Rumors surrounding the Indianapolis Colts and a potential trade for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson continue to swirl.
It’s even caught the attention of ESPN NFL analyst Mina Kimes, who said on a March 28 episode of Around the Horn that she “loves” the possibility of Indianapolis trading for Jackson.
“I definitely think they should be on the phone,” Kimes said. “And for people who say it’s too risky, so is taking the third QB in the draft.”
Jackson requested a trade from the Ravens on March 2, but it was not reported on until Jackson announced the news himself via Twitter on March 27.
With that in mind, Kimes thinks Indianapolis could risk selecting the third quarterback in the draft if they stand pat and don’t make a pre-draft move. The team currently holds the No. 4 overall pick.
“Right now, because the Colts are likely to pick the third quarterback taken in the draft, they are hoping — betting — if they stick to that position, that that third pick can somehow go toe-to-toe with the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, the other elite guys in the AFC,” Kimes said.
But according to Kimes, Jackson has already proven himself worthy of being called a top AFC quarterback due to his experience and resume.
“Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson — you got a guy who actually has gone toe-to-toe with those quarterbacks and I feel is a really nice football fit with their new head coach Shane Steichen,” Kimes said.
Despite the recent rumors about Jackson and the Colts, the Ravens remain hopeful they can retain the 2019 MVP.
Kimes’ Main Point
Before Kimes broke down the Jackson situation, fill-in host Clinton Yates began the segment by naming each veteran starting quarterback the Colts have had since Andrew Luck retired in 2019.
“Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan,” Yates said.
Under those starting quarterbacks, the Colts only made one playoff appearance.
Kimes said because of the number of names Yates read, it’s time for a change.
“Considering the names you just reeled off there, from the Colts’ perspective, (trading for Jackson) probably looks pretty good,” Kimes said. “I think they should aggressively be pursuing the former MVP.”
Kimes also reemphasized that an added element to Jackson’s availability is Steichen’s previous experience in developing quarterbacks.
“(Steichen is) coming from a Philadelphia Eagles team where he took a quarterback in Jalen Hurts, made the most of his dual-threat ability and expanded his passing repertoire,” Kimes said.
Hurts finished second in the NFL’s MVP voting last season and had career-highs in completion percentage (66.5%), passing yards (3,701) and touchdowns (22).
Steichen also played a role in L.A. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert’s development. Herbert set rookie passing records in 2020 before Steichen became the Eagles’ offensive coordinator in 2021.
AFC Team Out on Jackson Sweepstakes
While the Colts already seem like a favorite to land Jackson, their chances might have even increased more on March 28.
Boston Sports Journal’s Greg. A Bedard reported that the Patriots are not expected to pursue signing or trading for Jackson this offseason. Bedard attributed three league sources familiar with the situation in an online story.
“The overall cost — from the contract to the draft pick compensation — of acquiring Jackson is not something the Patriots would be interested in,” Bedard said.
The Patriots were rumored to either be interested in Jackson or a rookie quarterback prospect this offseason. But the team also still has two-year starter Mac Jones.
New England taking itself out of the running for Jackson means it might be easier for the Colts to acquire him should they put together a trade package. The New York Post reported on March 22 that the Colts and Patriots, respectively, were the lead favorites to trade for Jackson.