Lamar Jackson Is More Concerned With His Legacy Than His Contract

QB Lamar Jackson

Until he puts pen to paper, Lamar Jackson will get questions about his forthcoming contract extension every time he talks.

But while media and fans are seemingly on pins and needles wondering when that mega contract will come and how large it will be, Jackson continues to shrug it off.

Instead, Jackson says his thoughts are still on Buffalo on Jan. 16, when the Ravens fell in the playoffs for the third straight year. Jackson's focus is on fixing that the only way he knows how, with a Super Bowl trophy.

"I'm not going to lie to you; I'm not really focused on that right now," Jackson said when asked whether he preferred a deal to be struck before training camp.

"I'm focused on getting me a Super Bowl. I'm focused on getting better. I'm focused on working with my teammates right now."

Jackson's last pass in a game was the brutal interception returned for a 101-yard touchdown that put the Bills up 17-3 near the end of the third quarter. That play basically decided the game.

The next time Jackson went to throw the ball, the snap sailed over his head and he was drilled after frantically tracking it down, slamming the back of his head to the ground. That hit sent him to the locker room with a concussion that he couldn't return from.

To lose a playoff game is already hard, especially for a competitor such as Jackson, who is dead-set on fulfilling his draft-day promise of delivering a Lombardi Trophy to Baltimore. To lose a playoff game that you can't even finish is even tougher to swallow.

Jackson said he was trying to convince the team's medical staff that he could still play but had to follow the NFL's concussion rules.

"I'm still ticked off. I'm going to always be ticked off losing," Jackson said. "I don't care how old the game was – I really don't – I'm going to always remember that loss more than a victory and what you did in a victory."

Though he has a unanimous MVP and countless records already on his resume at just 24 years old, Jackson knows that he'll ultimately be judged by championships. He's watched the champions from afar, noted what they said and how excited they were.

"When they win it, it's like your whole life just changed," Jackson said. "The excitement I see, the feeling … like holding the [Lombardi] Trophy up and stuff like that.

"I'm always going to stress this until I get it – until I get me one. I'm trying to win a Super Bowl. MVPs and stuff like that, having winning records and stuff, that's cool, but I want to bring me a Lombardi here myself. Everybody else got one. The quarterback before me had one – Joe [Flacco]. He did a great job with the team. He won one. So, I want to come in and win me one, so I can feel accomplished and be like, 'OK, we did that! I won me one. My teammates, we stepped it up. We did what we were supposed to do.' Then I can sit back when I have grandkids and stuff and be like, 'Yes, we did that,' and talk my trash like 'old heads' do – talk my trash to the young generation about what we did. So, that's what I'm trying to do – win a Super Bowl. Then we can talk about legacy."

As stated numerous times by General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh this summer, Jackson will get his money at some point. It just appears that they're in no hurry to get to that point before they take another run at the ultimate prize.

Harbaugh said he expects Jackson's mindset will "absolutely not" be affected if a deal doesn't get done this offseason.

"Lamar is confident, and Lamar understands what's important," Harbaugh said. "Look at what he's done. He's going to get paid. He knows that. The question becomes, what's he going to do? What's his legacy going to be as a quarterback? That's what he's focused on."

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