Ravens' John Harbaugh on Lamar Jackson Missing OTAs: I'll Let Him Speak for Himself

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 12: Head coach John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with Lamar Jackson #8 after a scoring play against the New York Jets during the second half at M&T Bank Stadium on December 12, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is not at voluntary organized team activities, and head coach John Harbaugh didn't want to speak for the signal-caller.

"I'll just let Lamar speak for himself on that," he told reporters when asked about Jackson's absence Wednesday. "It's for him to talk about. You can ask him."

Cornerback Marlon Humphrey didn't seem particularly concerned given the timing.

"If it was training camp, it'd be really bad," he told reporters. "I think as long as guys are working, no matter where they are, that's the biggest key. I spoke with Lamar earlier in the offseason. He said he will be coming in soon."

Jackson is set to enter the final year of his contract this season, and his long-term status with the team as the franchise quarterback is one of the biggest stories in the NFL.

In March, the Louisville product tweeted "I love my Ravens" and seemed to quiet the notion he may eventually head elsewhere:        

Lamar Jackson @Lj_era8

I love my Ravens I don’t know who the hell putting that false narrative out that I’m having thoughts about leaving stop tryna read my mind🙄

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported in April that Jackson is not interested in negotiating his contract until after the 2022 campaign, even though "the team is ready, willing and able to pay him."

While playing the upcoming season without an extension could be a health risk, especially given how often Jackson uses his legs to make plays, one longtime NFL executive told Mike Sando of The Athletic, "the fear of permanent injury is so small these days that that does not enter into it."

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott is the latest example, as a serious ankle injury he suffered in 2020 didn't stop the team from giving him a hefty extension or the signal-caller from returning to form.

Despite Jackson not wanting to negotiate during the season, it would also be fairly surprising if Baltimore did not make every effort, including potentially using the franchise tag next year, to keep him in the fold.