Only One Team Makes Sense In A Lamar Jackson Trade

Lamar Jackson

As everyone knows by now, Lamar Jackson received the non-exclusive franchise tag from the Baltimore Ravens.  This tag cost will be $32.1 million, though he has thus far, refused to sign it.  What this means is that other teams can make Jackson an offer and the Ravens are able to either match that offer and keep him or let him go and collect two first-round picks.

The One Team That Needs to Pursue A Lamar Jackson Trade

Thus far we have heard more about teams stating that they would not pursue signing Jackson than teams who will make an effort.  This seems a little counterintuitive when there are so many teams in need of a franchise quarterback.  So far, reports indicated that the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, and Las Vegas Raiders will not pursue him.

Per Sports Illustrated, JJ Watt and others have even come out as being confused by this turn of events.  Is this the Ravens trying to unload Jackson?  Is this the Ravens trying to test the market to see what others are willing to pay so they can set their price?  No one knows at the moment, and it may take a while to see if there are any suitors for Jackson.  He does have an injury history, and this could play a part into it.  The running part of his game may significantly reduce the years he has left.

Potential Destinations

As mentioned previously, several teams have stated they will not pursue him.  This could certainly change at any given point of course.  One team that sticks out and has not stated they were out, is the New York Jets.  While they have been linked to Derek Carr (since signed with the New Orleans Saints), and Aaron Rodgers, the smartest move for a team like the Jets might be the kick the tires on Lamar Jackson.  What they would undoubtedly have to give up in order to pry Rodgers from the Packers may handicap them for years to come.  Rodgers also, realistically, may only play another year or two and that’s if he doesn’t decide to retire.  If they could indeed pick up Jackson with a huge contract, who is only 26, wouldn’t this help build for the present and the future?

Lamar Jackson, New York Jets, An Ideal Fit

Lamar Jackson is a former NFL MVP, led the league in touchdown passes in a season and has a 45-16 career record as a starter.  The price of his contract plus two first round picks should be a steal.  Rodgers could very well cost the same if not more for a one- or two-year rental.  Adding either would seem to make the Jets instant contenders, but with Jackson in the fold over Rodgers it may be more sustainable for the foreseeable future as well.  Only time will tell which path the Jets take, but the smarter move would seem to be Jackson.  Again, with what seems like they would be similar price tags, go get the guy with a lot more tread left on the tires who is only getting better.

Main Photo: Tommy Gilligan – USA Today Sports