Lamar Jackson brought a popcorn bag and a shake with him to his weekly media session Wednesday, promising media members if they asked him a good question they would get popcorn. Just three questions in, Jackson was asked about his contract and ending negotiations with the Baltimore Ravens at his self-imposed deadline.
Jackson set the record straight — very quickly.
“Respectfully, I’m really done talking about it,” Jackson said. “I told you guys before I was going to be done with it Week 1. Week 1 is over with; we’re done talking about it. I’m focused on the Dolphins now.”
Jackson reportedly turned down an offer from the Ravens that was worth over $49 million per season, eclipsing Russell Wilson’s deal with the Denver Broncos in average annual salary and guaranteed money. After Deshaun Watson signed a $230 million contract with the Cleveland Browns that was fully guaranteed, that changed the game for Jackson.
Jackson — who represents himself — turned down the Ravens offer. He bet on himself to earn even more money this coming season. His first start since ending contract negotiations was a strong one, as Jackson finished 17 of 30 for 213 yards with three touchdowns and an interception, with all those touchdown passes traveling 15-plus air yards.
“I feel [like] we’ve been doing that, though – like, it’s not just [against] the Jets [when] we’re able to do it,” Jackson said. “I feel like we’ve been throwing the ball down the field; it’s just, certain times, we have a lot of success with our running, and it just takes away from the throws and stuff like that.
“But we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing, take what the defense gives us and keep having success how we do it.”
What was even more impressive with the performance was the Ravens finished with 63 rushing yards as a team, the fewest rushing yards in a game since Jackson became the team’s starting quarterback. Jackson had just six carries for 17 yards.
Jackson beating teams with his arm isn’t new — and he wanted to make sure that didn’t go unnoticed.
“Absolutely. I’m a quarterback,” Jackson said. “The little running back thing was going around and stuff like that; obviously, I don’t play running back.”