Lamar Jackson finally reveals why he requested to be traded away from the Ravens earlier this offseason

After signing his new contract with the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Lamar Jackson held his first press conference in months and although he openly answered almost every question he was asked, one thing he didn’t want to talk about was the trade request that he made in March.

When the subject came up, he answered the question without actually answering the question.

“Today, we’re gonna keep it about the future,” Jackson said, via PFT. “I’m not really worried about what happened in the past. I’m gonna keep it about these next five years. And keep it about what’s going on today. You know, it’s a great day.”

Although Jackson wasn’t really willing to talk about the subject during his press conference, he did eventually reveal why he made the trade request. During an interview on “The Lounge,” which is a Ravens’ team podcast, Jackson said he only made the trade request as a negotiation ploy: He wanted to get the “ball rolling” on negotiations with the Ravens, which had mostly stalled up to that point.

“OK the trade, I requested a trade, but it was nothing serious,” Jackson said on the podcast, via Sarah Gellison. “It was just getting the ball rolling. It’s part of business. But I’m satisfied. It’s in the past. I’m glad it’s over with. I’m happy to be here.”

Despite making the trade request, Jackson didn’t actually want to leave Baltimore.

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“I never said I wanted to go,” Jackson said.

If you need a quick refresher on the timeline of events here:

  • Jackson made his trade request on March 2.
  • Five days later (March 7), he was hit with the franchise tag.
  • On March 27, Jackson publicly announced that he had made a trade request, which had been a secret up until that point.
  • Exactly one month later, on April 27, Jackson agreed to his record-setting five-year deal that’s worth up to $260 million.

It seems that Jackson’s trade demand worked and that everyone got what they wanted. The former NFL MVP got a contract that makes him the highest-paid player in NFL history while the Ravens got to keep their franchise quarterback.

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