Talent and great play on the field aren’t always the determining factors in a player getting a long-term deal; character often comes into the equation. In the case of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, the two-time Pro Bowler and 2019 unanimous league MVP in 2019, he has all of the above, according to his teammates. Many of them stated their case for the 26-year-old to return to the team next season on a new contract with his rookie deal now complete after five seasons.
“You can’t let a guy like him go,” Ravens defensive end Calais Campbell said Monday as players were cleaning out their lockers following the team’s 24-17 Super Wild Card Weekend defeat at the hands of the Cincinnati Bengals. “I know it’s football, and there’s always some new exciting toy, new exciting kid that has potential to go out there and be great. but this is a for-sure, a known. You know Lamar Jackson is an incredible player. I think it’s in the best interests of the Ravens’ organization to give him a long-term contract, make him our guy.”
Since the 26-year-old did not travel with the team for its playoff game against its AFC North rival after ruling himself out in a social media post, where Jackson described the PCL injury in his knee as a grade 2 sprain on Twitter on Thursday. His decision not to play . However, Campbell and others in the Ravens locker didn’t have any issue with how their quarterback handled the end of the season.
“I think that’s a lot of outside noise,” Campbell said. “We’re here. We get to talk to him. We get to communicate with him. We get to see him rehab. I mean, I was rehabbing with him. I know he put the work in. He just didn’t get back in time.
“Those injuries, I know how it goes. I’ve been injured plenty of times before. Some stuff you can play through, some stuff you can’t. It wasn’t for lack of effort, that’s for sure. The outside world, all the different narratives and stuff … sometimes it’s humorous. Lamar Jackson’s a guy who loves the game of football. I truly believe he worked as hard as he could to give himself a chance to play. As he gets older and more wise, he’ll learn how to take care of his body in different ways.”
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