Lamar Jackson downplays absence from OTAs

Baltimore Ravens v Miami Dolphins
Getty Images

On the question of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s absence from OTAs, coach John Harbaugh said as to Jackson, “It’s up to him to speak for himself.”

He has. Sort of.

Reacting to a snippet from our recent discussion of the situation on PFT Live, during which Chris Simms made the case that if Jackson aspires to be this generation’s Tom Brady he should be there, Jackson said this: “Lamar wants to be Lamar Chris. This part of OTAs is Voluntary my Guy I will be there, just not on your watch it’s probably other QBs not attending Voluntary OTAs either but since it’s Lamar it’s a huge deal. Find something else to talk about.”

We’ve discussed every starting quarterback who is absent from OTAs. Some are absent for business reasons. The two-time reigning MVP, Aaron Rodgers, is absent for no reason. (Rodgers was called out fairly aggressively on Friday’s PFT Live for not assisting with the effort to get the new-look receiving corps up to speed.)

With Jackson, the problem is less that he isn’t there and more that this is just the latest chapter in the mystery that Jackson has either deliberately or accidentally created. By persistently refusing to engage with a team that wants to make him one of the highest-paid players in NFL history, Jackson has confused many league insiders and observers. And if Jackson isn’t engaging with the team because he’s so committed to his craft, why isn’t he present for the offseason practices during which much of the offensive playbook for the coming season is installed?

It’s unconventional to the point of unprecedented. The Ravens want to pay him. He won’t talk to him about it. In so doing, he’s willingly accepting the risk that injury or ineffectiveness will make him less attractive to the Ravens or another team.

He insists he doesn’t want out. His actions suggest otherwise.

It’s great if he’s working with a personal mechanics coach. But these practices represent a handful of opportunities to work with the offense, which will be proceeding without Hollywood Brown in 2022, under the supervision and direction of the coaching staff. Lamar can, frankly, do both.

Finally, as to his request/demand that we “find something else to talk about,” we must respectfully decline his editorial advice. Lamar is a former MVP. He’s one of the most important players in the NFL. When he chooses not to show up for offseason practice, it’s newsworthy.

The comments Chris made about Jackson represent fair criticism, not trolling. Fair criticism is part of being a high-profile athlete in a high-profile sport.

It goes with the territory. Territory that will give generational wealth to Jackson. If he’ll simply reach in and grab it before the window closes, without warning.

37 responses to “Lamar Jackson downplays absence from OTAs

  1. It’s obvious, he wants to go the Kirk Cousins route to maximize his earnings.
    Play out his contract, 2 franchise tags, and he is free.
    The Ravens will pay him but maybe he wants a lot more.
    Will he go to the highest paying (probably bad) team?
    Or does he want to win?

  2. I guess he figures running doesn’t need to be practiced. Now if he ever starts to actually throw passes I’m sure his tune will change.

  3. Maybe the guy just isn’t very smart. Maybe he is a genius. We’ll find out when he signs a new deal (with whomever), or doesn’t.

  4. I’m not even a Ravens fan but I can assure you the Greg Roman’s offense didn’t get that much more complicated over the off-season. When he starts missing mandatory training it’ll be newsworthy.

  5. Lamar Jackson is a scat-back/running back who wants to be paid QB money. Good luck with that.

  6. ‘Find something else to talk about’ Huh?

    You are the franchise player for a 3 billion dollar organization.

    Grow thicker skin.

  7. If Lamar knew in his own mind that he wasn’t that good, then he would have signed a contract and set himself up financially.

  8. He’s pretty sensitive for a guy who hasn’t won any TEAM awards. Maybe because he’s more about ME than the TEAM??? Get to camp! You need it, buddy. Learn to play the position like a REAL QB, not the way you play it. THEN maybe win a playoff game or two….

  9. Sure seems like the dude just don’t care. Seems he has no plan. His actions speak louder than his words.

  10. Lamar should fire his agent, and hire one that will look out for his best interests, that is not entangled with Jackson’s enigmatic personality.

  11. “He’s one of the most important players in the NFL.”

    No, he’s not.

  12. Guess your can’t blame him since he just seen Deshaun Watson get 10 million guaranteed for each women he sexually assaulted .

