NFL news: Former MVP Lamar Jackson reveals Baltimore Ravens trade request
Lamar Jackson, who was placed under the franchise tag in early March, has revealed on Twitter that he has requested a trade away from the team.
During one of the most controversial contract negotiations in the history of the NFL, the Ravens put a non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson on March 7. This allowed the quarterback to negotiate with other teams while still offering Baltimore the chance to match any deal struck. Speculation over Jackson's future has been rife since the end of the season but doubts over his future in Baltimore will only continue to multiply after the 26-year-old revealed on Twitter that he had requested a trade before being placed under the franchise tag.
"As of March 2nd, I (have) requested a trade from the Ravens organization, (which) has not been interested in meeting my value," Jackson posted to his Twitter account. "Any and every one that has met me or been around me knows I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the Super Bowl. You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. "No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I'll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You'll see me again." It has been reported that Jackson is seeking a fully guaranteed contract to compete with the one given to Deshaun Watson, who was given a $230 million deal by the Cleveland Browns last offseason despite being embroiled in over 20 sexual harassment lawsuits.
Jackson, who was voted unanimously as MVP of the league as a second-year pro in 2019, has broken a multitude of NFL records since entering the league, including most single-season rushing yards by a quarterback (1,206), most games with a perfect passer rating in the same season (two) and most games with 100 rushing yards by a quarterback (12).
Since the conclusion of the 2022 season, Baltimore have maintained that they are fully committed to signing Jackson to a long-term deal and continue to see him as the future of their franchise. Head coach John Harbaugh was talking with reporters at the NFL's annual owners meeting in Phoenix when Jackson posted his apparent farewell message to Baltimore fans and was asked for his reaction. "I haven't seen the tweet," Harbaugh said. "It's an ongoing process. I'm following it very closely, just like everybody else is here and looking forward to a resolution. "I'm excited. Thinking about Lamar all the time. Thinking about him as our quarterback. We're building our offense around that idea." After it was revealed that Baltimore would be placing the franchise tag on Jackson, a number of teams publicly removed themselves from the race to sign the former Heisman Trophy winner. It remains to be seen if this was purely a negotiating tactic, but it stands to reason that at least half of the league would consider Jackson as their quarterback of the future, given his production, age and standing as one the NFL's most dynamic playmakers in any position. The desire of the Atlanta Falcons and Indianapolis Colts to find the answer at sport's most important position is well documented and both may find themselves in prime position to land Jackson were he to leave Baltimore due to their high first-round picks and excess in cap space. It stands to reason that Baltimore will look to trade Jackson out of their conference and with head coach Arthur Smith's appreciation of dual-threat signal-callers clear for all to see, Atlanta may just be the most likely destination. What's certain is that any trade involving Jackson will change the outlook of the league for the next decade.
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