Ravens QB Jackson unsure if he will attend camp without a new deal
Lamar Jackson’s contract situation remains up in the air, entering the final season of his five-year, $32.5million deal.
Lamar Jackson has said he wants to be a Baltimore Raven for the rest of his career, but the 2019 NFL MVP was less definitive when asked if he will be present for the start of training camp in July. As expected, Jackson’s contract status was a main topic of conversation when he met with reporters following Thursday’s final day of mandatory minicamp.
The dynamic quarterback is entering the final season of the five-year, $32.5million deal he signed as a rookie in 2018. Jackson, who is representing himself in negotiations, said he and the Ravens have had discussions about an extension, but stopped short of saying for certain if he will attend training camp or play Week 1 without a new deal. “We’re having a conversation about it,” he said. “I don’t know.”
Jackson still remained optimistic he will remain a Raven past this season and beyond, though, adding when asked: “I expect so. Yes, I do.”
He did attend mandatory minicamp after skipping Baltimore’s voluntary offseason training activities last month, though said his absence was not contract-related. “I just wanted to stay away and just grind. I just wanted to come back and just see how it felt. [And] I feel good,” he added.
Contract talks progressing slowly
Extension talks between Jackson and the Ravens have moved slowly, with general manager Eric DeCosta saying in March negotiations had gone on “at Lamar’s urgency.”
With a league MVP to his credit and being the only quarterback in NFL history with two 1,000-yard rushing seasons, the 25-year-old is in a strong position to command a big second contract – perhaps one that could exceed the record $230m in guaranteed money the Cleveland Browns gave quarterback Deshaun Watson on a five-year deal agreed to in March.
Jackson insisted the Watson contract would have no bearing on his own situation, saying: “I’m a man of my own. I don’t worry about what those guys get.” He also responded to comments made by Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti earlier this offseason, which suggested the star signal-caller may not think he was worthy of such a lucrative long-term contract until he wins a Super Bowl. “I still want my Super Bowl, though, but I think I’m worthy,” he stated. “Yes, sir, I do.”