As pundits continue to wonder if whether Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson will sign a long-term contract extension this offseason, the franchise quarterback has been working on his craft with dedication, eliciting the admiration of Head Coach John Harbaugh.
At the NFL owners meetings on Monday, Harbaugh said he remained confident that Jackson and the Ravens would strike a deal at some point, and that Jackson won't be fazed by the outside noise until it happens.
"It's one of the great things about Lamar Jackson," Harbaugh said. "He's very unique. He's just a guy who doesn't get caught up in things that, either he can't control or doesn't want to address at that point in time.
"He's not going to worry about it. If it matters to him, then obviously, it would be a priority at this point in time. I'm sure we would be getting something done. He's got his reasons, thinking the way that he does. Basically, what he shares with me is: 'I got to focus on being the best quarterback I can be. I got to go to work.' Beyond that, I think when the time is right, it'll happen."
As General Manager Eric DeCosta said at the NFL Combine, the Ravens are operating on Jackson’s timetable.
"As far as I know, he hasn't talked to Eric about that in the last few weeks," Harbaugh said. "I think he's focused on training right now. When we get back, maybe another conversation will be had when we get back from here. Possibly. I'd assume. With Lamar, you never know, it's not really in the forefront of his mind whenever I talk to him."
The Ravens have already picked up the fifth-year option on Jackson's contract for 2022, and they are committed to him as their franchise quarterback. Jackson's next contract will surely be the largest in franchise history, and it will be major news whenever an agreement is reached.
Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns became the latest quarterback to sign a megadeal last week, agreeing to a five-year deal worth a reported $230 million. But with the start of training camp still several months away, Jackson is showing no urgency to sign a new contract, and the Ravens will be ready to talk whenever he is.
"I think he's planning on something being done," Harbaugh said. "We're planning on something being done at some point in time. The way the rules work right now, it doesn't have to be a huge priority. I'm confident it's going to happen.
"Of course, until it happens, it hasn't happened. I'm confident it's going to happen. I know he's going to be our quarterback. Really, when you're coaching and you're playing, that's what you think about. We know we're going to be playing this year, and Lamar is going to be our quarterback. I've got to do the very best job I can to have him ready to play his best football."