Coach: Lamar can speak for himself about OTA absence

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Lamar Jackson is missing the first week of the Baltimore Ravens’ organized team activities, marking for the first time that the former NFL MVP quarterback has not been present at the volunteer spring training sessions.

“We’ve been on this road many times over the years,” Raven coach John Harbaugh said after Wednesday’s training session. “I just want to let Lamar speak for himself about it. It’s up to him to talk about. You can ask him.”

Asked if he’s concerned about Jackson’s lack of training time, Harbaugh said, “It’s not me who’s talking to anyone about it. It’s up to him to speak for himself about it.”

Jackson indicated on social media Tuesday that he was not present at the start of OTAs, but he did not give a reason for his absence. I have tweeted“Can’t wait to come back,” with purple heart and rocket emojis.

On Friday, Jackson responded to Chris Simms’ criticism for his absence on OTAs. Simms, a former quarterback and current NBC Sports analyst, mentioned Jackson’s desire to be like Brady, adding: “Brady would not miss OTAs this year four of his career … Brady did not miss an OTA until he had played and Fire Super Bowls. “

On Twitter, Jackson wrote: “Lamar wants to be Lamar Chris. This part of OTAs is volunteering my guy. I want to be there, just not on your guard. It’s probably other QBs who do not participate in volunteer OTAs either. But since it’s Lamar, it’s a huge deal. Find something else to talk about. ” I’ve added an emoji with rolling eyes.

Baltimore has eight remaining volunteer OTA practices through mid-June. Jackson is only required to participate in the team’s mandatory minicamp, which is scheduled for 14-16. June.

“If it was training camp, it would be really bad,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. “I think as long as guys work, no matter where they are, that’s the biggest key. I talked to Lamar earlier in the low season. He said he’ll be coming soon.”

Jackson is entering his fifth year option, which will pay him $ 23.016 million this season. The Ravens are expected to place the franchise mark on him next season if the sides can not reach an extension.

“Volunteer means volunteer,” Raven President Sashi Brown told WBAL Radio in Baltimore on Thursday. “Lamar has been out working out of season … so no, I do not think there is any reason to worry.

“[Jackson’s] been very loud about his support and desire to be in Baltimore. We’re glad he’s out there working and does not want to make a big deal out of this. “

Ravens tight-end Mark Andrews said he has talked to Jackson and knows how hard he works away from the facility.

“He’s extremely motivated and extremely hungry,” Andrews said. “So there are no worries over there. I know what he’s doing and we’re all working and doing our job here and getting ready for him. We want to be ready to go and I’m sure he will be ready and show everyone what he has and the type of hunger he has right now. “

Raven’s general manager Eric DeCosta has repeatedly said the team has tried to engage in long-term contract negotiations, but Jackson has not been interested in doing so. When asked about contract negotiations with Jackson earlier this month, DeCosta said “nothing has really changed on that front.”

Jackson has tried to stop speculation that he wants to leave Baltimore. In March, he tweeted that he loves the Ravens, citing a “false narrative” that he was considering leaving the franchise.

Jackson’s absence comes at a time when Baltimore looks set to return from its first-place finish in AFC North in 15 years. He is aware of the Ravens’ attack after playing the last three seasons in the offensive coordinator Greg Roman’s system. But Baltimore has one of the youngest groups of wide receivers in the NFL. None of the 12 receivers are older than 25, and no one has played more than two seasons in the NFL.

Rave officials have praised Jackson’s training away from the facility. Jackson has thrown to broadband receivers Rashod Bateman and James Proche during private sessions in Florida and California. He has also trained with throwing coach Adam Dedeaux.

“We’re getting good reports,” DeCosta said earlier this month. “We talk to him all the time. We check in with him all the time. We talk to other players. I think – and I think Coach [John Harbaugh] feel this way – that we are ready to have a great year on the offensive. “

Jackson is coming off the most challenging season of his four-year career. Last season, he threw the worst 13 interceptions of his career and was fired a career-high 38 times. He missed the last four games with a right ankle injury. Jackson’s last full training session with the Ravens was on December 10th.

The Ravens added depth as a quarterback by picking up Brett Hundley on Thursday. Hundley joins Tyler Huntley and the exhausted rookie Anthony Brown as the only other quarterbacks on the Ravens’ roster.

Hundley, 28, has played 18 games in his seven-year career, which has included stays with the Packers, Seahawks, Cardinals and Cowboys.

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