PITTSBURGH, PA — Lamar Jackson would have considered playing for the Baltimore Ravens this season but only under certain conditions. Jackson wanted the Ravens to make major additions to their passing offense before he considered playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ biggest rival in 2023, according to NFL Insider Michael Lombardi.
Jackson reportedly told the Ravens to go sign free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and trade for DeAndre Hopkins, who requested a trade from the Arizona Cardinals at the end of last season. After they do that, “we can talk,” Jackson said.
Report: Lamar Jackson told the #Ravens to acquire both Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins and then "we can talk”, per @mlombardiNFL— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) April 15, 2023
The Ravens told him they couldn't afford both players, but they’d get one of them.
Then signed OBJ to a deal worth up to $18M for one year. pic.twitter.com/CkzMy3pVRM
The Ravens went landed one of Jackson’s preferred targets, signing Beckham to a one-year, $18 million contract earlier this week. That will help cover for what some believe to be a lackluster arm on Jackson. Former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on a recent episode of his podcast “Footbahlin” that he believes teams weren’t scared of Jackson sitting in the pocket and throwing the ball, but Beckham adds a new dimension to the Ravens offense that defenses now have to respect.
This offseason has been filled with controversy for Jackson, who had been engaged in contract negotiations with the Steelers’ AFC North rival all offseason before they placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. Jackson can field offers from other teams, but hasn’t yet. The Ravens would have a chance to match whatever offer Jackson receives.