  13. He presumably wants a contract, but won’t talk to the team about it. He supposedly wants to win a Super Bowl, but is only doing the bare minimum that’s required of him.

    One of several problems with this is that it hamstrings the team in planning for the future with the roster. Not knowing when and how much they will have to pay him holds the contractual futures of every other player on the team in suspense. Deals that might get made won’t get made, or will likely be for smaller money, to create as much room as possible for whenever Jackson decides he wants to get paid.

    Bottom line, it seems selfish. It’s not just his career in the balance, it’s all of his teammates’ careers. We already saw Marquise Brown jump ship because he was tired of his career being held back. Jackson is saying with his actions that the prospects of his teammates, of how well their careers go, doesn’t matter to him as much as whatever his strategy is, which no one knows.

  14. Is anyone else surprised that Lamar watches PFT Live?
    I wonder if he reads the comments too.

  15. nite2al says:

    “It’s OTAs, my lord.”

    Yeah, and AI said it better anyway: “Now I know that I’m supposed to lead by example and all that but I’m not shoving that aside like it don’t mean anything. I know it’s important, I honestly do but we’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice man. We’re talking about practice. We’re talking about practice. We’re not talking about the game. We’re talking about practice.”

  16. ravens would be smart to trade him for picks now – let him be someone else’s mediocre headache.

  17. I’d look into his entourage and who’s advising him. Someone has convinced him to play this game with the hope of cashing in for themselves. I guarantee he didn’t come with this nonsense by himself…

  18. Lamar is more obsessed with marketing himself and becoming a billionaire than being a football team leader.

  19. My bet is the Ravens have shared their idea of contract parameters and it was a slap in the face. Jackson has more MVPs than Watson, more playoff games than Watson, and his off field behavior isn’t an eyesore on the organization like Watson.

  20. You might think that a quarterback whose skill at throwing the ball is in the bottom tier of NFL quarterbacks would want to work to improve it with his teammates, you know, if he was actually focused on trying to win a Super Bowl.

  21. You have to forgive Lame. He can’t read a defense or a map. And his driving assistance app made a wrong turn in New Mexico. He’ll be back in time to suck the oxygen out of the offense in September like always.

  22. I would trade him to the Lions for a boat load of picks. Enough already, nobody should hold up a team.

  23. Remember that Seinfeld episode where the guy talked about himself in the 3rd person? MOTORKADE thinks that’s a bit whack homes.

  24. I’m wondering if Lamar Jackson does want out of Baltimore if he has given them an ultimatum as it’s incredibly weird that the Ravens want to pay him and they’re ready to pay him yet Lamar won’t engage or sit down for contract talks. His refusal to negotiate a new deal at the moment suggests he either wants out or has given them an ultimatum saying either do this or I want out. I think he wants to stay in Baltimore so I’m wondering if his beef is with OC Greg Roman and Lamar has said to the front office either fire Roman and get me a new OC or I’m out and I’ll sign elsewhere. I could see LJ wanting to prove he can play in a passing first offense, he’s probably beyond frustrated with losing WR’s and the fact receivers don’t want to sign there because of the offense. Hollywood Brown left because he couldn’t properly showcase his talents in Romans offense which is built around the run and limits not only passing plays but explosive passing plays and that loss really infuriated Jackson. Hollywood Brown is an elite WR talent and now that he is in a pass first offense paired up with an elite passer who’s one of the best deep passers in the game Browns stats are going to go way up and people will see just how good dude is when used properly in a passing offense. Losing Brown really bothered Lamar Jackson I think and I could see him wanting Baltimore to bring in a new OC though at this point it’s to late to do that in 2022. One thing is for sure though and that is the fact he has some sort of problem with the organization, if he doesn’t sign by the end of the summer then something is very wrong in Baltimore and he might be looking at forcing his way out.

  25. Jimmy’s getting angry. Jimmy doesn’t like when people ask why he isn’t at OTAs. Jimmy will show up when Jimmy is ready.

  26. I really hope he signs a max contract type deal, for a very long period of time, IN Baltimore. Yummy.

  27. Lamar is not in the top 10 Qb’s although paying him Watson money would probably look cheap over the life of the contract. Still, the knuckleheads in Cleveland offered way to much to Watson considering his legal mess. It set the bar for other Qb’s ridiculously high.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.