The Lamar Jackson saga finally ended with a draft-day extension that will keep the quarterback in Baltimore for another five years. The new deal has clearly raised Jackson's spirits, who said he wanted to throw for "6000 yards" in a post-draft press conference.
However, one question that went unanswered during the whole ordeal is that of just how close was Jackson to leaving. Sure, he put in a formal trade request but was there ever a deal on the table? Was Jackson willing to sit out the season if a new deal didn't materialize? Some of those questions have now been answered as Jackson sat down with PEOPLE.
Lamar Jackson Legimiately Considered Leaving
The short answer was Jackson would have left Baltimore, if not for the fans. Speaking with PEOPLE, Jackson revealed it was the people of Baltimore who kept him in purple. "I just love everything about Baltimore, wonderful fan base, you know, even though I was getting DMs, like, people gonna miss me, you know, stuff like that." Jackson was born in Florida and played at Louisville before being drafted by the Ravens in the first round of the 2019 Draft. "I feel like this is my third home, because I count Louisville as my second home, just because I played there three years, and just the love they show, it's like, genuine. It's like I'm part of their family and I felt like when people go into work, you know, whether we win or lose, it defines their week, how they're gonna prepare for work and stuff like that."
Eventually, Jackson decided that he would "finish it" with the Ravens, indicating that he wanted to win a Super Bowl in Baltimore before considering the road ahead. "It's like, man, I'd just rather finish it here. You know? Win my Super Bowl here, like I said, and sky's the limit, and we'll see what else goes on," Jackson said. The Ravens are 2-0 in their Super Bowl appearances but have not reached that stage of the playoffs since 2013. Their deepest playoff runs with Jackson under center are divisional-round losses in 2019 and 2020.