How Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson Deals With Extra Scrutiny During Contract Talks – Baltimore Ravens Blog

Owings Mills, MD – Ravens Cornback Marlon Humphrey See Lamar Jackson He moved to IHOP in the Baltimore area and knew the Pro Bowl quarterback wouldn’t last long.

Before Jackson even thought about ordering the endless pancakes, he was being taken outside after being assaulted by fans.

“He thinks he’s a very normal guy,” said Humphrey, “but I’m like, ‘Lamar, you’re Lamar Jackson.'” You’re not me. You can’t do normal things.”

And these are no ordinary times for Jackson, whose contract placement is one of the biggest events in the NFL. The Ravens are negotiating an extension with the former MVP, who is not represented by an agent, and if not done by March, it is likely that Jackson will play in 2023 under the franchise tag with an uncertain future in Baltimore.

When Jackson turned on the TV, he heard a comment on his contract. When he clicked on Twitter while on vacation, he read criticism of his game by a former Ravens player.

“I think that’s what comes with it,” Jackson said recently. “When you’re trying to be cool, when you’re trying to pull off your tail, there’s going to be negativity.”

His teammates believe the criticism is motivated by Jackson. Ravens coach James Urban said Jackson is adept at ignoring outside talk.

But Jackson did not ignore all the criticism.

In May, former NFL quarterback Chris Sims said:[Tom] Brady He won’t be missing OTAs in Year 4 of his career,” after Jackson skipped voluntary off-season training. Jackson responded on Twitter: “Lamar wants to be Lamar. This part of OTAs is optional. “

Last month, after Jackson was left out of the top 10 quarterback, former Ravens safety Bernard Pollard wrote on Twitter, “He’s definitely a top 10 talent but for a top 10 QB, I don’t see it.” Jackson then had a long conversation with Pollard, saying, “I’ve never heard of you [to be honest]. You’ve got your own Super Bowl case for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.”

Jackson views the exchanges as benign.

“They want a conversation,” Jackson said. “But really not anything though. It’s not serious. I’m not angry or anything like that. I’m just engaged.”

Despite contract status and comments, Jackson appears to be as focused on football as ever. He increased his size during the holiday season, adding more than 10 pounds of lean muscle. Jackson said he weighs 230 pounds. Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Jackson throws the ball better than he’s ever seen. After a week and a half of camp, Jackson completed nearly 70% of his passes.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he was never worried about Jackson being distracted by criticism, as he treated him through high school, college and the recruiting process as a double-threat quarterback. Jackson’s most popular criticism is his ability to throw the ball.

An anonymous defensive coordinator told The Athletic last month that he would not consider Jackson a top-tier midfielder even if he won the league’s MVP title 12 times. “If he had to pass in order to win the match, they wouldn’t win the match,” the coordinator said.

Jackson has missed his accuracy at times, throwing the 13 worst interceptions of his career last year. But last season he had his best at winning games late with his arm.

In 2021, Jackson led a double-digit comeback in the fourth quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs and Indianapolis Colts. Falling behind in the fourth quarter of last season (81), Total QBR ranked fourth in the NFL.

“I don’t know who this guy named ‘Unknown’ is,” said Harbo. “I haven’t met him yet. So, I don’t even know why we’re reporting what he’s going to say. But that’s what it is. It’s just bullshit. It’s just nothing. It’s nothing big.”

Baltimore at full back Justin Houston He thinks Jackson’s criticism is almost on the same level as the NBA star LeBron James.

Houston said, “No matter what this kid does, he just can’t do it right. I love the way he’s handling it. It’s just an impulse. So, I pray everyone keeps talking about it, because it’s fire.”

Two months after being criticized for not attending volunteer training, Jackson heard the league’s monitors say he shouldn’t be training in training camp until he gets a long-term deal.

But Jackson said he’s not taking a “wait” approach — reporting to camp but not participating in training like other NFL players with contract issues — because he wants to win, and he doesn’t want to leave his teammates “out there hanging.”

“Lamar is not worried about the contract, no one should worry about the contract,” Ravens wide receiver Rashid Bateman He said. “It’s not up to us; we’ll let whoever handles it. We’ll just play football. That’s what we’re called here to do, that’s what we’re going to focus on.”

His teammates say Jackson isn’t talking about negotiations. When Humphrey came up with a long-term deal, Jackson told him, “It’s going to be over when it’s done.”

“For a man who negotiates, he has not uttered a single word, and his value is constantly increasing. It is amazing,” Kevin Zeitler He said. “For anyone who gives him a crap, he’s responsible for his own destiny now, and I think that’s the way he likes it. The way he plays, the way he prepares, the person he is, and I think in the long run he’s going to continue to win.”

When asked how Jackson would handle all the noise of the season, coaches and teammates referred to 2019. After hearing all the pre-season questions about whether he could throw the ball, Jackson threw five touchdown passes in the season opener and then delivered the line: “Not bad for running.” backwards.” Jackson went on to become the second unanimous pick in the NFL MVP in history.

Ravens defensive end ‘I know he’s motivated by critics’ Calais Campbell He said. “…At the end of the day, he’s a great full-back. Let the haters talk. We’ll let them laugh, but we just win football matches.”