Lamar Jackson isn’t revealing much when it comes to his current contract situation. The two-time Pro Bowl quarterback is playing it pretty close to the vest as he continues discussions with the Baltimore Ravens.
Jackson received multiple contract-related questions while meeting with reporters for the first time during the NFL offseason. He answered each inquiry with the same response.
“We’re having a conversation about it,” Jackson said repeatedly.
Jackson missed Baltimore’s organized team activities (OTAs) for the first time in his professional career. That decision sparked speculation he might be unhappy with the current situation, even though OTAs are optional. The Ravens quarterback said his absence was not related to his contract.
Jackson participated in all three of the team’s mandatory mini-camp practices.
On one occasion, Jackson was willing to open up (slightly) on his contract situation. He expressed certainty that he’ll be in Baltimore for the long haul.
“I expect so,” Jackson said when asked if he believes he’ll be a Raven for his entire career. “Yes, I do.”
One reporter asked if he’d prefer to have a contract in place by the end of the year. Another asked if he’d play Week 1 without a deal in place. Will he attend training camp?
“We’re in conversation right now,” is the only response Jackson provided.
Jackson will receive more than $23 million in 2022 as part of his current deal, according to ESPN. Baltimore is likely to utilize its franchise tag on the star quarterback if the parties can’t reach an agreement by the 2023 offseason.
Jackson Only Focused on Himself
Ignoring the contract details for new Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson would be a difficult task for most around the league. Jackson, however, says it’s not something that has caught his attention.
The Houston Texans traded Watson to Cleveland in March. The quarterback will make $230 million in a fully-guaranteed, five-year contract with the Browns. But Jackson says those details are not a factor in his current conversations with the Ravens.
“I’m a man of my own,” Jackson said. “I don’t worry about what those guys get.”
In March, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti spoke highly of Jackson’s desire to win a Super Bowl. He indicated the quarterback is more focused on becoming a champion than landing a lucrative contract.
“The kid is so obsessed with winning a Super Bowl that I think, deep down, he doesn’t think he’s worthy,” Bisciotti told The Baltimore Sun. “I think he wants that [title] to say, ‘Now I deserve to be on top.’ People can speculate any way they want. I don’t think he is turned on by money that much, and he knows it’s coming one way or the other.”
Jackson agreed that winning a Super Bowl is his goal. He still believes he’s worthy of a contract, though.
“Yeah, I think [I’m worthy],” Jackson said. “I still want my Super Bowl, but I think I’m worthy of it. Yes sir, I do.”