The Lamar Jackson contract situation seems to have taken another turn as it was recently reported that he has not been showing up for treatment. The news comes as Jackson was absent from Wednesday’s practice and is not expected to play this week.
On 105.7 this morning they stated that “it was leaked” he hasn’t been showing up for treatment. pic.twitter.com/fgJwWPwudM
— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) December 28, 2022
The rumor that Jackson has been skipping treatment arose from 105.7. As with most ‘sources’, their leaks are sometimes reliable and sometimes not. Whether there is any truth to the rumor is unclear. It matches up with the previous report of Jackson being ‘not happy’ with the organization. However, it does not appear to fully align with Jackson’s tendencies.
The 2019 MVP is currently suffering from a PCL injury. It was originally scheduled to heal within three weeks, but that deadline has passed. In his place, the Baltimore Ravens have started Tyler Huntley. John Harbaugh has not commented on Jackson’s injury situation, saying that the coaches will work with whoever is available.
John Harbaugh declines to comment on the nature of QB Lamar Jackson’s knee injury.
“We’re just coaching the guys that we have out here.” pic.twitter.com/bVQh3msQQN
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) December 28, 2022
Without Jackson, the Ravens’ Super Bowl hopes are much dimmer. Their offense has been toothless of late, and much of that has been down to Jackson’s absence. Many fans are hoping that Jackson will be back for January after the team clinched a playoff spot through a 17-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Jackson is due a contract extension soon. The contract fiasco was stretched out over the entirety of the offseason and rumors have continued to fly around throughout the football season. Many believe that Jackson’s absence from treatment (if true) is down to his unhappiness with the organization.
Jackson’s Contract Situation
The Lamar Jackson contract situation is as magnified as ever during his current absence from the team. It is no secret that Jackson wants a long-term contract with the team and expects to be a Raven for life. It is also no secret that Baltimore wants to keep him. However, the parties currently disagree on the exact terms.
Jackson is believed to be seeking a fully guaranteed deal, much like what Deshaun Watson received from the Cleveland Browns this year. However, Eric DeCosta currently appears reluctant. Given Jackson’s injury concerns as a physical quarterback, the GM would prefer a more incentive-laden extension. While Jackson’s absence has proved how important he is to the team, it has also emphasized the injury concern too.
If I had an MVP vote, I'd vote for Lamar Jackson.
Had the Ravens at 7-4 in spite of Greg Roman being his OC and having a bottom-five WR group in the NFL.
25.0 pts/gm with Jackson. 14.6 pts/gm without Jackson.
Baltimore's entire blueprint is "Lamar, save us."
— Joe DiBiase (@SneakyJoeSports) December 28, 2022
Many have started to point to Jackson’s injury as a reason for the Ravens to move on. Jackson’s critics have cited his dissatisfaction with the organization, his vulnerability to injury, and his lack of competitiveness. However, the rumors surrounding Jackson’s absences seem to paint a narrative that does not match what Baltimore fans know about their quarterback.
Are the Lamar Jackson Contract Rumors Reliable?
The first thing to note is that it is unlike Jackson’s character to hold out in such a way. Many have pointed to the previous reports of Jackson’s unhappiness with the organization, arguing that his carefree attitude to the injury makes sense given the context. However, none of the previous reports seriously questioned his work ethic. While many reports had suggested that Jackson was ‘holding out without holding out’, his commitment to the team was never questioned. Sources had talked about being absent in meetings (as opposed to absence from them) and less overtime work, but there is no reason to question Jackson’s dedication yet.
There is also the point that Jackson has been in and around the facility and the team. Indeed, Jackson was seen on the sidelines against the Falcons, cheering his team on. This contradicts any claims that Jackson is not dedicated to the Ravens.
A further question mark is raised when Jackson’s contract situation is brought into the matter. Is it not in Jackson’s interest to return as soon as possible? His absence has already demonstrated how much the team needs him. The offense looks woeful at the moment, and they are in desperate need of their star quarterback. If Jackson were to truly hold out as the rumor suggests, why would he do it now? It is in his interests to prove his worth and lead the Ravens in the playoffs.
The final thing to say is that it does not make sense for Jackson to not take due diligence with his own injury. It is in his interest to heal up as well as he can and so, even if the rumors are true, it can be expected that Jackson would be receiving his own treatment away from the facility.