These NFL teams don’t want to acquire Lamar Jackson and the reason why seems painfully obvious

Every year, with absolutely zero uncertainty, we are reminded that the NFL is a quarterback league. This is a non-negotiable step. You have or you don’t. And even when there is, sometimes it’s not enough. Just ask the Raiders who dragged Derek Carr into free agency per year in a recently signed contract extension. Teams typically pay exorbitant amounts in terms of current and future draft capital to move up and get ads for an unknown product in the draft.

And yet, when Lamar Jackson became available to any NFL team via Baltimore marked non-exclusive franchise on their starting quarterback…no NFL team interested?

This is the former MVP we’re talking about, one of the most energetic athletes in all of professional sports, a legitimate franchise defender who turned 26 in January.

We’ve never seen a quarterback hung up so that the entire NFL, in need of quarterbacks, came after him. It’s a cutthroat league where margins are tight, and having a quarterback separates you not only from the chance to win the Super Bowl, but from the interest of fans both locally and nationally.

The Carolina Panthers are largely irrelevant on the national stage. Panthers with Lamar Fucking Jackson? This team plays several games in prime time every year and is an immediate favorite to win the NFC South. The exact same case could be made for the Atlanta Falcons. And my God, Lamar’s re-creation of the Vic 2.0 in red, white and black would be incredible.

However, we will be denied that aesthetic because Atlanta, like the Carolinas—along with, presumably, every other NFL team in need of quarterbacks— just not interested in trying even pursue Jackson. They are not even going to check and find out what Jackson might need.

total lack of interest in Jackson is even wilder than that Jackson is open to negotiations with the entire league. And the reason seems painfully obvious: NFL owners are adamant about dropping the idea of ​​quarterbacks getting fully guaranteed contracts.

Jackson’s predicament was created when the Browns traded Deshawn Watson and gave him a $230 million guaranteed deal, despite Watson facing double-digit off-field sexual harassment allegations. As reported in March 2022 by our very own Jason La Canfora, Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam had a deal with Watson. drew the ire of virtually every other NFL owner.

In fact, the Browns weren’t interested in Watson until Haslam wanted to break the position – and the precedent – and offer Watson a deal that no one else in the league was willing to offer.

Watson hadn’t played football in over a year, he needed to get some big draft picks, he wanted a monstrous contract extension, and he faced unprecedented challenges off the field. However, the Browns were against him, as were the Falcons and Panthers, according to multiple reports.

Jackson is in the same position, only he has been more productive, has a better injury history (Watson has several torn ACLs since college), has an MVP, and there are no negotiations with the Ravens for compensation if the offer sheet is signed. .

Despite this, no fewer than five NFL teams have publicly declared their lack of interest in Jackson with incredible speed. After the Ravens announced on Twitter that they were tagging Jackson at 3:02 pm ET Tuesday, we received a flurry of messages from various reporters.

The Falcons – by all accounts the best place to land Jackson – told ESPN’s Dianne Russini that they were out by 3:16 p.m. ET.

I can’t even choose what I want for dinner that quickly, let alone make a decision that will change the franchise. Jackson will thrive in Arthur Smith’s offense and keep the Falcons relevant but confident. The Raiders quickly followed suit, making it clear they were “unlikely” to go after Jackson.

Recognizing that Mark Davis probably doesn’t have the liquidity to actually pay Jackson (more on that in a minute), and ignoring what his father would do (trade Jackson for a fucking heartbeat), I’d like to point out the only quarterback. currently on the Raiders roster is Chase Garbers. I guess at least 50% of the people reading this can’t be 100% sure if I came up with this name or not.

By 4:30 p.m. ET, the Panthers made it clear that they most likely had nothing to do with the Lamar Jackson case either.

David Tepper was turned down several times in an attempt to trade him for a franchise quarterback, including Watson, Matthew Stafford and, not even jokingly, Carson Wentz. Lamar Jackson is wanted and he doesn’t even want to check what it might take to get him? Again, of course.

The Dolphins also reported this, citing their satisfaction with the QB position with Tua Tagovailoa.

This would make sense were it not for 1) the medical issues surrounding Tua’s future, and 2) the constant buzz around Tom Brady and the dolphins that persists.

Even Danny Snyder’s “Washington Commanders” don’t want to get involved in Jackson’s business.

I covered the NFL for over 15 years. I’ve seen a lot of weird stuff, even if you just want to narrow it down to Tag Day. The Broncos once lost Elvis Dumerville because they messed up a fax to the league office. Never, never have I seen a real, legitimate franchise quarterback have five plus NFL teams *immediately* leaked into him without interest.

Either we’re all grossly underestimating concerns about Jackson, or something else is going on. So what are these concerns? Some of them are quite viable, but I mostly play devil’s avocado in the interest of representing both parties.

Draft Pick

Giving up a few first-round picks is not what NFL teams want. Two first-round picks for any NFL player is a pretty hefty price to pay, but it’s in line with what we’ve seen recently in the trade-in market for other franchise quarterbacks. The Rams and Broncos waived such trophies in favor of Matthew Stafford and Russell Wilson. And it’s not the first two matchups for a cost-controlled player you could have drafted.


It’s big here. Jackson, apparently, wants a fully guaranteed deal. The crows decided to let the market tell him what his value was, and the market magically dried up! We’ll never know what he might want to take because teams don’t even put out offer sheets. A fully guaranteed deal would require every dollar in escrow to be matched (an outdated rule from the days when not every NFL owner had hundreds of millions of dollars), something even the richest NFL owner doesn’t want to deal with (again, more on that in a second). ). If we are talking about maximum guarantees, then this is a potential problem with the salary cap, although the salary cap seems more and more like a myth.

No agent

Jackson introduces himself. There is nothing wrong with that, and I applaud his enterprise. But the lack of an agent makes it difficult to close a deal. Agents are interested – both in terms of their reputation and in terms of finances – to make a deal. They have already worked with most of these NFL teams and can get their clients into certain deals. Jackson is unshakable here. Good for him. This complicates the negotiation process for NFL teams.

Scheme / fit

Again, I’m just giving possible arguments, so don’t yell at me about it. It’s perfectly reasonable for some coaches, front offices or NFL owners to fear that the offense will be based on Jackson’s particular skill set. I would tell anyone who makes such a claim that he is a coward and any decent coach can figure out how to make it work. Also, if the team doesn’t believe the quarterback is out and in the process of being rehabilitated, there’s a reasonable argument for not giving up capital. Unfortunately, all of these teams have been aggressive in chasing quarterbacks lately. What changed?!


Jackson has only played in 12 games in the past two years. He plays football, which, due to his running skills, can rightly be called dangerous to his health in the long run. He is not complex like Cam Newton or Josh Allen. If you want to tell yourself a long-term health care story, you can. Maybe not a very good story, but…


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