OWINGS MILLS, Md. — It is the line Lamar Jackson wants the world to hear about where things stand regarding a potential contract extension with the Ravens.
"We’re having conversation," he said.
Jackson repeatedly deflected questions about contract negotiations with those words during a ten-minute press conference on Thursday following his team's final minicamp practice.
The Ravens quarterback, speaking for the first time since January, addressed his absence from voluntary offseason work for the first time in his career and the current state of those contract negotiations with Baltimore. Jackson is entering the final year of his rookie deal.
He would not commit to attending training camp or playing in the season opener without a contract extension.
"We're having a conversation about it. I don't know," he said.
Here is Lamar Jackson's answer to my question about showing up to training camp and playing week one without a contract extension.— Shawn Stepner (@StepnerWMAR) June 16, 2022
"We're having a conversation about it. I don't know."#Ravens #NFL pic.twitter.com/8EewjRJzeL
That conversation has happened this week according to Jackson. He said he has met with general manager Eric DeCosta over the past four days. He also said skipping voluntary organized team activities was not contract-related.
"I just wanted to stay away and just grind. Just want to come back and just see how I felt. I feel good."
Jackson said he expects to play in in Baltimore for the rest of his career and added the Deshaun Watson contract with the Browns is not affecting his talks with the Ravens. Watson inked a record five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed deal with Cleveland.
"I’m a man of my own," said Jackson. "I don’t worry about what those guys get."
It was hard not to notice that Jackson put on a little more bulk since we last saw him.
"Muscle mass-wise usually I be like 205 lbs., 208 lbs. I am 220 lbs. right now. I just wanted to do it, see how I look, see how I feel and I feel good," he said.
In fact, Jackson said he feels better than he did in 2019, which was his MVP season.
Jackson said he is planning to meet with teammates over the next six weeks in South Florida to get some work in before training camp opens in late July. Whether we see Jackson then... in his words, ‘Don’t know’.