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Odell Beckham Jr. Hopes to Play With Lamar Jackson

(From left to right) WR Odell Beckham Jr. & QB Lamar Jackson
(From left to right) WR Odell Beckham Jr. & QB Lamar Jackson

On his first official day as a Raven, the first question Odell Beckham Jr. got from the media was about whether he expects to be catching passes for Lamar Jackson.

After a few more different iterations of that question, Beckham looked into the camera and made a direct pitch.

"Lamar, if you're watching, I would love to get to work with you," Beckham said.

Beckham said he has been given no assurances that Jackson will be his quarterback in 2023, but he's hopeful that will be the case.

Jackson requested a trade last month, but the Ravens are still hopeful to come to a long-term agreement. If neither a deal nor trade is reached, Jackson would remain in purple and black on the franchise tag this season.

"The goal is to come here and have that possibility to play with him," Beckham said. "I'm excited about that opportunity.

"My thoughts would be that he would be here. I know that these two [General Manager Eric DeCosta and Head Coach John Harbaugh] want him to be here. At the end of the day, that's going to be up to them."

Before agreeing to a deal with Baltimore on Easter Sunday, Beckham was set to visit the New York Jets, who are still in the midst of trying to complete a trade for Aaron Rodgers.

"If you look at the other situations I was going into, everything was uncertain," Beckham said. "Life's uncertain. Obviously, I would assume that it's going to work out [between Jackson and the Ravens]. I have that faith and that hope."

Beckham and Jackson have a relationship dating back years. The two immediately connected on a FaceTime call after news broke of Beckham signing in Baltimore, and there have been reports that Jackson recruited Beckham.

"He was just like, 'Truss,'" Beckham said of their conversation. "I can definitely tell you that he was excited about the opportunity to be able to get to work if that does present itself. At the end of the day, he's obviously who I would love to play with."

Beckham said he grew up looking up to former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, and Jackson reminds him of that childhood star. Beckham was asked about whether there was any hesitation about signing with Baltimore because of the perception of the Ravens offense.

"I don't know that I ever thought about. I just saw No. 8 out there and I know that he can throw the ball," Beckham said. "We always talk about perception vs. reality. There was a perception that Lamar wasn't a passer and then there's the reality that he can throw the ball all over the field."

DeCosta said he has communicated with Jackson since his March 2 trade request, but he didn't want to get into the details of those conversations. DeCosta reiterated that the team's feelings about Jackson haven't changed since the end of the season.

"We only think of Lamar as the quarterback of this team," DeCosta said. "We are hopeful to get a deal done. It's been, as you all know, a very long process. But a lot of times the best things in life take a long time. I go back to this guy right here [Beckham]; it took a long time to get him here. It started last year and we finally got him.

"These things take time. They take a lot of work and they take a lot of patience."

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