The notion that the marriage between the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson would last at least an additional year took a major hit Monday when the quarterback revealed in a Twitter thread addressed to his fans that he requested a trade more than three weeks ago.
Jackson said his ask came on March 2, five days before the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, allowing the 2019 NFL MVP to negotiate with the league’s 31 other teams while giving Baltimore a chance to match any offer sheet signed.
“The Ravens (have) not been interested in meeting my value,” Jackson wrote of his ongoing negotiations with the team for a contract extension, which has lasted more than two years.
“Any and everyone that’s (sic) has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl,” Jackson wrote in his message.
Throughout the offseason, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh have stated signing Jackson to a long-term extension is their top priority.
In his message, Jackson thanked Ravens fans in what amounted to a farewell.
“You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I,” Jackson said. “No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I’ll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You’ll See me again.”
While speaking at the league’s owners meetings in Phoenix, Harbaugh said he had not seen Jackson’s tweets and that he still expected the 26-year-old to be Baltimore’s starter Week 1.
“Lamar’s handled it with class,” Harbaugh said.
Should Jackson and the Ravens’ situation remain unresolved with the two sides unable to work out a contract or a trade – reports earlier this month said multiple teams are not currently interested in Jackson – Jackson could opt not to play next season without incurring any fines since he has not signed his franchise tender.
If Jackson signs the tender, he would receive a $32.41 million salary for the 2023 season. Baltimore has until July 17 to reach a multiyear contract extension with the quarterback.
Last week, the NFL management council sent a memo to team executives and contract negotiators that the NFL Players Association informed the league that a person named Ken Francis was contacting teams on Jackson’s behalf despite not being an NFLPA certified agent. Jackson disputed that report, saying “stop lying that man never tried to negotiate for me.”
Jackson took over the starting quarterback job from Joe Flacco in 2018, the year Baltimore selected the Heisman Trophy winner No. 32 overall, and the Ravens have gone 45-16 with him as a starter. Injuries have prevented Jackson from playing down the stretch in each of the last two seasons. In the 2022 campaign, a knee injury prompted him to miss the final five regular-season contests as well as Baltimore’s wild-card round loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.