Lamar Jackson ‘A Master’ At Blocking Out Distractions Amid Contract Talks, QB Coach Says

While the Pittsburgh Steelers have plenty of uncertainty at the quarterback position right now, it is fair to say that at least one or two other teams in the division have dealt with just as much chatter about their own quarterback rooms this offseason, if not more. That includes the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has taken a hands-off approach, apparently, to contract negotiations.

The fifth-year player is the top quarterback due for an extension this offseason, and yet the Ravens have seemingly been much more eager to come to the table than he has. Even general manager Eric DeCosta has more or less lamented this fact publicly, almost using comments in the media as a message to Jackson, and to the public, making it clear that they’re ready to talk.

Jackson, who skipped OTAs, was in attendance during minicamp, and finally spoke to the media for the first time this offseason, though as you would expect, his answers to questions about his contract status were not very forthcoming. He did, at least, confirm that they are having talks, but he wouldn’t divulge more than that—even whether or not he intends to participate in training camp without a new deal.

But his quarterbacks coach, James Urban, doesn’t have any concerns about him losing focus amid everything that’s going on, including whatever people have to say about him in the media and what they think about whatever approach he is taking—whether they actually know or not.

We’ve always had this mentality when we come to this building, when you walk through the doors of ‘The Castle’ here in this beautiful facility, we go to work”, he told reporters last week, via the team’s website, talking about how he doesn’t believe the contract will be a distraction for Jackson. “When we walk out onto the field, it’s time to work. We don’t worry about the outside distractions. He is a master of that. He is tremendously good at focusing on the task at hand. So, when we’re in meetings, that’s the task. Or when we’re on the field, that’s the task”.

Many have wondered if Jackson intends to sign a new deal at all or if his true intention, barring a genuinely exceptional contract offer, is actually to play out his deal and bet on himself, so to speak, on having a much better and healthier season to strengthen his bargaining power next year.

He wouldn’t say that he was doing that—though he also wouldn’t say that he was—but the Ravens don’t operate under a timetable like the Steelers. They regularly negotiate contracts in-season, so there’s no deadline.

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