Lamar Jackson 'Hopeful' for Deal Before Season Starts

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson talks to reporters during the team's NFL football training camp, Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Owings Mills, Md.

Unlike some players around the NFL who are holding in, Lamar Jackson is practicing at Ravens training camp. Behind the scenes, he's also handling his business, as he and the Ravens are still negotiating his contract extension.

"We're still talking right now," Jackson said. "Whenever we have mutual free time."

Jackson said there will be a cutoff of negotiations at some point, though he didn't specify when. Asked if he expects a deal will get done he said, "I think so. I think so. I think so. We'll have to see."

Before the season-opener against the New York Jets on Sept. 11?

"I said there is going to be a cutoff [in talks]. So, hopefully," Jackson responded.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said he gets to talk to both sides and "both sides are very motivated to get the job done."

Some pundits have talked about how Jackson would be betting on himself if he were to play his sixth season under the franchise tag and wait longer for big guaranteed payday. The longer Jackson waits, the more the market continues to climb. But waiting always comes with injury risk.

"Nobody knows what I'm thinking, except them upstairs," Jackson said with a grin.

Jackson was asked whether he is seeking a fully guaranteed contract similar to what Deshaun Watson inked with the Cleveland Browns this offseason. He declined to comment, saying he's keeping negotiations in-house.

That's how it's been all offseason on both sides, as no details of the negotiations have come to light. That's how Jackson likes it, and he said it has strengthened his relationship with the team.

"I don't like people in my business at all," Jackson said. "It's my business. If I wanted it to get out there, I would put it out there myself."

While there's been countless media chatter about Jackson's pending deal, Jackson and the Ravens have gone about their business. Jackson indicated that he never thought about potentially holding out or in.

"I want to win at the end of the day. I just want to be great," he said. "I just want to work with my brothers at the end of the day. I don't want to leave them out there hanging. That's not me. That's never been me."

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