The Baltimore Ravens weren’t the only team interested in the services of Lamar Jackson before he signed a historic extension.
The Ravens star, who was initially given the non-exclusive franchise tag in March, revealed Thursday that other clubs contacted him, but he was never interested in leaving Baltimore, according to Jori Epstein of Yahoo Sports.
“I really didn’t care for other teams,” Jackson told reporters. I just really wanted to get something done here. I wanted to be here. Other teams (are) cool, but I want to be a Raven.”
He added: “I really want to finish my career here and win a Super Bowl here.”
Jackson and the Ravens had gone through months of tumultuous negotiations before the organization agreed last week to make him the highest-paid player in NFL history with a five-year extension reportedly worth $260 million. The pact also contains $185 million in guaranteed money.
Jackson previously revealed he requested a trade this year, and there were rumors that he wanted a fully-guaranteed deal like Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson. Other teams were also free to submit offer sheets to Jackson after he was franchise tagged. Despite this, the Ravens star said he never thought he would end up elsewhere.
“I didn’t have a doubt in my mind ’cause they said they love me, and I love being here. I love my teammates, and I love the fanbase,” Jackson said.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta were adamant throughout the process that they would find a way to keep Jackson. The 26-year-old quarterback said their unwavering confidence meant “a lot” to him.
Jackson, who represented himself in negotiations, asserted that he won’t hire an agent in the future.
“I wouldn’t want to put my trust in anyone else,” he said, according to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley.
Baltimore upgraded Jackson’s supporting pieces on offense this offseason, signing three-time Pro Bowl receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting wideout Zay Flowers in the first round. Former offensive coordinator Greg Roman was also replaced by Todd Monken. Jackson said he’s “very eager” to get to work in the new Ravens offense.
“I think I told someone, ‘Man, I want to throw for like 6,000 yards with the weapons we have,'” Jackson said, adding, “I feel like we have the weapons to do it.”
A former MVP, Jackson has become one of the most dangerous dual-threat passers when healthy. He has thrown for 101 touchdowns while also accumulating 4,437 yards and 24 scores with his legs over his career.
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