In line for one of the next big contracts in the NFL, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson sent a clear message about his commitment to Baltimore on Wednesday.
“I would love to be here forever,” Jackson told reporters. “I love Baltimore, I love the whole organization, I love everybody in the building. Hopefully we’ll be making something happen pretty soon.”
Jackson is under contract through the 2022 season after the Ravens exercised his fifth-year option a month ago. It was an easy decision for the club to retain the 2019 AP NFL Most Valuable Player, who recently became the first QB ever to produce consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
Jackson said he spoke to Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta “a month or two ago” about a new deal. Around that same time frame, DeCosta proclaimed the team’s intentions were to keep Jackson in Baltimore for many, many years.
"I would love to be here forever." @Lj_era8 pic.twitter.com/wpARp3M8A6
With both sides on the same page, Jackson, who hinted at representing himself during the ongoing negotiations, said he isn’t worried about an impending pay day. The Ravens QB is rather fixated on the upcoming season and is looking to build off his first playoff win this past January.
“I’m really focused on the season,” Jackson said. “I’m focused on trying to win. I’m not really ready about if it (will) get done this year or next year.”
Drafted No. 32 overall in 2018, Jackson has been the face of the franchise since taking over the starting QB role at the tail-end of his rookie season. The 24-year-old has led Baltimore to the playoffs in each of his three seasons and has been an absolute star every step of the way. While Jackson’s dynamic play on the field has opened discussions for one of the NFL’s next big contracts, Jackson maintained his desire to improve his game while also working on his role as a team leader, which may be another reference to his desire of remaining a Baltimore Raven for years to come.
“Lead by example,” said Jackson on what his goals were ahead of he 2021 season. “I’m gonna try and be more of a vocal leader. I always say that, but I gotta start presenting it how I should. Guys want me to sometimes. Just lead by example, work hard. We’re not trying to make mistakes and if we do make a mistake we’re going to repeat it until it’s right. We’re trying to prefect our craft. We’re trying to be perfect out there even though some things are not gonna be perfect but we’re trying to make it happen.”
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