8 takeaways from Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s comments on Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens chose the hard way to start the 2023 offseason when they designated quarterback Lamar Jackson with the franchise tag.

The former 2019 NFL MVP also added sizzle to the predicament on Monday when he revealed on Twitter details about a possible trade earlier in March. Jackson’s Twitter thread seemed to end with his sights set on another NFL city as he indicated Baltimore fans would always have a special place in his heart.

Coach John Harbaugh met with reporters at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix to talk about the state of the team, and Jackson was a big ticket item on the agenda. Here are eight takeaways.

1. Harbaugh claims not to have seen the tweet

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 07: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens reacts after defeating the New Orleans Saints 27-13 at Caesars Superdome on November 07, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Jackson tweeted shortly before Harbaugh spoke at the owners meetings on how he asked for a trade on March 2, which indicates he may be done with the organization.

Harbaugh claimed he did not see the tweet and does not participate in social media.

“I haven’t seen the tweet,” Harbaugh said. “This is an ongoing process. I’m following it very closely, just like everyone else is here, and looking forward to a resolution.”

2. Harbaugh expects Jackson to be their starting QB Week 1

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Harbaugh was asked if he expected the 2019 NFL MVP to be their starter come Opening Day, and there was no ambivalence.

“And until,” said Harbaugh. “You’ve got to plan for all the contingencies, for sure, but I’m pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson. I mean, Lamar Jackson is a great player. Lamar came back in great shape last year. He’s fired up to play. That’s the Lamar that I’m looking forward to seeing.”

3. Harbaugh believes there are good people on both sides

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Harbaugh understands that the contract situation with Jackson is part of “big time pro sports at the highest level,” but has confidence in both sides to work out an arrangement.

“The thing that I love about the situation, that I believe, is that, in the end, you’ve got good people working together,” Harbaugh said.

4. Long time since Harbaugh spoke with Jackson

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Harbaugh acknowledged that he has not spoken with Jackson for quite some time.

“It’s been a while. I mean, it’s going to have to be,” Harbaugh said. “Like I said, it’s a unique situation, but when we get back together, and I’m really hopeful that that happens, and that’s what I want to see, it’s going to be great. It’s going to be good.”

5. Trade rumors do not phase Harbaugh

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Harbaugh is aware the Ravens may be taking calls about Jackson, but understands it is part of the business. However, it is going forward with Jackson as the starter.

“I mean, everyone’s talking all the time about everything in this league,” Harbaugh said. “That’s just the way business is done. So I’m sure that business will be done the way it’s always done. But for me, my perspective, I’m getting ready for Lamar. That’s what I’m doing.”

6. Harbaugh is focused on getting the entire team ready

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Although much of the attention is on the Ravens’ impasse with Jackson, Harbaugh understands the rest of the football team has to get ready for the 2023 season. The offseason program is a few weeks away.

“We’re building our team all the time in all the different areas that you’ve got to build it, and I know that train is moving, man,” said Harbaugh. “That train is moving fast. But here’s the thing: When Lamar gets back on board that train, he’s fully capable of jumping at full speed. Lamar can go, and, so when that train’s moving and he merges in with us, we’re going to be rolling. As a coach, that’s what I’m thinking about.”

7. No timeline for when the deal with Jackson must be resolved

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As it relates to having an auxiliary plan in place should the Jackson situation drag on into late summer, Harbaugh does not have a date for when he would like Jackson to return.

“You certainly need to know on the day of the first game,” said Harbaugh. “You need it at 11:30 before a 1 o’clock game, because you’ve got to put the names in. I know that’s kind of a silly answer, but there is no real hard, fast date.”

Harbaugh is confident the situation will resolve

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

Harbaugh has no trepidation as to whether or not the Jackson contract situation resolves favorably.

“It’s going to work itself out,” said Harbaugh. “Believe me, if we’re playing football next year and Lamar Jackson is the quarterback, we’re all going to be happy. He’s going to be fired up to play and he’s going to be happy to be out there, too.”

Story originally appeared on Touchdown Wire

Leave a Comment