Asked by the NFL Network’s Deion Sanders what he could have done differently to help his draft stock — Jackson didn’t hire his agent, relying upon his mother to be his manager — Jackson’s reply was curt: “Nothing.” Then he promised his team and its fans the world.
“They’re going to get a Super Bowl out of me,” he said. “Believe that.”
Later, in a media session, Jackson didn’t hesitate to say whether he was motivated by questions about whether his skills would translate to the NFL game.
“You don’t even have to finish the questions. There is a chip on my shoulder, both shoulders, yes sir,” he said, per the Baltimore Sun. “It’s just motivation. I’m not mad, it’s just motivation to go into the season ready to play.”
The selection of Jackson gives Baltimore one of the more intriguing quarterback corps in the league. There’s Joe Flacco, who helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl title but is no longer seen as an elite passer, if he ever truly was (he only threw the ball deep on 8.4 percent of his passes last season, the league’s worst mark). There’s Robert Griffin III, like Jackson a Heisman Trophy winner, who was out of the league entirely last year and hasn’t played more than nine games in a season since 2013. And now Jackson, the only top-level college football player to rush for at least 1,500 yards and pass for at least 3,500 in a season. He did it twice.
Flacco is 33. The team could cut him after this season and save $10.5 million in salary, though it would take a $16 million dead-cap hit that could be spread over two years. For now, however, he remains the starter.
“Joe Flacco is our quarterback,” Coach John Harbaugh said, per the team’s website. “That’s the thing we have to remember. Lamar’s going to have a great chance to develop.”
“You can’t make a lot of assumptions on that,” Harbaugh added when asked about Flacco’s future. “You take it one year at a time in this league. We have a great quarterback in Joe Flacco. Now we have another great QB. We probably have three great QBs.”
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