Colts Mulling Lamar Jackson Offer Sheet

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.

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