Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, whether he intends to or not, continues to maintain one of the biggest mysteries in the NFL. He’s eligible for a massive second contract, the Ravens are ready to give him one, but he won’t engage them in negotiations.
Meanwhile, he’s boycotting offseason workouts for the first time in his career. And there’s no obvious reason for it, since the team is (as mentioned above) ready to pay him the contract he has earned.
So what’s going on? On Thursday’s PFT Live, we identified three potential explanations.
Possibility No. 1: He wants out of Baltimore.
Jackson has denied such chatter. But until he signs a new contract with the Ravens, it remains a distinct possibility.
Possibility No. 2: He wants the Ravens to offer him a market-setting contract without the burden of negotiation.
In other words, if the current best contract is $230 million over five years with every penny fully guaranteed, Jackson may be waiting for something a little better than the Deshaun Watson contract. (This may explain the decision of Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to publicly lament the Watson deal.)
Really, why shouldn’t Jackson expect the Watson deal with a sweetener? Watson has never been an NFL MVP. Likewise, Jackson currently isn’t facing 24 lawsuits (and counting, possibly) alleging sexual misconduct.
Possibility No. 3: He doesn’t know what he wants.
This seems to be the least likely, because if he truly was undecided about the future, he’d have no reason to stay away from OTA sessions. Indeed, he surely knows by now what he’s looking for from the Ravens.
It will be interesting to see whether he shows up for the mandatory minicamp next week. There’s no reason to think he won’t. That said, there’s no clear reason to explain his handling of his broader business issues to date.