John Harbaugh: Lamar Jackson is “locked in” on football but still “hopeful” to get new deal

The clock is winding down on contract talks between Lamar Jackson and the Ravens, nearing the quarterback’s Week 1 deadline for a new deal.

Only six days remain before the Ravens kick off the season against the Jets.

With or without a contract extension, Jackson will open as the team’s starter. Coach John Harbaugh said Monday that there has never been a discussion with Jackson about him not playing absent a long-term deal.

“No,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “Lamar has said he’s focused on the season. He’s under contract, and he’s going to have the best season he can have. He’s hopeful to get a new contract, and we’re hopeful to get him a new contract. All the rest of it is business. There is nothing other than coming to something that is mutually agreeable.”

If Harbaugh knows where negotiations stand, he isn’t saying.

“I don’t have any updates,” Harbaugh said. “My interactions with Lamar have been all football. He’s been focused and locked in on that, 100 percent, from a football standpoint.”

Jackson, who represents himself, is scheduled to play on his fifth-year option, which will pay him $23.016 million.

Deshaun Watson‘s five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract has complicated talks, something Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti acknowledged in March. But Kyler Murray and Russell Wilson both received less guaranteed money with Murray getting $189.5 million guaranteed in July and Wilson $165 million guaranteed on Thursday.

Jackson and the Ravens have a few more days to try to come to terms, something both sides have a desire to get done.

“He’s hopeful to get a new contract; we’re hopeful to get him a new contract,” Harbaugh said. “But all the rest of it is business. There’s nothing other than coming to something that’s mutually agreeable. That’s the way that all of these deals are done. So, obviously, I’m very hopeful, and I know everyone is really hopeful to get it done.”