Lamar Jackson wants to throw for 6k yards with new receivers after finalizing record 5-year deal
Star quarterback Lamar Jackson officially signed his five-year, $260 million dollar contract on Thursday.
Jackson, alongside Ravens GM Eric DeCosta and head coach John Harbaugh, held his first press conference since signing the deal that will keep him in Baltimore through the 2027 season.
The star opted not to speak about his trade request after the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him and emphasized he “wanted to be a Raven.”
“I didn’t really care for other teams,” Jackson said. “I just really wanted to get something here. Other teams are cool, but I wanted to be a Raven. I said something in 2018 … I meant that. I wanted to get this done. … I really wanted to finish my career here and win a Super Bowl here.”
Jackson’s deal set new league highs in signing bonus ($72.5 million), most money in the first three years of a contract ($156 million) and average per season ($52 million). The contract also includes full no-trade and no-tag clauses, according to ESPN.
The former MVP’s deal finalizes an offensive revamp for the Ravens. Jackson will return to the the field with new teammates, including former Giant Odell Beckham Jr., former Eagle wideout Nelson Agholor and Zay Flowers, the 22nd overall selection out of Boston College in the 2023 NFL Draft.
The new additions will help a Ravens squad who ranked 20th in points per game (20.4) and bolster a receiver corps that caught just seven touchdown passes last season.
With the new receivers, Jackson believes the offense has potential to shatter records.
“I want to throw for like 6,000 yards with the weapons we have,” Jackson said with a laugh. “I’m not an individual award-type guy or a stat watcher. I just want to do that because no one has ever done it and I feel like we have the weapons to do it.”
The quarterback revealed that he and Beckham spoke after the former Giant signed with Baltimore on a one-year deal and was “hyped” about the addition.
“He reached out to me,” Jackson said of Beckham. “I was hyped about it ... and then a new addition like him, with his resume, we can improve our receiving room and we can go somewhere. I was definitely hyped about that.”
Thursday’s press conference was in a more joyful atmosphere, opposite of the somber mood that filled the 27-month negotiation journey between the two-time Pro Bowler and the Ravens.
Initially, reports revealed that Jackson preferred a fully guaranteed deal, similar to the $230 million contract the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson last year.
Jalen Hurts’ deal, which included $179.5 million guaranteed, reinforced the market value for quarterbacks for Jackson, according to ESPN.
Two days prior to the draft, Jackson and the Ravens were then able to which an agreement.
“I absolutely wanted to get it done because I was just tired of going back and forth about it,” Jackson said. “We’ve been doing it for years, but it was like the time had come. The numbers were right, and we were all satisfied.”
DeCosta admitted that the journey was a “long stretch,” but also complimented Jackson, who represented himself throughout negotiations, for being “patient, demanding, honest and straightforward.”
“There was some dark days. I mean [I’m] not going to lie to you and say every day was great, it’s been a long stretch,” DeCosta said. “But we know Lamar, we know the kind of person he is and he’s a phenomenal football player. But you don’t make a phenomenal football player, the highest paid player in the league. You make a phenomenal football player who’s also a phenomenal person, the highest paid player in the league. And so, we had a lot of conviction that this was the right thing to do.”