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Odell Beckham says he got no assurances from Lamar Jackson.
The Baltimore Ravens quarterback and the club’s newest wide receiver spoke multiple times before Beckham signed with the Ravens on Thursday. Both made it clear to the other they would be excited about playing together.
But Beckham said none of those conversations added certainty to the idea Jackson is definitely going to be playing for the Ravens in 2023.
“The goal was to come here and have that possibility to play with him,” Beckham told reporters. “I’m excited about that opportunity …”
“I didn’t get any assurances about anything,” he added. “You know, life’s uncertain. We don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, the next day. We only know what’s happened in the past.
“So, to me, I’m excited about the possibility of that. My thoughts would be that he would be here. I know these two [coach John Harbaugh and general manager Eric DeCosta] want him to be here. And at the end of the day that’s going to be up to them.”
Ravens Feelings About Lamar Haven’t Changed
So it’s not 100 percent at this stage. That feels weird because Beckham would have us all believe he signed with the Ravens knowing there’s a possibility Jackson ends up elsewhere and he’s left catching passes from Tyler Huntley.
How is that possible when the two men talked multiple times before Beckham signed? I don’t buy it.
Jackson remains bound to the Ravens under a $32.4 million franchise tag. But he did request to be traded on March 2.
The Ravens, however, have been consistent in saying they want Jackson as their quarterback, even as they’ve done homework on some quarterbacks in the coming draft. But the thinking from everyone involved is Jackson will be in Baltimore. At least for 2023.
DeCosta suggested no real progress has been made in getting Jackson to commit to the Ravens since the addition of Beckham.
“I’ve not talked to Lamar since the signing,” DeCosta said. “There’s been interaction along the way. You know, Lamar’s in our plans. We love Lamar. Our feelings about Lamar have not changed one bit since the end of the season.
“We’re hopeful still we’ll get a long-term deal done. He’s the right player for this team. To lead us to where we want to be. I think the locker room knows that, the organization knows that, I think the fanbase knows that. So it’s ongoing. But I can’t think of a situation where we wouldn’t think our best team is with Lamar Jackson on the team in September.”
Beckham Hungry After Recent Events
Beckham arrives in Baltimore as their highest-paid receiver. He signed a one-year deal worth a reported $15 million that can increase to $18 if he meets various incentives.
So Beckham is Baltimore’s No. 1 receiver now. And, holding his one-year-old son Zydn, Beckham sounds like he’s ready to take that mantle.
“I care about football,” Beckham said. “I care about being great. I’ve worked my entire life since, I won’t say his age, but since I was four years old. To me it’s always been about football.”
Beckham hasn’t done a lot on the field the last three season — certainly not anything up to his standards.
He tore his ACL six games into the 2020 season in Cleveland. Then tore his ACL again in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2021 season after being traded to the Rams. “It was bittersweet champagne,” Beckham said of the Rams Super Bowl celebration.
And Beckham missed all of last season as he rehabilitated from the injury.
So this restart in a new town with a new team feels fresh.
“This is a team that has great talent all across the board,” Beckham said. “Offensive line, running back, receiver room, defense is great. It boils down to, I’m in a place in my life where it means a lot more to be wanted than someone would love to have you.
“Because a lot of places would love to have you. But to be wanted, you can pour your heart into it even more. That was this situation.”