The Lamar Jackson drama took another turn.
On Monday, the former NFL MVP announced on Twitter that he requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens on March 2.
"A letter to my Fans," Jackson wrote. "I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y'all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me.
"Let me personally answer your questions in regards to my future plans. As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that's has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl. You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I'll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You'll See me again Truzzzzz."
The Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson on March 7. The tender is worth $32.416 million in 2023, and they'll have until July 17 to reach a multi-year extension.
The non-exclusive nature of the tag allows Jackson, who does not employ an agent, to negotiate with other clubs. Last Thursday, the NFL sent a memo to teams warning them they are not to negotiate with a non-NFLPA-certified agent who may be contacting them on Jackson's behalf.
The revelation from Jackson has led to questions about the QB for other general managers and coaches attending the NFL's Annual League Meeting in Phoenix.
Robert Kraft told reporters that rapper Meek Mill, who has worked with the Patriots owner on various reform efforts, texted him three to four days ago saying that Jackson wants to be a Patriot. Kraft noted that a decision like that would ultimately be up to head coach Bill Belichick.
While the Patriots have former first-rounder Mac Jones coming off a down season heading into Year 3, the Colts were also a team with some buzz given their current void at the position. Indianapolis did recently sign Gardner Minshew and holds the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming draft, but Jackson represents the largest potential upgrade as a former MVP.
"Anytime a special player is available -- which he is -- you gotta do the work," Colts general manager Chris Ballard said, per The Athletic's Zak Keefer. "I'm not gonna get into deep discussions on where it's at, what we're doing or what we might do, but he's a really special player. You never know how any of this will work out."
As Jackson sent his tweet Monday, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was meeting with reporters. The coach did his best to downplay the news regarding Jackson's trade request.
Harbaugh said he loves Jackson and is working under the assumption that he will be a Raven in 2023.
"I haven't seen the tweet," Harbaugh said. "It's an ongoing process. I'm following it very closely, just like everybody else is here and looking forward to a resolution. I'm excited. Thinking about Lamar all the time. Thinking about him as our quarterback. We're building our offense around that idea. I'm just looking forward to getting back to football and I'm confident that's going to happen."
Later on Monday, Harbaugh told NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero that he had yet to reach out to Jackson following the tweet.
"No, you know, it's not that time right now," he said. "It's kind of contract time. I don't think it's kind of a time as a coach I need to or he wants me to. I think he just wants to focus on this part of it. I've left it open. If he needs me, I'm here for him."
Harbaugh went on to tell Pelissero that he is positive about Jackson and the Baltimore brass involved in the process and feels "good about where it's gonna go."
"I know one thing," he said. "If he's lining up there in the purple and black, he's gonna be all in. And I'm gonna be all in with him. So, let's just see what happens."
Harbaugh noted to reporters in his earlier portion of media time Monday that while things work themselves out, the club has made contingency plans.
"You've got to plan for all contingencies for sure, but I'm pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson is a great player," he said.
The club placed a tender on backup restricted free agent Tyler Huntley earlier this offseason.
The Ravens and Jackson have attempted to work out a long-term extension for two years to no avail.
"Lamar is doing a good job in negotiations," Harbaugh said. "So is Eric [DeCosta]. I know where we are at. There is no frustration. I feel OK about this."
Up to now, we hadn't heard many concrete facts from Jackson's side of the negotiations. However, announcing he's requested a trade makes clear that the QB is willing to move on from Baltimore. The question is whether another club would be willing to meet his contract demands and potentially surrender two first-round draft picks in the process.