The Indianapolis Colts reportedly haven’t ruled out making a major move to acquire a veteran quarterback this offseason. On March 27, the veteran signal caller that makes the most sense for the Colts inched one step closer to possibly being available.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson revealed on Twitter that he requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens on March 2. He delivered the news in a series of tweets that was intended to be a letter for his fans in Baltimore.
“In regards to my future plans, as of March 2, I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value,” Jackson wrote. “Any and everyone that’s has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the Super Bowl.
“You all are great, but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I’ll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire state of Maryland.
“You’ll see me again.”
Jackson has been rumored as a possibly trade target for the Colts for most of the offseason. ESPN’s Stephen Holder reported on March 23 that general manager Chris Ballard “hadn’t ruled out” acquiring Jackson from the Ravens.
Colts Head Coach Shane Steichen Addresses Lamar Jackson
The timing of Jackson’s tweet was very interesting. Although he requested a trade three and a half weeks earlier, the quarterback waited to make his intentions clear until March 27, which was the second day of the NFL annual spring meeting.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh practically had to respond to Jackson’s trade request becoming public in real time.
Colts new head coach Shane Steichen also discussed the Jackson situation with the media on March 27. Steichen, though, declined to offer much.
“We do our due diligence on every position, whether it’s through the draft or free agency, but I’ve got no update for you on that.”
Jackson has requested a trade from the Ravens because the team has not offered him a long-term contract to his liking. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Jackson is seeking a contract similar to Deshaun Watson’s record-setting, five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract from last year.
The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson this offseason. That means he will be paid $32.4 million in 2023, but he is permitted to negotiate with other teams for a better deal.
Colts ‘Haven’t Ruled Out’ Acquiring Jackson
Steichen may have been mum about the possibility of trading for the 2019 MVP, but Holder presented it as a possibility in a report on March 23.
As a quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, Steichen has worked with a lot of different quarterbacks in the NFL. But most recently, he called plays for Jalen Hurts, who finished second in MVP voting this past season. Hurts plays a similar style to Jackson.
It’s an obvious fit and need for the Colts. Jackson making his demands to play for another team is another step in the right direction for the Colts if Indianapolis wants to acquire the quarterback.
Still, there are several more steps in the process. Although Jackson can negotiate with the Colts, the Ravens can match any offer he receives. Furthermore, if the Ravens don’t match, the team that signs Jackson must send two first-round picks to Baltimore.
Jackson is trying to force the Ravens’ hand, but if Baltimore doesn’t blink, it will cost the Colts a ton of draft capital and money to bring in another MVP quarterback.