Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson picked a hell of a time to make a personal statement on his future, one that nonetheless offers some clarity to his tempestuous situation.
It’s business, it’s not personal. That was the upshot of Lamar Jackson’s self-written letter to his fans on Twitter in which the Baltimore Ravens quarterback finally provided clarity on his future.
He just picked the worst possible time to do so.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was scheduled to speak to reporters at 10:45 a.m. ET on Monday, and roughly three minutes later, Jackson posted a bombshell letter on Twitter to “personally answer” his fans’ questions.
In the letter, Jackson reveals that he officially requested a trade out of Baltimore in early March, and he ended his spiel on the assumption that he was leaving the Ravens and their fanbase this offseason.
Meanwhile, Harbaugh was at his media meeting fielding questions about Jackson’s status in 2023, where he told reporters he expects Jackson to be the team’s Week 1 starter.
If Jackson wanted to flip the bird at his organization for not “meeting his value,” he picked the perfect time to do so.
Out of all the days and times he could have chosen, Jackson released a report on his three-week-old trade request at the same moment his head coach was speaking to the media about Jackson and the franchise’s future.
Simply put, it’s a savage, premeditated, and blindsiding attack on all levels, and we’re not sure how he and the Ravens will recover from this one.
Lamar Jackson blindsides Ravens organization with trade request announcement
To deal with some specifics from the letter, Jackson noted that his decision to file a trade request was “a business decision that was best for my family and I,” and he also said his dream has always been to help a team win the Super Bowl.
Clearly, that team isn’t the Ravens anymore. Jackson said he’ll “continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation” as if he was leaving the Ravens on this day, but as it stands, no NFL team has made him an offer.
Jackson received the non-exclusive franchise tag from Baltimore earlier this month, which allows him to negotiate with teams to secure an offer sheet. The Ravens then have the option to match that offer sheet and keep Jackson, or reject it and give up Jackson in return for two first-round picks.
Despite Jackson’s insistence on a trade and his confident stance that he’s leaving Baltimore, he is technically still a Raven.
This little outburst will make things much more awkward if training camp nears and Jackson still hasn’t received an actual offer from another team.
Is Jackson just throwing all caution to the wind and going rogue now? Would he actually stage a holdout? The sinister and intentional timing of his tweet coupled with his underlying desire for a trade suggest he’s done with the Ravens and would refuse to play on his $34 million tag in 2023.
This latest ugly turn in Jackson’s contract saga at least clears up Jackson’s intentions this offseason: he’s ready to leave Baltimore, and he’ll burn every bridge behind him to get what he wants.