Lamar Jackson does not plan to hold training camp


Jackson’s contract status has been the biggest story surrounding the Ravens this offseason. The 2019 MVP is expected to earn just over $23 million in 2022 under the fifth-year option of his rookie contract, but the booming quarterback market and the cost of a franchise tag in 2023 (about $35 million) suggests Baltimore would want to work out a long-term extension sooner rather than later.

According to the team, the reason a deal isn’t in place, or at least closer to the finish line, is because Jackson didn’t come to the table. to negotiate. But there are other complicating factors. Jackson’s self-representation is part of it, as is his statistical regression from his MVP campaign – first in QBR in 2019, seventh in 2020 and 17th in 2021 – his sprained ankle that ended his career prematurely. his 2021 season, and the fact that much of his value is tied to his running ability. Then there’s the matter of Deshaun Watson’s five-year, fully guaranteed, $230 million contract with the Browns, though Jackson has hinted that Watson’s deal will have no effect on his.

In November 2021, it was reported that Jackson was aiming for a contract with a $45 million AAV and the Ravens were unwilling to go that far. The team would have favored a $40 million a year pact, but of course cash flow and collateral are the true indicators of a contract’s value. Speculatively, it could be that the rift between the two sides is such that the quarterback felt that further engagement in contract talks would have been a fruitless endeavour, and that he would be better off playing the 2022 season for prove that he deserves a high-end pact. To be clear, Jackson never suggested so much, although he told the team he was focused on having the best year possible and only wanted to discuss a contract after the 2022 campaign.

There was something of a sea change to the mandatory minicamp in June, when Jackson and Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta spoke about the contractual situation. It’s unclear where negotiations stand at this point, but his comments yesterday indicate that Jackson is now ready to put this matter behind him before the end of the year.

As Deen observes, Jackson recently made waves on social media when he changed his Instagram profile picture and Twitter header to a photo of a mouth with a gold grid that reads “J ‘need $”. The image is from a movie called “How High” featuring rappers Method Man and Redman, and Jackson says he just found it funny and wanted to post it. It was not, he claims, intended to be a commentary on his dealings with the Ravens.

“I don’t know why people blow it up” says Jackson. “I just saw Bleacher Report post it. They take everything that’s posted on social media and blow it up, and try to think for you. I don’t take it too seriously. … Our contract discussion is already underway. But it’s not about that though. I don’t put my professional life on social media. I will never do that. I will not put my personal life on social media. I’ll show stuff, but I won’t throw subliminal [messages] out. It is not me.”

His remark that “our contract discussion is already underway” is certainly noteworthy given the history of his extension talks. It would seem that neither the player nor the team would like to continue negotiating in the regular season, but there is no real deadline since Jackson does not play under the franchise label. So while a new deal is more likely now than it was a month ago, it’s still hard to put a time frame on it.




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