Lamar Jackson should be at every Ravens OTA practice

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When the Ravens signed quarterback Josh Johnson on the first day of OTAs, my first thought was, “They must not expect to see much of Lamar Jackson.”

On Monday, they didn’t see him at all.

I know it’s voluntary. But Lamar doesn’t get a pass. Aaron Rodgers didn’t get one last year, and Lamar doesn’t get one this year.

It’s unclear where the line is that separates “it’s OK to skip” from “you should be there.” A compensation package in excess of $50 million per year lands on the “be there” side of the ledger.

Jackson recently scored a new deal that pays him $52 million per year. Even if none of the money is tied to participation in the offseason program, the total investment suggests he should be there. The fact that the Ravens are implementing a new offense with new receivers and a new commitment to passing the ball should make him want to be there.

We saw the difference last year, with the Packers and the Chiefs. Green Bay was adjusting to a post-Davante Adams offense. Rodgers couldn’t be bothered (despite making $50 million per year) to be there in order to help the new receivers get comfortable. Kansas City was adjusting to a post-Tyreek Hill offense. Patrick Mahomes was there. With bells on. He worked out with receivers on his own. He gave notes to the Chiefs regarding the things he learned during these private throwing sessions.

The Ravens are in a conference loaded with great teams. Mahomes will be there for OTAs. Josh Allen will be in Buffalo for OTAs. Joe Burrow will be in Cincinnati for OTAs.

Lamar should be there, too.

Yes, it’s voluntary. It’s an option. The pursuit of greatness is an option, too. For those truly committed to it, there’s no reason not to be present for practice sessions involving new pieces of a new offense — especially when the Ravens eventually will be competing with teams whose quarterbacks were present for everything in the offseason, and then some.

34 responses to “Lamar Jackson should be at every Ravens OTA practice

  1. you get what you pay for when you pay top-tier qb money to an injury-riddled rb.

  2. Good because he’ll be out half the season with injuries. Totally worth that huge contract.

  3. Even Kyler was in taking “mental reps.” Lamar’s got no excuses anymore. Time to show up!

  4. Why he got paid. He wasn’t for the last two full seasons, why should off season be any different. Lamar is set for life now.

  5. He skipped all the voluntary workouts last year and they were 8-3 before he got hurt.

  6. Guess who started this?

    Tom Brady.

    In 2013, he said it was vitally important. Then, he started skipping OTAs in 2018 and 2019 as leverage to get a final contract until “age 45” in NE.

    Everyone was warned what his antics would do.

  7. I now root for any team the Raven are playing except for maybe Browns or Jets.

  8. Not that I disagree, but all things considered..I’m sure there’s a valid reason he missed the first one.

  9. Lamar showed his true colors when it came to his teammates last year. Guy was totally consumed about money. Don’t think he will be better now that he’s gotten it.

  10. The Ravens are a well run franchise. I am shocked they made this deal at all when there was no market for him.

  11. Does this surprise me, NO!! For over 50mil per yr. he should be cutting the grass and cleaning the restrooms!! Your top employee should be there when the doors are open. If this is his attitude then the Ravens made a big mistake .

  12. Meanwhile in Cincinnati, Burrow and the boys gear up for 3 AFC North titles in a row.

  13. I’m a die-hard Ravens fan. I’ve been a Lamar fan from day 1. I questioned whether or not he milked his injury at the end of last season because of the contract. But, I get that. Lots to risk without a contract.

    This here is disappointing. They showed him the money, Lamar’s gotta show them the drive.

  14. The Ravens will regret signing Lamar Jackson to this deal. He is injury prone and unwilling to play when hurt as demonstrated last year. He does not have the drive to win. He will never be a great football player because he lacks the desire to win.

  15. This will go down in history as possibly the worst QB contract in history. Massively overrated QB who has poor throwing mechanics, is inaccurate, turns it over consistently, struggles to read defenses and handle pressure, and is injury-prone. Oh, and he also quit on his team last season. What could possibly go wrong with paying him a massive chunk of change? Will he win a playoff game for a change? I doubt it.

  16. There’s reasons Lamar Jackson will never be Mahomes or Burrow. And skipping OTAs is just one of many. Ravens will regret that contract. He’s the prototypical me first guy and then afterwards is a team guy. That’s not the same as being a team guy before a me guy. There’s a stark difference.

  17. While this may be a salient talking point there are other outlets that have mentioned that he had previous personal obligations that he MADE THE TEAM AWARE OF. I know I’m probably in the vast majority on this topic but I don’t think “US” as “FANS” should know ANY PLAYERS “PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES” whether that be a Graduation or Death in the family, or a Destination Wedding, Etc Etc…. I’m not for one instant downplaying the importance of team chemistry ESPECIALLY when installing a brand new offense with basically all new pieces. I just try to lean on the fact that these guys are Still Guys meaning they have personal stuff they have to navigate thru just like the rest of us,

  18. it’s voluntary, the amount oif money one makes does not change that. I think it is super beneficial for all players to attend , until they remove the word voluntary it is simply not req’d. Perhaps the teams shouldn’t hand out gigantic contracts to players who don’t put the team first, that’d make more sense wouldn’t it? Unfortunately we are entereing the millenial era, where they want everything handed to them on a silkver platter, and they still reserve the right to be terrible at what they do.

  19. Rodgers is there this year. Some people want to win. Others just want to get paid.

  20. But unlike Mahomes, Allen, and Burrow, Jackson will be passing for 6,000 this season so he doesn’t want to tire out his arm in practice.

  21. You underestimate greed and immaturity. Even for $52 million these pampered pets are going to do as little as possible. He’s probably not even grateful.

  22. LOL.
    As f reporters know better than players what they should do’
    When you can walk the walk, then you get to talk the talk.

  23. This surprises no one. His supporters will cry “it’s voluntary” from the highest mountain and then blame everyone but him if he stinks up the joint later this year. His detractors will say this shows he has no heart and it’s not about the team, it’s about him getting paid. Neither argument is necessarily wrong, but it will continue to be a dividing lightning rod to the fane base until he proves he’s more than a one year wonder.

  24. Work ethic is voluntary, leadership is voluntary, even greatness is voluntary.

    There’s a ton of pressure on Lamar this year. Maybe he’s afraid to show up?

  25. He was too focused on football to get his contract done. Maybe the same reason applies to OTAs?

  26. No excuse for Lamar not to be there, but not a great surprise either. Going to hard to throw for 3,000 let alone 6,000 when you’re not working with your new receivers and your new offensive coordinator. Players demand respect and yet what respect is Lamar showing to the team and his teammates?

  27. Oh No…he missed 1 day of voluntary OTA’s. He’ll never be able to catch up. The season is over. blah blah blah blah

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