The New York Jets are ready to go all in at quarterback.
The Jets would be “first in line” to go after Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson if he were to become available, tweeted Connor Hughes of SNY on January 8.
“I would not rule out if he’s made available because things are starting to get a little funky down there in Baltimore is Lamar Jackson,” Hughes said January 8 during an appearance on “Inside the Pylon.” “If he’s made available and the Ravens are willing to listen to offers, the Jets will do everything they can to position themselves to make a very very, very compelling offer for Jackson.”
Benjamin Allbright, of KOA in Colorado, appeared to agree with Hughes’ assertion when he listed the Jets among the teams “very much monitoring” the Jackson situation, saying it “could be a possibility.” He also listed the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. The Ravens and Jackson have not been able to reach an agreement about a contract extension. If they fail to reach an agreement and don’t put the franchise tag on Jackson or trade him, he will become a free agent at season’s end.
In a trade scenario, Jackson could be worth “multiple first-round draft picks,” according to a December 23 story by Todd Karpovich of Sports Illustrated. The Jets hold the No. 13 overall pick in the first round of this year’s draft and don’t have the extra picks that they have had in recent years. In other words, pulling off a trade for Jackson could mean mortgaging the future.
The Jets Would Be Ready to Compete for a Super Bowl Title With Lamar Jackson
Hughes said the Jets think they are ready to compete, and so their mentality toward making a huge trade has changed since this time last year, when they stayed out of the sweepstakes for Deshaun Watson, who eventually was traded to the Cleveland Browns for three first-round picks, a third-round pick and a fourth-round pick.
“They are a quarterback away, and if a quarterback is available on the trade market like Lamar Jackson that is going to cost a lot they will pay that pretty penny to get someone like that,” Hughes said.
Jackson, 26, is not likely to reach the open market. Karpovich reported in December that the Ravens plan on slapping the “exclusive rights franchise tag” on Jackson, which would cost them about $45 million fully guaranteed. It would be used as a placeholder to negotiate a long-term deal or to execute a blockbuster tag-and-trade, Karpovich wrote.
Spotrac’s market value projections have Jackson landing a six-year deal worth a total of $245 million. That would pay him just under $41 million annually, making him the seventh highest-paid quarterback in football.
Jackson wants a fully guaranteed deal similar to that of Watson, but the Ravens haven’t been willing to go there, according to The Guardian.
Lamar Jackson Could Be Unlocked With the Jets
In his five years in the league, Jackson has won an MVP award, has two Pro Bowl nominations, was voted an All-Pro and led the league in passing touchdowns back in 2019. He has 12,209 passing yards, 101 passing touchdowns against 38 interceptions, 4,437 rushing yards and 24 rushing touchdowns.
If Jackson was inserted on the current Jets roster, it would be the most talented team he has ever played with. Garrett Wilson proved he is a true No. 1 wide receiver. He played with four different quarterbacks in his rookie season and still had a record-breaking season and has a chance to become the first Offensive Rookie of the Year in Jets franchise history.
Paired with a top-five defense, an offense led by Jackson could go a long way toward improving on the Jets’ 7-10 record in 2022.