The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are taking themselves out of the running in the Lamar Jackson trade sweepstakes. One day after Jackson went public with his trade request, Bucs head coach Todd Bowles cited the team’s financial roadblocks as the main reason the franchise will not attempt to make a move for Jackson.
“‘We’re shedding a lot of money,’ Todd Bowles says when asked about any chance of pursuing Lamar Jackson, saying they couldn’t afford to make a competitive offer but think he’s a great player,” Fox Sports’ Greg Auman tweeted on March 28, 2023.
While the Buccaneers cannot be ruled out as a team drafting a quarterback at some point, the early indications are there will be a training camp competition between Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask for the starting gig. Jackson is slated to have a $32.4 million salary in 2023, but the star quarterback is seeking a new lucrative long-term deal. Spotrac projects Jackson’s market value as a massive six-year, $244 million contract.
Lamar Jackson Could Cost His New Team 3 First-Round Picks
Pursuing Jackson would be more of a decision made by general manager Jason Licht than Bowles, but the head coach would have great familiarity with the team’s thinking on the possible move. During a series of March 27 tweets, Jackson revealed that he requested a trade from the Ravens on March 2 adding that Baltimore “has not been interested in meeting my value.” Jackson is technically a free agent as the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on the quarterback allowing the former MVP to sign with another team, but Baltimore also has an opportunity to match any offer sheet.
“As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that’s has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl,” Jackson said as part of several tweets. “You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I.”
Not only would pursuing Jackson require the Bucs to invest significant financial resources, but Tampa Bay would also send assets to the Ravens as part of a deal. Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson reported that the Ravens are seeking as many as three first-round picks in a deal for Jackson. This is higher than the previously reported two draft picks which could be viewed as the minimum in any blockbuster trade.
Bruce Arians on Baker Mayfield: ‘He’s Not a Punk. He’s Cocky’
There had been plenty of speculation that ex-Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians was an advocate for Mayfield even before the team signed the former No. 1 pick. During an interview with JoeBucsFan.com’s Ira Kaufman, Arians confirmed that he remains an admirer of Mayfield.
“He’s not a punk. He’s cocky, but at that size you better be,” Arians said of Mayfield’s personality during the March 26 interview.
Arians may be excited that Mayfield has joined the Bucs, but the longtime coach is not ready to rule out Trask as the team’s next QB1. The upcoming competition between Mayfield and Trask is “a great situation for the franchise,” according to Arians.
“Kyle is not going to give in,” Trask added. “Not a chance. It’s a great situation for the franchise.”