Amidst the frenzy of free agent deals being handed out over the past few days, the presence of Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has hovered over the shifting NFL landscape at the position. Recent deals have seemed to shrink the number of potential suitors for an offer sheet, but one team which has yet to be mentioned in much detail to date on the subject is the Colts.
Indianapolis is one of many teams whose quarterback room would be upgraded with the addition of Jackson, 26. The Colts have an open spot at the top of their depth chart after releasing Matt Ryan and adding a new backup in Gardner Minshew. Jackson could be an option to fill the team’s latest starting vacancy, one which has yet to be addressed on a permanent basis since Andrew Luck‘s retirement.
On that point, ESPN’s Stephen Holder notes that the Colts have not ruled out discussing the possibility of submitting an offer sheet to the former MVP. Several teams – including the Falcons, Panthers, Commanders and Dolphins – have been reported to have little to no interest in adding Jackson. Signing him would require him agreeing to a massive contract offer (quite possibly, one which is fully guaranteed) and the Ravens declining to match. In that instance, the acquiring team would lose their first-round pick in each of the next two years.
Holder adds, though, that the Colts have not taken any “substantive steps” at this point with respect to preparing any firm offers to Jackson. The team, like all others, would be hesitant to do the Ravens’ negotiating for them, and put themselves in a five-day waiting period while the Ravens decide to match or decline any hypothetical offer sheet. Making an enormous financial commitment to the two-time Pro Bowler would be difficult for Indianapolis, even with the cap space created with the Ryan release and the cost-cutting trade of cornerback Stephon Gilmore.
As Holder mentions, owner Jim Irsay has shown a willingness to sign both Luck, and before him, Peyton Manning, to then-record-breaking contracts. While the Jackson situation is different to those former Colts No. 1 picks, there is nevertheless a degree of precedence with Indianapolis and sizeable splashes at the position. Making one in Jackson’s case would represent one avenue to fixing the team’s multi-year QB problem.
The other, of course, is the upcoming draft. The Colts currently hold the No. 4 selection, but with the Panthers and Texans set to pick first and second, respectively, Indianapolis could be faced with the third-best signal-caller in the class being their top option on the board. That reality could steer them towards a push for Jackson, a more known commodity and a player who could fit well in head coach Shane Steichen‘s scheme after his work with another dual-threat quarterback in Jalen Hurts.
With Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo having each signed new free agent deals, and Aaron Rodgers seemingly destined to play for the Jets in 2023, Jackson represents the only starting quarterback still (potentially) available. In the absence of many other known suitors, the Colts could become a team to watch if they decide to actively pursue the latter in the near future.
66 comments on “Colts Mulling Lamar Jackson Offer Sheet”
Hope Indy doesn’t do this. No matter what the offer is.. the Ravens will match it. They’ll probably wait until the last day to match it too.
Baltimore would likely want to make their decision quickly so that they can really start their offseason.
Long story short-The Colts front office has considered considering THE IDEA OF considering making an offer. In other words, this story was a total waste of time
I may need to consider if this comment has considerable merit before considering if an upvote is appropriate.
Just for the sake of sakes, could the Colts workout some sign and trade thing with Baltimore? I don’t think the Colts would want to give up the 4th overall pick. But I can still see them giving Baltimore a 1st down the road even their 2nd round pick now. I just don’t know if that’s worth it for Baltimore.
The Colts have been willing to trade an unproven commodity (picks) for proven commodities (players). I’d think Lamar would be worth that with his experience.
I believe the way it works with the franchise tag is that, if Baltimore doesn’t match, the signing team owes them two first round picks. In Indy’s case, that would include #4 this year along with next year’s pick.
Yes if Lamar agrees and signs the tag they can work out whatever deal they want.
Colts should pick Richardson with 4th. Less money and build to future. Taking Lamar would require giving up #4 and another #1 and $250 million. Don’t see Irsay doing that. Remember he ran Peyton out of town when he had 4 very good years left and didn’t want to pay the best player in Indy franchise history.
That’s not what happened with Manning. They let him go because his serious injury in his mid-30s gave Denver the #1 pick the year of the best QB prospect since Peyton. And he did not have four good years left.
Hey Oooof, Peyton led Broncos to best record in AFC and #1 seed first year in Denver. It took a mile high miracle for Ravens to win the divisional playoff game which propelled Balt. to Super Bowl. Still #18 led Broncos to 2 Super Bowls, winning 1 in the 4 years there. Colts were so bad after Peyton, they got Luck in the draft with 1st pick. Too bad Luck got beat up so frequently that he had to retire at a young age. I would not stand up for Irsay, Hope the buffoon sells the team.
