Ravens TE Mark Andrews defends Lamar Jackson amidst contract rumors

Ravens, Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has made headlines over the last few months for his ongoing contract negotiations with the organization. Some of those headlines have been direct criticisms of Jackson himself.

The former MVP has undoubtedly taken an unorthodox approach to these negotiations. Beyond the fact that he’s not represented by an agent, Jackson is set to enter into relatively unprecedented territory for a quarterback of his caliber.

Jackson is expected to play out his entire rookie contract, including his fifth-year option, without an extension. In a day and age when quarterbacks are getting paid left and right, it’s certainly a peculiar situation.

But Jackson’s teammate and favorite target, Mark Andrews, made sure to come to his quarterback’s defense when speaking to the media last week.

"“Lamar has always been Lamar. He’s just such a special talent, but like you said, he’s extremely motivated, and you can see it [in] the way he’s commanding the huddle. The way he’s doing everything is just top-notch. This is going to be a big, big year for him. He’s extremely hungry; he’s always been hungry, though.So, you all just … Not you all … But let this man live; let him live his life. He’s a good dude. So, he just has fun with it.”"

Ravens tight end Mark Andrews defends Lamar Jackson from his critics

Jackson’s recent social media activity has raised some questions about his long-term future in Baltimore. From shooting down rumors about theorized contract offers to liking tweets of him in a Miami Dolphins jersey, Jackson hasn’t stayed quiet on social media.

It’s a unique way to approach a situation like this, but Andrews insists that’s just who Jackson is. “He just has fun with it,” Andrews insisted.

Jackson seems likely to head into the 2022 season without a new contract which will lead to a potentially contentious scenario next offseason. The Ravens always have the option to use the franchise tag, but doing so would be determinantal from a financial perspective.

It’s in the best interest of both sides to get a deal done, but for one reason or another, that doesn’t seem likely to happen before Jackson’s self-imposed Week 1 deadline.

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Some have been quick to blame Jackson for his stalled contract negotiations, but Andrews doesn’t believe he’s to blame. “Lamar has always been Lamar.”