Lamar Jackson relishing chance to play with 'legend' OBJ

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson acknowledged this offseason that he requested that the team sign wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

This week, Jackson has gotten a chance to work with a wide receiver whom he has long admired for the first time.

"Odell is a legend to a lot of us [with] what he did early in his career and the [2021 season] when he was with the Rams," Jackson said Wednesday. "Odell is him, one of those guys."

Beckham, 30, is participating in his first practices with the Ravens since signing his one-year, $15 million contract with Baltimore in April.

Asked for his initial thoughts on throwing to Beckham, Jackson noted how "smooth" the three-time Pro Bowler practices and said he ran "crisp routes" and had "great hands."

The 12th pick in the 2014 draft, Beckham went on to be named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. He surpassed 1,300 yards receiving in each of his first three seasons. In 2021, Beckham won his first Super Bowl with the Rams.

As he attempts to come back from his second major knee injury, Beckham has received a lot of attention from Jackson and his other teammates.

"Guys come up to you, and it's like, 'Oh, I remember watching you in middle school,'" Beckham said. "And it's like ... they start to make you feel old, and I think I know what my role will be, as far as coming out and being able to show it every day and being able to lead."

The Ravens are hoping Beckham can help Jackson improve their passing attack. Baltimore's wide receivers have ranked last in the league in receiving yards in three of the past four seasons.

"I hope he brings certain level of trust," Ravens offensive coordinator Todd Monken said of Beckham on Wednesday. "I think that's developed over time. That's why it's great that [Beckham] is here because you get to work together."