Magnolia, you’re stretching the truth. Manning had personal surgery in the lockout that turned out to be a terrible decision. He had to have more surgeries & ultimately missed the entire 2011 season & left the Colts in a bad way with backups that held the clipboard for 13 years & they went 2-14. They were going to pick Luck no matter what, wanting Manning to stay if he ever made it back, still unknown at the time. He refused to split reps with Luck, wanting to concentrate on his recovery. At the time Lick was more of a sure thing than Manning. Irsay, whom you belittle, not only gave Manning his release but paid him for the 2011 season, including bonuses. Manning eventually signed with Denver, had 3 great seasons & one crappy one, which
Denver won a SB due to a great defense & in spite of Manning being replaced by Ostweiler for much of the season & playoffs. Manning then retired, knowing he couldn’t perform. Luck had a short career, but went 3-1 vs Manning include a playoff win in Denver. He had an eerily similar season to Manning’s 2011, though it was a shoulder instead of a neck. Several surgeries & a lot of rehab & he missed the entire 2017 season. Came back for a good 2018 season & injured his ankle snowboarding, deciding to retire rather than rehab again. Irsay also paid Luck for his missed season including bonuses. The last 4 years of mediocrity are on Frank Reich, a poor coach & play caller.
I seriously doubt Lamar Jackson ends up in Indy, the overall price is too great with 2 #1 picks & $250m guaranteed for an oft-injured QB who hasn’t been a consistent winner. I think they wanted to move up & draft Stroud, but Carolina threw the vault to Chicago & beat them to it. The irony is they will waste all that because Reich is now their mediocre HC.
Hey dcahan, I stand by my statement. Peyton still had plenty in the tank when Elway signed him in Denver. When #18 retired he was considered the GOAT until TB passed him with more Super Bowls over the past few years and all the QB records. Still I don’t like Jim Irsay because he should have kept Peyton as a Colt or his father who ran Johnny U out of Baltimore. What a disgrace Bob Irsay was. Would have rather seen Indy get an expansion team back in 84 with new owners.
Richardson has more opportunity to be a bust ala JaMarcus Russel that to be the savior of the franchise…..in a 5 year contract, from what he has shown in college, you’d be lucky to see improvement enough in year 5 of his rookie contract which would mean BIG money to get him to sign beyond….. with no guarantee that he ascends any further than a “project who looks promising”.
Russell had some of the worst off-field qualities of any high picked QB in memory. Richardson gets high marks for that stuff. I’m not saying he’s a high probability prospect, but he seems like he’d at least put in the work to improve the things he needs to improve. I wouldn’t drop a Russell comp on him.
It’s ridiculous to even think of doing that. You win in the NFL on rookie contracts, which loaded Baltimore teams couldn’t do with Lamar. Strip the roster for him and you destroy your team.
Your qb isn’t there at 4 then trade back if you can and tank for next year.
Plus if you offer a reasonable deal either he refuses or or Baltimore matches. You’d have to offer something fully guerenteed and even Baltimore knows that’s terrible business or theyd done it by now.
The last three Super Bowls were won by QBs on veteran contracts. And those Baltimore teams weren’t loaded on offense aside from Jackson.
Brady and Mahomes did not count against the cap at their full value 35 million for Brady remains this year, and the Rams paid up for the lions to eat staffords dead cap, which they then pushed out via an extension. The Bucs and Rams are right where a team that plays cap games belong… Salary cap he11. The Cheifs are insane at drafting.
12 teams have never won a super bowl. Cap hell is a reasonable price to pay for one. And the Chiefs crushed the draft last year and addressed the line well the year before, but it’s not like they’re always great at drafting. 2018, 2019, and 2020 were not exactly insane.
Mikeys point stands. The draft is how you win and rookie contract QBs are a huge part of the formula. Once you pay full price for a QB, its over.
We all know everyone would tank to win.
Ideally, sure. It’s clearly not the only way, though, and it’s a harder path when there are going to be two or three QBs off the board before you take yours.
I don’t know if a Super Bowl run (which could come up short, the Colts with Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz are just two examples) is worth the five years of purgatory, following cap hell. I’d rather my team were competitive for years and might win a Super Bowl. Patriots and Steelers are well-run organisations, which are always competitive and sometimes win Super Bowls.
