Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson on Wednesday pushed back on the notion that he’s unhappy in Baltimore, tweeting that he “loves” the team and lashing out at a “false narrative” around his future.
Jackson’s comments came a day after Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti reiterated that the team was committed to signing its star quarterback to a long-term deal, even with Jackson slow to engage general manager Eric DeCosta in contract talks.
It’s unclear what provoked Jackson’s comments on social media. On Tuesday, he tweeted that there are people with “families to feed” who are “worried about another grown man.” On Wednesday, some NFL analysts responded to Bisciotti’s comments at the NFL owners meetings by speculating that Jackson hadn’t signed a new deal because he wasn’t interested in remaining with the franchise.
“I don’t know who the hell putting that false narrative out that I’m having thoughts about leaving,” Jackson tweeted. “Stop tryna read my mind.”
Jackson, the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player, will earn $23 million this season, the fifth and final year of his rookie deal. A new contract would make Jackson one of the league’s highest-paid players. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ new deal is worth $50 million annually, while Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson’s five-year contract is worth $230 million fully guaranteed.
Despite interest from the Ravens, Bisciotti said he was skeptical Jackson would sign an extension this year, “unless he has a change of heart.” Under the franchise tag, the Ravens could keep Jackson in Baltimore through a series of increasingly valuable one-year deals. Bisciotti said Tuesday that the Ravens would “make it work somehow.”
“It’s unique,” Bisciotti said of Jackson’s approach to contracts, which includes representing himself. “It’s unique as hell because everybody expects you to say, ‘I’ve got to get mine now.’ The kid is so obsessed with winning a Super Bowl, that I think deep down, he doesn’t think he’s worthy. I think he wants that to say, ‘Now, I deserve to be on top.’ People can speculate any way they want.”