Typically, most NFL teams don’t trade one quarterback for another, so the move was an interesting one for the league to digest. Naturally, that got folks thinking about other big-time quarterbacks potentially on the move. Could the Baltimore Ravens do such a blockbuster deal with Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson?
Recently, NFL writer Jason Cole hypothesized about the potential for a swap between the Houston Texans and the Ravens centered around the big-time quarterbacks. He wondered what the possible return could be in such a deal aloud on Twitter.
So if you're Baltimore, do you trade Lamar Jackson as part of a deal for Deshaun Watson? And how much do you give up on top of Jackson?
— Jason Cole (@JasonCole62) January 31, 2021
It’s a fascinating thought, but reality says that such a trade isn’t possible for many reasons. The Ravens typically like building through the draft and the idea of kicking in any extra picks in order to swap for Jackson may not appeal to them much at all. Also, they aren’t that desperate for a change at quarterback as teams like the Lions and Rams seemed to be.
Scenarios like this are fun to ponder, but unlikely. Cole threw the question out, but it’s unlikely that this would be the type of deal that either side will be looking to make in the days ahead. In terms of impact, it’s more a lateral move for Baltimore.
Ravens Unlikely to Trade Lamar Jackson
It’s fun to think about the potential for such a move, but reality says the Ravens won’t pull the plug on Jackson. The team is likely to consider handing out a contract extension to Jackson before they think about trading him, and that’s true no matter how talented Watson might be. Jackson had his ups and downs the last few seasons, but there is no question he’s the kind of quarterback a franchise should build around.
The better move for the Ravens? Building around Jackson for the future and keeping him as part of the mix moving forward. There’s risk with handing out a big contract, but there would be just as much risk with doing a trade such as this, as splashy as it would be. For this reason, expect the Ravens to sit out such deals.
Lamar Jackson Stats
This past season, Jackson had more struggles than successes at times statistically, but even in spite of that, he managed to have a solid season this year. Jackson himself had only 2,757 passing yards, 26 touchdowns, 1,005 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns. Those numbers might be lower than what thy were in his NFL MVP season, but it’s long been clear that the stats are only half of what Jackson brings to the table. He is still the unquestioned heart and soul of the entire team, which is why Eric DeCosta is smart to want to wrap him up and not make a move such as this to dump him.
Since being drafted out of Louisville, Jackson has begun to rewrite the book in the league in terms of what a quarterback is and can be with his ability to run and extend the play.. The fact that he was a shoo-in as an All-Pro is a testament to how good Jackson was in 2019. The fact he won MVP last season was also simply a testament to that as well. There’s no question he can still challenge for those awards moving forward.
As a result of all this, the Ravens aren’t likely to dump Jackson, even if they could land another exciting quarterback in Watson. It would be a more lateral move.