Lamar Jackson not big-timing Ravens, even after new contract

Lamar Jackson is not skipping out on the opportunity to grow with his Baltimore Ravens teammates. 

After a long standoff, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens agreed to a five-year, $260 million contract earlier this month. The historic deal made Jackson the highest-paid player in NFL history and cemented his future with the team that drafted him.

It would’ve been easy for Jackson, having secured generational wealth for his family, to take a step back and relax this summer. But that’s not how the former MVP is wired.

Under a new offensive coordinator in Todd Monken, the Ravens will introduce significant changes to their offense next season. Jackson and his teammates will spend the summer getting familiar with the new system.

Lamar Jackson is showing up to work early for the Baltimore Ravens

Jackson missed the first day of OTAs, but he showed up to the team facility on Tuesday and doesn’t plan on missing any more sessions, according to Josh Alper of NBC Sports. Jackson emphasized to reporters the importance of getting comfortable with the changes.

“New offense. Had to get that down pat before the season rolls in because the season’s getting there. We’ve got a couple months left, but still just wanted to learn the new offense and be with my guys.”

Noteworthy are the unfamiliar faces Jackson will have on offense: notably in his receiving corps with Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round pick Zay Flowers. The Ravens’ new offense is expected to skew more heavily toward the passing game, which means Jackson will get plenty of opportunities to connect with his soon-to-be favorite downfield targets.

It’s clear the 26-year-old is excited by the prospect of relying more on his arm. Jackson faced years of criticism, both pre-draft and post-draft, about his affinity for running. There’s no doubt Jackson will still use his legs for Baltimore — his ability to improvise and scramble is what makes him so special — but Jackson will finally get the chance to silence those who doubt his accuracy and precision as a pocket passer.

The Ravens are built to win. Jackson was won the individual accolades; now he has to reach the mountaintop. That will be the goal in 2023, and Jackson is proving already that he’s willing to put in the work.

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