Baltimore Ravens Are Playing With Fire| QB Lamar Jackson Says He’ll Pause Contract Negotiations If Sides Can’t Come To An Agreement

(Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

From all accounts, Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson has been his usual dynamic self in training camp. Jackson has reportedly exhibited his usual leadership and maturity. This despite not having a contract extension heading into the fifth-year option season of his deal. 

By all accounts, Jackson just being at training camp says a lot, but he deserves a fully-guaranteed long-term extension and he and the Ravens just can’t get on the same page. 

Look no farther than Cleveland, where the embattled Deshaun Watson received five-year, $230 million fully-guaranteed deal and Arizona’s Kyler Murray also received a fully-guaranteed five-year, $230.1 million extension. But get this, Jackson has more accolades than those two signal-callers combined.

When asked about his current contract situation, the always cool and calm Jackson had this to say at the team’s practice facility on Saturday.

“We’re coming up to it. It’s coming up. The season is coming up. We’re going to be good for the season.”

The reporter then asks, “Is Week 1 a hard deadline to get a deal done?” to which Jackson responds:

”Yeah, for sure.”

Jackson remarks sounds like someone who’s over the contract talk and wants to just focus on football. And doesn’t want to drag any negotiations into the upcoming season, therefore allowing him to focus solely on leading the Ravens. Unfortunately, that’s not how this works, as his contract status will be an ongoing story until it’s resolved. He also stated that he has “no updates” on the deal since he last talked about it.

 

 

Jackson Has Been Great In Camp: Harbaugh Says He’s Throwing Better Than He Ever Has

Jackson has been insistent on keeping things drama-free. That’s been the case, and two weeks into camp LJ seems pretty content with how things are going.

“I like it like this. I was able to start Day 1. What is it, like, Day 15 or something like that for us? I’m feeling pretty good. Nothing is wrong with me, I’m good.”

This offseason Jackson chose to stay close to home in Florida and work out. He reportedly bulked up to 230 pounds in the offseason. While, Harbaugh says he’s comfortable with him at that weight, that was a little bigger than he wanted his dynamic dual-threat weapon.

But Jackson has shown no signs of slowing down with the extra weight, and Harbs seems OK with it. He’s throwing the ball with much more velocity as a result of the added weight and muscle.

Here’s what Harbs said following a recent training camp practice:

“I like him, I like the way he looks. I like what he’s done with himself. And, yes, it hasn’t slowed him down at all,”

Added weight will help Jackson avoid injury. For a guy that runs a lot — 615 rushes over the past four seasons, the most by a QB by far — that’s vital, although he’s always been able to avoid the big hit.

“In all honesty, I feel Iike Lamar has always been really good avoiding getting hit hard. The only time he really gets hit is if he doesn’t see it, that’s pretty rare too. I know we see that … and you’re going to be concerned about that with any quarterback — quarterbacks can get hit in the pocket — but he’s got a knack.

“He’s done it his whole life; I think he’s just good at it, and he doesn’t really get hit that much and that hard. Now, of course, it’s football, and I think he’s going to have to manage and play the long game that way, certainly, but he does done a good job of that this far, and I kind of trust him with that.”

 

 

Jackson Has Been A Great Starter

Boasting a career 37-12 record as a starter, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner and 2019 unanimous NFL MVP, has been a handful for defenses since he became the Ravens’ full-time starter in 2019. In fact, in that time frame he has nine games with at least a 90 QBR. That’s the most in the league and three more than Patrick Mahomes, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers, who each have six.

Pay the man, Baltimore, he’s earned it. Seems that he’s only scratching the surface of his passing ability.