Will Lamar Jackson show up for OTAs in Baltimore?
The Ravens launch the third and final phase of this year’s offseason workout program on Tuesday, when Organized Team Activities commence. The biggest question hovering over the looming sessions is whether quarterback Lamar Jackson will attend.
Jeff Zrebiec of TheAthletic.com looks at the question of whether Jackson will be there.
On one hand, it’s strictly voluntary. On the other hand, he’s the quarterback. The team leader. And to the extent that he’s determined to have the best season possible as he enters the final year of his rookie contract, any and all extra work can’t hurt.
Zrebiec notes that Jackson has spent time this offseason working with quarterback mechanics expert Adam Dedeaux. Jackson also has worked with several of his receivers.
The relationship between the Ravens and Jackson isn’t necessarily strained, but it’s awkward. They want to sign him to a long-term deal. He has refused to engage the Ravens on a long-term deal, even though it would be in his best interests to secure financial security and certainty now.
His reluctance to do a long-term deal has sparked real questions about his motivation. Does he want to leave? He has said no. But with the franchise tag a year away, Jackson is currently three seasons from forcing his way to the open market.
Jackson has made it clear he won’t do a deal until after the current season. The Ravens undoubtedly would use the franchise tag to keep him in place for 2023. At that point, he’d be only two seasons away from the open market -- unless he and the team finally reach a long-term deal.