How the Baltimore Ravens’ Lamar Jackson offers with added scrutiny throughout contract talks – Baltimore Ravens Weblog

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OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey watched Lamar Jackson go right into a Baltimore-area IHOP and knew the Professional Bowl quarterback wouldn’t final lengthy.

Earlier than Jackson might even take into consideration ordering bottomless pancakes, he was being escorted out after getting mobbed by followers.

“He thinks he’s a really regular man, however I’m like, ‘Lamar, you’re Lamar Jackson,’” Humphrey mentioned. “You’re not me; you may’t simply do regular issues.”

And these aren’t regular occasions for Jackson, whose contract state of affairs is among the greatest storylines within the NFL. The Ravens are negotiating an extension with the previous MVP, who is just not represented by an agent, and if it doesn’t get finished by March, Jackson will seemingly must play in 2023 underneath the franchise tag with an unsure future in Baltimore.

When Jackson activates the TV, he hears commentary on his contract. When he clicked on Twitter throughout his trip, he learn criticism of his sport by a former Ravens participant.

“I suppose that is what comes with it,” Jackson mentioned just lately. “Once you’re making an attempt to be nice, whenever you’re making an attempt to work your tail off, there’s going to be negativity.”

Teammates imagine Jackson is motivated by the criticism. Ravens quarterbacks coach James City mentioned Jackson is adept at ignoring the surface chatter.

However Jackson hasn’t ignored all the critiques.

In Could, former NFL quarterback Chris Simms mentioned “[Tom] Brady wouldn’t be lacking OTAs in 12 months 4 of his profession,” after Jackson skipped voluntary offseason exercises. Jackson responded on Twitter: “Lamar needs to be Lamar. This a part of OTAs is voluntary.”

Final month, after Jackson was left off a top 10 quarterback ranking, former Ravens security Bernard Pollard wrote on Twitter, “He’s positively a Prime 10 expertise however as for a Prime 10 QB, I don’t see it.” Jackson then had an extended alternate with Pollard, saying, “I by no means heard of you [to be honest]. You bought your Tremendous Bowl reason for Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.”

Jackson views the exchanges as benign.

“They need dialog; I simply give them somewhat dialog right here and there,” Jackson mentioned. “But it surely actually isn’t something although. It’s not critical. I’m not mad or something like that. I’m simply participating.”

Regardless of the contract state of affairs and commentaries, Jackson seems as targeted on soccer as he’s ever been. He bulked up over the offseason, including greater than 10 kilos of lean muscle. Jackson mentioned he weighs 230 kilos. Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman mentioned Jackson is throwing the ball higher than he’s ever seen him. Per week and half into camp, Jackson has accomplished near 70% of his passes.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh mentioned he has by no means been involved about Jackson being distracted by criticism, as a result of he’s handled it via highschool, faculty and the draft course of as a dual-threat quarterback. The most well-liked critique of Jackson is his capacity to throw the ball.

An nameless defensive coordinator advised The Athletic final month that he wouldn’t think about Jackson a Tier 1 quarterback even when he wins the league MVP 12 occasions. “If he has to cross to win the sport, they ain’t profitable the sport,” the coordinator mentioned.

Jackson has been off along with his accuracy at occasions, and he threw a career-worst 13 interceptions final yr. However final season was his greatest at profitable video games late along with his arm.

In 2021, Jackson led double-digit comebacks within the fourth quarter in opposition to the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts. His Whole QBR when trailing within the fourth quarter final season (81) ranked fourth within the NFL.

“I do not know who this man named ‘Nameless’ is. I have never met him but,” Harbaugh mentioned. “So, I do not even know why we report on what he has to say. However it’s what it’s. It is simply baloney; it is simply nothing; it is a huge nothing burger.”

Baltimore outdoors linebacker Justin Houston believes the criticism of Jackson is sort of on the identical stage as that of NBA famous person LeBron James.

“It doesn’t matter what this child does, he cannot do proper,” Houston mentioned. “I like the way in which he is dealing with it. It is simply motivation. So, I pray that everyone retains speaking about him, as a result of it is hearth.”

A few months after being criticized for not attending voluntary exercises, Jackson heard league observers say he shouldn’t observe in coaching camp till he will get a long-term deal.

However Jackson mentioned he isn’t taking the “hold-in” strategy — report back to camp however not take part in observe like different NFL gamers with contract points — as a result of he needs to win, and he doesn’t wish to depart his teammates “on the market hanging.”

“Lamar is just not involved in regards to the contract, no one ought to be involved in regards to the contract,” Ravens large receiver Rashod Bateman mentioned. “That is lower than us; we’ll let whoever handles that deal with it. We’re simply going to play soccer. That is what we’re referred to as right here to do, and that is what we’ll give attention to.”

Teammates say Jackson doesn’t speak in regards to the negotiations. When Humphrey has introduced up a long-term deal, Jackson has advised him, “It’ll get finished when it will get finished.”

“For a man that’s negotiating, he hasn’t mentioned a phrase, and his worth simply retains going up. It is wonderful,” Ravens guard Kevin Zeitler mentioned. “For anybody who provides him crap, he is in command of his personal future proper now, and I believe that is the way in which he likes it. The best way he performs, the way in which he prepares, the person who he’s, and I believe in the long term he is simply going to maintain profitable.”

When requested how Jackson will deal with all of the noise going into the season, coaches and teammates level to 2019. After listening to all of the questions earlier than the season about whether or not he might throw the ball, Jackson threw 5 landing passes within the season opener after which delivered the road: “Not unhealthy for a working again.” Jackson went on to change into the second unanimous NFL MVP choice in historical past.

“I do know he’s motivated by the critics,” Ravens defensive finish Calais Campbell mentioned. “… On the finish of the day, he’s an exceptional quarterback. Let the haters speak. We’ll allow them to chirp, however we simply win soccer video games.”

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