Lamar Jackson he said he expects to spend the rest of his career with the Baltimore Ravens.
He also made some suggestions on how the next few months could go.
Jackson indicated that he had recent discussions with the team about his contract, but that’s all he was willing to say about it when he spoke to reporters Thursday for the first time since joining the Ravens for the mandatory minicamp. Jackson is entering his fifth season of options, so a possible extension has been a major topic during this Baltimore off-season.
“We’re having a conversation,” the star’s quarterback said.
Jackson provided some variations of that answer multiple times, including when asked – and then asked a second time – if he would definitely be playing in the first regular season game if he didn’t have a new contract by then.
“We’re discussing it,” Jackson said. “I do not know.”
Previously, however, he had been asked if he plans to play the rest of his career in Baltimore.
“I expect to do it,” Jackson said.
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So the saga of Jackson’s bargaining situation continues. It’s not necessarily a crisis, but it’s uncertain enough to be intriguing. Jackson entered last season with a lot to prove after the Ravens added more aids and the 2019 championship MVP recorded some of his best career pass numbers early on.
In November, however, he launched seven interceptions in three games.
It turned out that he didn’t have much time to recover. An ankle injury has caused him to miss the last four games. Baltimore lost them all and closed 8-9.
Hence, Jackson was absent from volunteer OTAs this year. If he plays well in the fall, there won’t be much discussion as to why he didn’t come to those workouts, but at this point in the off-season, that qualifies as noteworthy. He said his decision to skip those sessions was not related to the contract.
“I just wanted to stay away and grind,” Jackson said. “I asked my kids how they would feel if I stayed home. They said, ‘No, that’s great.'”
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One of the biggest changes the Ravens have made up front this offseason was the swap of receiver Marquise Brown to Arizona for a first-round pick. Jackson said the team had told him about this possibility, but it was still upsetting to him when it happened, which explained some of his social media activity during draft night.
“I was like, hurt, because that’s my boyfriend,” Jackson said.
Jackson said he worked with Rashod Bateman and James Proche receivers in California in February. Coach John Harbaugh said Jackson will also be working in Florida with his receivers and tight ends in the near future.
“Florida Atlantic, with Willie Taggart, the head coach over there. He’s going to host them for a few launches,” Harbaugh said. “It will all be fine.”
Regardless of how his contract talks progress, the rest of the Ravens seem confident that Jackson won’t be distracted by off-screen issues or criticisms.
“I just think it’s about his business,” Bateman said. “He’s been out here working and day after day. His approach to the game is definitely different. He’s eager. He’s ready to play. He’s ready to show everyone who he is.
“We all know who he is. I think we’re all tired of Lamar’s slander.”
Associated Press report.
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