Lamar Jackson downplays absence from OTAs

Baltimore Ravens fans shouldn’t be overly concerned about Lamar Jackson missing voluntary OTAs. Jackson hit back at critics Friday, implying they are making too big a deal about Jackson’s absence.

Jackson specifically called out Pro Football Talk analyst — and former NFL quarterback — Chris Simms, who criticized Jackson for skipping voluntary OTAs. Simms compared Jackson to Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, who Simms claims never missed OTAs until winning multiple Super Bowls.

Jackson pointed out these workouts were voluntary, and that he would report to the team when it matters.

Jackson urged Simms to « find something else to talk about. »

Jackson’s absence is notable mostly due to his contract situation. Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie contract and has yet to agree to a long-term extension with the Ravens. It’s easy to read into Jackson’s absence and assume it has something to do with his contract situation.

That may be the case, but Jackson made it clear the lack of a long-term deal won’t impact his status. When he has to report to the Ravens, he will. And, new contract or not, Jackson will likely put up excellent stats while leading the team to another winning season. If he still hasn’t signed a long-term deal at that point, Jackson will likely see what other teams are willing to pay him.

Ravens will have different look in 2022

The offseason hasn’t been kind to Jackson. In addition to not agreeing to a new contract, Jackson also lost his leading receiver. Marquise Brown was traded to the Arizona Cardinals on draft day. Jackson was not pleased about the deal.

The Ravens used the pick acquired in the Brown deal to select center Tyler Linderbaum. Jackson made sure to clarify he was not upset with that pick.

The Ravens did not select a wide receiver in the 2022 NFL draft. With Brown gone, Jackson will rely on a combination of last year’s first-round pick Rashod Bateman and 2020 third-round pick Devin Duvernay at receiver. Jackson will also be able to throw to his favorite target, tight end Mark Andrews, who was named to the All-Pro team last season.

Lamar Jackson with the Ravens.

Lamar Jackson will report to the Ravens when he needs to be there. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

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