Lamar Jackson is drawing a line in the sand, at least publicly.
The Ravens quarterback announced on Monday morning that he has requested a trade from Baltimore, after the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him earlier this offseason. Jackson said on Twitter that he made the trade request on March 2.
“… I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl,” he tweeted, adding that Ravens fans “are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I’ll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You’ll See me again.”
As fate would have it, Jackson’s tweet coincided with his coach, John Harbaugh, speaking with reporters at the league’s annual meeting. Harbaugh unsurprisingly said that he is committed and hopeful to keep Jackson in Baltimore.
“I haven’t seen the tweet,” Harbaugh said. “It’s an ongoing process. I’m following it very closely, just like everybody else is here. 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 and I’m just looking forward to getting back to football and I’m confident that’s going to happen.”
“I do,” Harbaugh said when asked if he thought Jackson would remain as the QB. “You’ve got to plan for all the contingencies for sure, but I’m pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson. 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.”
Instead of offering Jackson the lucrative long-term deal that he wants, the Ravens applied the tag on him for the 2023 season, worth $32.416 million if he were to agree to play under it. If Jackson agrees to a more lucrative deal with another team, the Ravens have the option to match or receive two first-round picks from the matching team in return. The Ravens could also trade Jackson for any compensation that they see fit.
Reports are that Jackson is seeking a deal similar to the one Deshaun Watson received, that was worth five years and $230 million guaranteed.