Veteran quarterback options who are clear upgrades over Derek Carr are few and far between for the Las Vegas Raiders. But the team decided to move on from the four-time Pro Bowler in hopes of improving at the position, and Fox Sports’ Nick Wright has proposed a scenario in which the Raiders could add Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson to their roster.
The Raiders have a lot to offer the Ravens for the quarterback, and they have the salary cap space to afford him. Wright pitched a trade on “The Herd” on February 21 in which the Raiders send the No. 7 and No. 38 picks and first- and second-round picks in next year’s draft to Baltimore for Jackson.
San Francisco 49ers‘ Jimmy Garoppolo is a solid quarterback but he’s not a better quarterback than Carr. Aaron Rodgers would be an upgrade but he’ll turn 40 during the 2023 season. The Raiders could always draft a rookie early but that would be a big risk. If the team wants to find a proven young quarterback who can lead the team for the next decade, they’ll have to pay a big price.
Jackson is the only proven young quarterback who could be available in a trade. The former MVP and the Ravens have not yet agreed on a contract extension. Signs point toward him eventually getting hit with the franchise tag, and if that happens, trade talks could ramp up.
Agent Suggests $210 Million Contract for Lamar Jackson
The biggest issue with a potential trade for Jackson isn’t compensation for the Ravens. He’s a former MVP and one of the best players in the NFL. Many teams would have no issues giving up four draft picks to get him.
However, for months signs have pointed to Jackson holding out for a fully guaranteed contract. The only quarterback who has that right now is Deshaun Watson of the Cleveland Browns.
In a “suggested contract” by former sports agent Joel Corry writing for CBS Sports, the quarterback would get $210 million over four years, with $170 million in overall guarantees — short of fully guaranteed, but still “the second most ever in a NFL contract.”
“The $52.5 million average yearly salary is a slight bump over Rodgers’ $50,271,667 per year,” Corry wrote. “The 4.43% increase doesn’t completely account for salary cap inflation. The salary cap is going up 7.97% from $208.2 million in 2022 to $224.8 million in 2023. When Rodgers’ deal is adjusted for salary cap inflation, it averages a little more than $54.275 million per year.”
Insider Says Jackson Hasn’t Asked for a Fully Guaranteed Deal
It’s possible another team outside of Baltimore is willing to give Jackson whatever contract he wants. But Watson’s deal is an outlier, and one insider has said Jackson might be backing off his stance of only accepting a fully guaranteed deal.
“I was absolutely and emphatically assured that Lamar Jackson has never asked for a fully guaranteed deal,” ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said on “First Take” on February 24. “Now I don’t want to dispute or refute what other NFL insiders for this network and beyond are saying. … But I just want to make sure that I’m clear and echoing what Lamar Jackson’s camp said because they personally reached out to me yesterday.”
Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens have been ongoing for more than 25 months, according to a timeline from The Baltimore Banner, and they’re not over yet. In January, the outlet reported, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said he was “confident that we’ll be on the right path” to an extension that keeps Jackson as the teams starting quarterback.