Depends on who your team is. Im guessing you like one that has won. If you are a Chargers fan, I bet you wish they had done a little nore in 2007. Or the Panthers when they went with Cam, or the Bills ever…
Bills have been to the Super Bowl four times in a row, they had an excellent QB Jim Kelly and first rate coaching from Marc Levy. This example supports both of our arguments. It was probably more exciting to go four times in a row (world record) than to win once and finish bottom of the division three times.
Yea just tank another year….eyeroll
On one hand, I’d be reluctant to trade #4 overall, another first rounder, and a giant contract on Jackson. On the other hand, I’d also be reluctant to commit my rebuild to the third or fourth QB in this draft. Richardson and Levis both have serious questions. Richardson has amazing upside, but so little experience and polish. Levis has never put it all together, had injury trouble last year, an is only a couple years younger than Jackson.
I’d also love to see what Steichen could do with Jackson and vice versa. Still, that’s quite a price looming.
Sign lamar post draft and forget about the 2024 and 2025 draft picks
Are the 2 1st round picks one per year, or the NEXT two? Meaning could Indy trade #4 and a mid-round pick to PHI for #10 and #31 and give those for Lamar?
If I’m not mistaken, it would be one per year AND the first rounder has to be the one dictated by your record or better. I heard this explained in reference to New Orleans before they signed Carr. So the scenario you outlined would not work. (And I doubt Philly would do that anyway.)
“… the Colts have not ruled out discussing the possibility…”
Couldn’t this be said about EVERY team?
That scenario (giving up two number ones and a hefty guaranteed contract) makes absolutely no sense for any team in the NFL, so no. Slow news day for PFR.
Roll with Minshew for a season, drat the kid from USC if it doesn’t work out. Trade out of #4, maybe even send it to the Raven for Mark Andrews and some picks.
All of those are good ideas.
Ballard would presumably lose his job if the Colts were bad enough to be close to in range for Williams. Trading #4 for a package based around Andrews would be insane.
So you wouldn’t trade #4 for a 2nd rounder this season and perhaps a first rounder next season, along with Andrews? That’s dopey.
I didn’t say they would be in range for Williams, but if they had some extra ammo to trade up to get him.
Why would the Ravens make a trade remotely like that?
The bigger question is why would indy make that trade
The fact that you are asking why the Colts would make that trade and the other guy is asking why the Ravens would make that trade should clue you in on how even it is.
I don’t see anything resembling a realistic trade in there, but you can clarify what you’re suggesting if you like. Remember Baltimore doesn’t have a second this year, though I don’t think that matters.
I didn’t realize Baltimore doesn’t have it’s second rounder this season. Colts probably would be best served trading down if they don’t think their guy will be there then.
Not sure Ballard survives another year without a real QB answer.
It’s 5:30 somewhere.
Apparently Lamar over estimated his value. 32 teams are like ‘no thanks’! Love it.
His value plus two first rounders is different than his value.
It’s the same. Everyone knows the terms of signing him and no one is speaking with him. He has zero value in the eyes of the franchises. I haven’t read 1 article where a team had Lamar in or listed him. Just speculation articles. He’s overvalued himself.
“He has zero value in the eyes of the franchises” isn’t a statement based in any fact. Your dislike of the guy borders on fetishistic.
Copy and paste 1 article from any sports site showing teams other than Balt, have spoken with Lamar this offseason. Prove me wrong.
“He has zero value in the eyes of the franchises” is not a statement borne of facts.
Copy and paste any article that Lamar is in high demand. Just because you work for lawyers doesn’t mean you know how to debate, kid.
I can copy and paste thousands of articles stating that the new Panthers owner is a mutli-billionare and demands a franchise QB. About 4-5 years of those articles. And another thousand showing he traded up for a QB, not Lamar. Why not, because Lamar has value?
You don’t have the foggiest idea what I do and “He has zero value in the eyes of the franchises” is still not a statement backed up by facts or anything you’ve said.
Here’s a team that nobody is mentioning that could be in the market for a QB and that’s the LA Rams. Wouldn’t that be an upgrade for them?
There’s effectively no way to make the money work. They’re eating their cap vegetables this year.
I considered this scenario.
The Rams may have been exploring the market for Stafford in hopes of getting a 1st rd pick, which they could flip to Baltimore.
Jalen Ramsey trade cleared cap space and Stafford’s outgoing salary may have.been enough to roll into a Lamar contract.
I’d think being in Los Angeles with a new long term commitment from McVay could be enticing to Lamar, even based on the endorsement money alone.
We all know The Rams don’t value draft picks.
They could still do this after the draft as well.
If they have their next two #1’s available.
