The Baltimore Ravens and star quarterback Lamar Jackson have both been dragging their feet on agreeing to a new lucrative long-term extension for their dynamic signal caller. As Jackson showed up for minicamp this week, that question echoed even louder, as to why the former MVP is yet to ink a deal.
The slow progress makes the public wonder if the two sides are even communicating as the 2023 season draws closer.
Jackson says the two sides have had about eight separate conversations pertaining to a new deal, but he also let it be known that details of the negotiations are between him and the organization.
On the June 16 episode of “Get Up,” ESPN football analyst Domonique Foxworth said the Ravens should pay Jackson because he saved the proud franchise.
“I absolutely think that has to be the trend that we go with. Why would we stop it now? It’s like the next quarterback that is up gets the highest deal. Even if it’s not someone who’s been as successful as Lamar. It’s really hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve it, considering that over the past three years I think Patrick Mahomes is the only quarterback with a better QBR.”
“Now you can argue that no one means more to a specific team, a specific city than Lamar Jackson. When he came in that rookie year, he saved a lot of jobs. There’s a lot of people in that building that are Baltimore Ravens because Lamar Jackson showed the hell up and showed the hell out.”
— Lamar Jackson (@Lj_era8) June 16, 2022
Foxworth is alluding to the perennial playoff Ravens missing the postseason three of the four seasons prior to Jackson’s arrival. And now making it every season he’s been there minus last season when his health didn’t hold up.
Foxworth seems to be hinting at the deal the Browns gave Deshaun Watson (five years, $230 million), with the entire bag guaranteed. Jackson has accomplished more than Watson overall, and that has to be accounted for in negotiations.
Jackson Expects To Play Remainder Of Career In Charm City
While Jackson has been vague on actual contract talks, in a post minicamp presser he did express the belief that he’s going to be in Baltimore for the long haul.
“I expect so. So, yes, I do.”
That’s a good sign for the Ravens, as they attempt to sign their franchise player. Jackson is unique in his play and his approach, and he’s adamant that he doesn’t want to be compared to any other QB, especially when setting his market value. Jackson says he just wants to play the game he loves and the business will take care of itself.
“I play football. That’s what I’m here for,” he said.
Jackson Seems To Have Bulked Up
LJ8 arrived to minicamp reportedly much bigger in build. In a concerted effort in the offseason to bulk up in order to withstand the punishment, Jackson seems to have hit the weight room pretty hard. For a guy who’s been hit more than any other quarterback since he entered the starting lineup in the middle of his rookie season, being able to sustain the punishment his body will take is imperative. After playing last season at 205-208 pounds, Jackson is now in the 220-223 range.
“I just wanted to do it. See how I look, see how I feel,” he told reporters.
QB coach James Urban likes the way his prized pupil’s new physique looks.
“Physically, he looks imposing. He looks very, very, very good,” Urban said.
Noe the Ravens have to stop being cheap and get Jackson locked up with a deal.