Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has publicly requested a trade. Unless you live under a rock, you’ve likely heard talks between the two sides haven’t been going well.
Jackson wants to get paid. Why wouldn’t he? He’s a former MVP, 26-years-old and when healthy an electric player who I’m sure does well in the merchandise department.
The Ravens don’t want to meet his demands. Why would they? He’s only played in 12 games each of the last two seasons. That MVP season feels like a lifetime ago. And at the end of the day, he’s labeled a ‘running quarterback’ which still has the stigma of someone who won’t bring you championships.
Fair points on both sides.
The Ravens slapped the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson this off-season. Which is like when you’re stringing someone along because of the sex, but you aren’t trying to be exclusive.
Jackson is allowed to negotiate with other teams. But if someone were to offer him a new contract, Baltimore can match it. Or the two teams can agree to a trade.
That’s where things get spicy. Jackson is a young, exciting, and MVP winning quarterback. On paper, he should fetch quite a haul for his services.
As a reminder, Russell Wilson was traded for two first round picks, two second round picks, a fifth-round pick and a couple players. And he’s eight years older than Jackson is. This was just last year mind you.
The Ravens will get multiple first round picks for Jackson. How many of them is the big question.
Lions Could be a Good Fit
If you scroll through the articles on team’s that are a good fit for Jackson, you will find the Lions on most lists.
The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec and Josh Kendall said: “Brad Holmes loves Jared Goff, but if he could get Jackson in exchange for Goff, one of his two first-round picks this year and a small sweetener, he’d almost have to do it.”
Would he though?
CBS Sports said this: “Imagine Dan Campbell’s energy paired with Jackson’s natural electricity on an ascending roster in a potentially wide-open NFC North.”
He has to be on the field to provide a spark though.
Jackson is a threat on the ground with the ball in his hand. But that leads to increased odds of him getting hurt. He’s missed five games in each of the last two seasons. Including the playoff game Baltimore lost last year.
As he gets older, will he run less or get hurt more? One of those two seems to be a safe bet. If he runs less well then, he won’t do what he’s elite at as much. But if he gets hurt more than he’s no use to the team.
Jackson has had incredible individual success in his career. Winning an MVP is not some fluke thing.
But Jackson is 1-3 in the playoffs. And for as electric as he is, the Ravens have averaged only 13 points in those games. Not ideal.
He’s not great at throwing the football. Let’s call it like it is. When it’s cold outside and defenses take away his running lanes, he doesn’t look the same. Not great when the most important games of the year are you know, in the winter.
Sure, the Lions play inside, but now you have to hope Detroit gets home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Lions Shouldn’t Target Jackson
I’m not paying a guy $200+ million guaranteed plus $40+ million a year to get worse in the playoffs and miss a quarter of the season. Just not happening. Not to mention give up significant draft capital just to get him. I’ll pass.
Why not just draft a guy like that and hope it works out. The Lions have the extra draft picks anyways. Take Anthony Richardson if you really want Jackson so badly. Richardson is even bigger than Lamar Jackson and struggles with throwing the ball too.
I wouldn’t do that either, but I’d rather do that than trade for an expensive and physically fragile player.
Lamar Jackson is an exciting player. He’s a talented quarterback too. He’ll win his next team games. But he won’t win them championships. And that’s what I’m all about.
The Lions are getting on that path. Brad Holmes has this team on the ramp making it’s way onto that stretch of road leading to the playoffs. Don’t start getting cute and trying to pass cars you aren’t ready to get in front of yet.
Detroit needs to stay the course and continue building this team the right way.
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