Apparently, ex-NYJ fan favorite and nine-year veteran Bilal Powell agrees with that contingent of the fanbase. On January 9, the former NFL running back tweeted: “Lamar Jackson needs to be in GREEN & WHITE next season! #GoJets.”
That message has since gone viral, with over 3,500 likes and over 240,000 views. 450-plus users also retweeted or quote tweeted this statement.
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson’s Price Tag Looms Large
It’s easy to say, go and bring in a recent MVP quarterback, but it’s another thing to actually do it. Let’s say the Ravens do decide to move on from Jackson after a tumultuous campaign filled with contract negotiations — should the Jets go all-in on acquiring him?
That type of trade would probably boost fan approval significantly, but what would it cost? And would the price end up being worth the production?
Jets fans should assume that any Jackson deal would at least mirror recent blockbuster trades like Deshaun Watson to Cleveland or Russell Wilson to Denver. Here were the final trade returns in both of those scenarios:
- Houston sent Deshaun Watson and a 2024 sixth-round draft choice.
- Cleveland sent three first-round picks (2022-24), a 2023 third-round pick, and two fourth-round picks (2022 & 2024).
- Seattle sent Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick (2022).
- Denver sent QB Drew Lock, TE Noah Fant, DL Shelby Harris, two first-round picks (2022-23), two second-round picks (2022-23), and a fifth-round pick (2022).
Considering Baltimore has the ability to franchise tag Jackson, you’d have to think that his trade return would either match or exceed these offers above. On top of that, he’d also like a new contract with a hefty portion of it guaranteed.
No matter what Jackson’s new contract ends up looking like, let’s assume he wants more total money than both Watson and Wilson with a large chunk of it — if not all of it — guaranteed. That’s the way these things tend to work. One athlete sets the market as his position and the next in line raises it from there. It’s standard inflation and it’s obvious that Jackson intends to get paid.
With all that in mind (a package of two or three first-round picks and either prospects or additional mid-round selections, plus a five-year $250 million projected extension), should general manager Joe Douglas target Jackson like Powell and some fans have suggested?
Lamar Jackson’s Knee ‘Remains Unstable,’ Ravens Without QB vs Bengals in Playoffs
If the cost weren’t enough, Jackson’s health is also in doubt long-term. The Ravens are set to play the Cincinnati Bengals in round one of the NFL playoffs, but the superstar QB won’t be present in uniform.
Jackson tweeted publicly on January 12: “Thank you everyone for your support and concerns regarding my injuries. I want to give you all an update as I am in the recovery process. I’ve suffered a PCL grade 2 sprain on the borderline of a strain 3. There is still inflammation surrounding my knee and my knee remains unstable. I’m still in good spirits, as I continue with treatments on the road to recovery. I wish I could be out there with my guys more than anything but I can’t give 100% of myself to my guys and fans I’m still hopeful we still have a chance [to win].”
After this news broke, NFL legend Shannon Sharpe joked that the “two things that help injuries the most [are] ice and money,” sending a clear message on Jackson’s current playoff holdout during an episode of Fox Sports One’s “Undisputed.”
The Ravens star won’t risk his career on a potential re-injury — not even if it means beating a bitter division rival in the postseason. It’s an understandable mindset from Jackson in a sport where nothing is guaranteed, but it’s also a major red flag for any potential suitors that are willing to pay him big money moving forward.
This should be an interesting situation to monitor this offseason.