The ravens are going to require much more than 2 1st round picks for Jackson, in a sign and trade. No doubt they match any offer. Jackson far more valuable than wilson,watson.
I think whatever team wants Lamar and are worried about the Ravens matching should put a poison pill in and see if Baltimore is ready to swallow. Screw precedence. I wouldn’t want Lamar, but if you think your job is on the line and he may take the heat off, go for it. I don’t see a way for Baltimore and Lamar to come to an agreement how things are currently. I doubt he plays on the Franchise Tag, and even if he did, this next season may end up exactly like this one. If he’s dinged up at the end of the season, no way he goes out and plays because he will be protecting his body for a big deal again. Baltimore is best off letting him go to any team who will pay him what he wants. If it’s the Colts, that’s even better, as they can get that high draft pick.
Poison pills aren’t allowed anymore. A team could structure the deal with such a big year-one cap hit that Baltimore can’t match, but that’s about it, and only a couple of teams could manage that.
Oh ok. Thanks for the info.
If John Harbaugh can’t make the Lamar Jackson option offense win in the the playoffs, why would any other coach think he could? Based on the playoff returns, Harbaugh has probably had enough of his unique QB, Jackson. Harbaugh can’t come out and say it, without alienating Ravens fans, so he won’t. Harbaugh knows that QB option offense needs a lot of pieces and a strong defense, so blowing it all up in a QB contract just won’t work.
I’ve been reading all the comments about QB’s and will come out of nowhere with this….
Teams used to be able to get into and win the Super Bowl with QB’s that were not strong passers. The Ravens won the the Super Bowl after the 2000 season with Trent Dilfer taking over QB in mid-season; the Patriots won the Super Bowl after the 2001 season with rookie Tom Brady taking over QB in mid-season. Both of them were asked to simply run the game, primarily hand the ball off to their running backs, and sprinkle in some low-risk controlled passes. Those teams won on strong rushing games and lockdown defenses that created turnovers.
Shortly after that the NFL changed the rules which literally allowed offensive linemen to hold on pass plays, and stopped defenders from chucking receivers coming across the line of scrimmage at the start of a play – something Bill Belichick had put in as DC with the Giants to upset the timing of the West Coast Offenses passing strategies.
Since then the NFL changed to a point that without a superior passer or passer/runner at QB, a team has no real chance of going far in the playoffs. Doesn’t matter how good their D or rushing game is. Everyone knows it – especially the owners.
Unfortunately during any one year there may be at most 10 QB’s that are superior passers in a 32 team league (and often some of them get injured). This has led to a frenzy to sign passing QB’s at any price, with the Browns desperate and inept owner going over the line to sign a questionable human being to a contract last year that now all decent QB’s expect.
The NFL needs to change their rules back to get balance back in the game. 44 players on the field and it’s a one-man game. What a joke! Meanwhile, fans of a least 22 teams go into each season with a QB that they know has no chance to take them deep in the playoffs. This is ridiculous. There needs to be more than one way to win games in any professional team sport.
Interesting that there is no discussion at all about Jackson not signing the franchise tender.
It didn’t work for Le’Veon Bell, but it might work for Jackson…
Will Jackson be worth more after sitting out a season? Maybe he will be less battered. Certainly more teams will be interested in the guaranteed contract risk without losing two first round draft picks. Why not?
Jackson can’t make less money than he will now, with a one-year tag with an injury risk.
All these comments assume Lamar’s heart is still in the game. I think he wants out. Refusing getting an agent and wanting a fully guaranteed deal only, IMO, are indications of this. Very possible he sits out 23, then at sometime during it, announces his retirement. Or an absolute worse case scenario, he takes the 32 tag from the Ravens, then refuses to play. Standing on the sidelines gives him the opportunity to express his position on a perceived injustice done to him, to a segment of society or to all of society.
Are you smoking the weed again? He wants to play & demanding a fully guaranteed contract is what Cleveland started & more money is being guaranteed now. He isn’t walking away from a contract offer off 4 years 200 million all guaranteed which is what is probably going to happen. He was offered 180 million guaranteed so he’s going to squeeze it and get more.
@David K; LOL, I’m a little off naturally, no drugs needed for that.
Hey, he’s already got 40 +/- million in the bank. Been beat up pretty bad over the last 2 seasons. He could be thinking, “get out while I stay got my health”, “F” it if I’m gonna be the next Andrew Luck”. I’m a Ravens fan. What a pleasure it’s been to watch him play. But if wants out, I don’t have a problem with it.
Indy should make this attempt. He would instantly make them a top 4 team in the AFC!