau for the first time as a pro passer.

He has enough weapons at his disposal and remains perhaps the most dynamic dual-threat playmaker at his position in the league. Now he’s officially put pen to paper, Jackson can concentrate on quickly getting up to speed in Monken’s system and taking full advantage of Beckham, Flowers and the improved talent DeCosta’s finally put around football’s most important position.