After all, the Baltimore Ravens organization has publicly guaranteed that the former NFL MVP would be their quarterback in 2023 and beyond at just about every step of the way this winter. Head coach John Harbaugh even told fans that there is a “200 percent” chance that Jackson remains in Baltimore this offseason.
So, what’s changed? On February 11, a trio of NFL Network insiders headlined by Tom Pelissero noted that “there is a possibility other teams could tempt Baltimore to trade the former NFL MVP for a windfall of draft picks, per sources.”
Later, on February 16, lead NFL insider for CBS Sports Jonathan Jones reported that “per sources, it’s my understanding that the Ravens did not fully integrate QB Lamar Jackson into the hiring process for their new offensive coordinator.” Previously, it had been reported by Josina Anderson that Baltimore would include their superstar in the OC hiring process, and that this “was welcomed” by Jackson’s camp.
The Athletic’s Ravens correspondent Jeff Zrebiec commented on Jones’ tweet, adding that “my understanding was he was given multiple opportunities to provide input, be involved.” Zrebiec did not confirm whether or not Jackson accepted those invitations to “provide input.”
Remember, the Ravens signal-caller represents himself, so his happiness is paramount in all of these discussions. Jackson wants a guaranteed contract like Deshaun Watson, but he also wants to play in an offensive system of his choosing with a coordinator he approves of. Baltimore hired Georgia play-caller Todd Monken as their new OC this week after a long search, but there was no public word from their QB after the decision.
This is where the Jets come in, as NBC Sports insider Peter King created a stir regarding Jackson to New York on February 15.
Peter King Tells Rich Eisen the Jets Could Go After Lamar Jackson if Aaron Rodgers Plan Fails
During a phone interview with “The Rich Eisen Show,” King talked about the Jets’ pursuit of a veteran quarterback.
“I think the biggest story in the offseason is going to be what happens with Lamar Jackson,” King voiced to Eisen. “We all think — and I think you think — that the number one step [for the Jets] would be Aaron Rodgers. If that doesn’t work, could the number two step be Lamar Jackson?”
He went on: “I think they will go after Rodgers if he does play, and if they don’t get him, I think they will at least put their sniffers out and seriously consider Lamar Jackson. If — as you think and I think — that he’s probably going to be given the franchise tag, and the less restrictive one… the Ravens then would be able to get two first-round picks as compensation.”
King also called general manager Joe Douglas trading for Jackson “one of the toughest decisions a franchise has had in years.” He explained: “Obviously, anybody would want Lamar Jackson to be the quarterback of their team, but how much guaranteed money are you willing to give a player who in the last two years has missed 34% of the snaps because of injury?”
That thought process of signing a blank check for the former MVP would definitely go against Douglas’ typical M.O. — even if Baltimore does end up making him available.
FS1’s Joy Taylor Calls Lamar Jackson Trade a ‘Nonsense Sandwich’
During a segment of “Speak” on Fox Sports One, co-host Joy Taylor told panelists that it would be “crazy” for the Ravens to trade Jackson. “It’s a nonsense sandwich,” she added, before giving her take on the situation.
“They should have paid Lamar Jackson earlier, [but] they kept playing this game of pushing it down — and as we know, the longer you wait to pay your quarterback, the more expensive it gets. Then here come the Browns with this desperate, ridiculous contract that blows up the market… and what do they do? Crash the market,” Taylor detailed.
In the end, she concluded that if Baltimore is truly about winning a Super Bowl, they’d better tuck their tail between their legs and pay up — because this waiting game hasn’t worked out for them so far.
In line with King’s quotes, the aforementioned trio of NFL Network insiders did confirm the minimal asking price in any trade for Jackson, outlining: “If Baltimore places the non-exclusive franchise tag (worth $32.416 million) on Jackson, that would allow him to negotiate a contract with another team; if the Ravens don’t match, they’d get two first-round picks as compensation and Jackson would get a new home.”