Lamar Jackson’s fifth training camp in Owings Mills, Maryland, is underway as the Ravens prepare for the 2022 season. While big name players around the league have held out or held in amid contract negotiations ahead of the season, Jackson isn’t one of them. Jackson shared why he’s not doing the same.
“I want to win at the end of the day. I want to be great,” Jackson said. “I just want to be there for my brothers at the end of the day, you know? I don’t want to leave them out there hanging. That’s not me, that’s never been me.”
Lamar Jackson says he’s talking to Eric DeCosta whenever he has free time.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) July 28, 2022
“We’re still talking right now.”
Asked why he wouldn’t “hold in,” he said he wants to practice with his “brothers.” pic.twitter.com/Al0KNBGo4G
That was the essence of Jackson’s time at the podium — defining himself. When asked if the negotiating process has strengthened his sense of trust with the Ravens organization, Jackson shined light.
“For sure,” Jackson said. “I don’t like people in my business at all. If I wanted people in my business, I would put it out there myself.”
That has been the overarching theme of negotiations between Jackson and the Ravens. Private. Kept in house. There have been whispers, rumors and speculation. However, in true Ravens fashion, the situation has been kept close to the vest.
This directly contrasts the most recent NFL quarterback mega-contract negotiation, the Arizona Cardinals extending Kyler Murray to a $230.5 million contract, including $105 million guaranteed at signing.
Murray and the Cardinals negotiation, at one point, included a four-paragraph statement released by Murray’s agent, Erik Burkhardt, including bullet points and emboldened statements such as, “Actions speak much louder than words in this volatile business.”
Jackson defined a timeline for talks to take a break ahead of the season, stating that he “hopes” a deal gets done before the season and “thinks” that one will.
Jackson’s demeanor, candor and tone were all generally positive, upbeat and optimistic. That’s music to Ravens fans ears ahead of the season.
The biggest takeaway is Jackson is pleased with the fact that negotiations have been kept quiet, hopes a deal will get done, and made no indication of holding out (which he’s already put to bed anyway) in the event that an extension isn’t finalized. This is perhaps the most insight we’ve been given into Jackson’s thoughts on negotiations, and for the tone to be as positive as it was speaks volumes of the state of the relationship between the quarterback and organization. With roughly six weeks before Week 1, we know that Jackson hopes to get a deal done and thinks it will happen.