After roughly a yr of laborious contract negotiations, Lamar Jackson lastly signed his five-year, $260 million cope with the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday.
Jackson and the Ravens agreed to the deal on April 27, simply over seven weeks after Baltimore positioned the non-exclusive franchise tag on him and roughly a month after the 2019 NFL MVP made his commerce request public.
Throughout Thursday’s presser, Jackson shared that different groups contacted him when free company opened in March, however regardless of the curiosity and his commerce request, Jackson mentioned he needed to stick with the group that drafted him in 2018.
“To be sincere with you, I actually did not look after different groups, actually,” Jackson mentioned. “I simply actually needed to get one thing finished right here. I needed to be right here. I used to be like, ‘Man, OK, different groups, cool, however I wish to be a Raven.’ … I actually needed to get this finished earlier than something, earlier than my time up and department off elsewhere. I actually wish to end my profession right here and win a Tremendous Bowl right here.”
The negotiations between the 2 sides appeared contentious contemplating they lasted for practically a yr. Jackson set a tough deadline to finish contract talks previous to the beginning of the 2022 common season as he reportedly sought a fully-guaranteed contract just like the five-year, $230 million deal that Deshaun Watson acquired from the Cleveland Browns.
There was additionally some drama surrounding Jackson’s PCL damage, which prompted him to overlook the final six video games of the season.
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All of the negativity which may have come up in Jackson’s contract negations are previously although, including that he absolutely recovered from his PCL damage “most likely a month in the past.”
“At this time, we’re gonna preserve it in regards to the future,” Jackson mentioned. “I am probably not fearful about what occurred previously. We’re gonna preserve it about these subsequent 5 years and preserve it about what is going on on in the present day.”
A part of that future with the Ravens contains new expertise at broad receiver. Jackson can have some new gamers to throw to in 2023, because the group signed All-Professional receiver Odell Beckham Jr. to a one-year deal and drafted Boston College wideout Zay Flowers within the first spherical of the draft. The Ravens additionally employed Georgia offensive coordinator Todd Monken for a similar function.
Jackson mentioned he is “very keen” to get to work with the brand new receivers, saying he thinks he instructed somebody that he needs “to throw for six,000 yards with the weapons we have now.”
“I am not a person award sort of man or a stat watcher, I simply wish to do this as a result of nobody has ever finished that,” Jackson mentioned. “And I really feel like we have now the weapons to do it. We have got explosive guys. Like coach mentioned, the brand new additions Zay, OBJ, and we bought [Rashod] Bateman gonna be one hundred pc wholesome, too.”
Jackson additionally shouted out All-Professional tight finish Mark Andrews and 2022 second-round decide Isaiah Likely as gamers he thinks may also help him attain the following degree.
However Jackson’s largest shout-out of the day was saved for his mom, Felicia Jones. Jackson mentioned his mom labored as his supervisor through the negotiation course of.
“I really feel like she managed me very nicely,” mentioned Jackson, who reportedly acquired $185 million assured plus a no-trade clause and a no-franchise tag clause in the deal. “Do not you suppose so?”
Jackson recalled how his mom grew to become “influential” in his life when he was rising up and watching her elevate 4 youngsters whereas she needed him to play soccer and maintain himself.
“Simply seeing that, [I knew] if she might do this, I might do something,” Jackson mentioned. “She raised 4 youngsters on her personal, not asking for a handout. Not reaching out to folks saying, ‘I would like this proper right here to pay my payments.’ I by no means heard her complain about something like that.
“I might see her get up early within the morning, go to work, come again late at night time from work. I used to be like, ‘Man, this girl’s a superhero to me.’ That was her affect proper there.”
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