John Harbaugh on Lamar Jackson’s trade request: I’m thinking about him as our quarterback
Just as Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was getting ready to sit down and speak to reporters at the NFL’s annual meeting in Arizona, quarterback Lamar Jackson went public with his trade request.
So, naturally, the first question to Harbaugh was if he had any reaction to it.
“I haven’t seen the tweet. That’s an ongoing process,” Harbaugh said. “I’m following it very closely, just like everybody else is here and looking forward to a resolution. I’m excited, thinking about Lamar all the time. Thinking about him as our quarterback. We’re building our offense around that idea.
“I’m just looking forward to getting back to football and I’m confident that’s going to happen.”
Harbaugh joked that he “doesn’t live in that world” of social media, saying, “Have you seen my tweets lately?” But he also didn’t want to make too much out of Jackson’s timing for making the request public, given that Jackson said he made the request back on March 2.
“I don’t think Lamar keeps too much track of when the meetings happen and things like that, but he might,” Harbaugh said. “I don’t read too much into it.”
Jackson might not, but someone in his orbit clearly does, as the timing was too specific to be coincidental.
Still, Harbaugh said he’s anticipating Jackson will be Baltimore’s quarterback for Week One of the 2023 season.
“You’ve got to plan for all the contingencies for sure. But I’m pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson,” Harbaugh said. “I mean, Lamar Jackson is a great player. Lamar came back in great shape last year. He’s fired up to play. That’s the Lamar that I’m looking forward to seeing. Can’t wait to get back on the grass and go to work. And I’m confident that’s going to happen.”
The Ravens have placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which means Jackson is allowed to negotiate with other teams on an offer sheet. But to this point, there has not been any reported interest in Jackson on the open market.
Even with Jackson’s trade request going public on Monday morning, Harbaugh said he feels like Jackson and the Ravens can get back on the same page and move forward together.
“It’s going to work itself out,” Harbaugh said. “Believe me, if we’re playing football next year and Lamar Jackson’s the quarterback, we’re all going to be happy. And he’s going to be fired up to play and he’s going to be happy to be out there playing, too — because that’s the kind of guy he is. I mean, he loves to play. He loves his teammates. He loves his coaches.
“That’s just how it works. It’s a fluid kind of a thing. There’s no periods on any of this.”