The Ravens ended one of the least suspenseful (but highest-profile) tag sagas Tuesday, cuffing Lamar Jackson amid a third offseason of negotiations with the former MVP. That will turn attention to what teams are out there for Jackson.
So far, teams with quarterback needs are standing down. There stands to be interest in Jackson, though it remains to be seen if any would approach his hope at a fully guaranteed contract. The Panthers pursued Deshaun Watson for two offseasons, but The Athletic’s Joe Person notes (via Twitter) they are not expected to make a push for Jackson. The Commanders offered three first-round picks for Russell Wilson in 2022, but Kimberley Martin of ESPN.com adds they are considered unlikely to go after the five-year Raven (Twitter link).
The Falcons also made it pretty clear, based on the numerous reports to emerge since the Ravens slapped the non-exclusive tag on their quarterback, they will not be part of a pursuit. The Jets are currently meeting with Aaron Rodgers in California, while the Saints signed Derek Carr. As expected, the Giants and Seahawks re-signed Daniel Jones and Geno Smith. This thins the market, but other suitors will loom for a player of Jackson’s talent.
Frank Reich said the Panthers, in an ideal world, would land a long-term option in the draft. The Panthers have not handed the reins to a rookie since Cam Newton in 2011, spending time on a years-long carousel after cutting the former MVP in 2020. Carolina has begun talks with Sam Darnold, presumably as a bridge option. The Commanders just released Carson Wentz and have Taylor Heinicke set to hit free agency. Despite the efforts Ron Rivera‘s team made to acquire a high-end veteran last year, they continue to be linked to giving fifth-round pick Sam Howell a legitimate opportunity to win the starting job. That appears a risky scenario for a team with a coach on the hot seat, but Washington was not closely connected to Carr, either.
Considering Jackson is a South Florida native, it would stand to reason he would be interested in joining his hometown team. How willing the Dolphins are to grant Jackson’s contractual wishes while sending the Ravens at least two first-round picks could be a sticking point here. The Dolphins are not expected to pursue Jackson or anyone else this offseason, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com tweets. The Dolphins, who had the inside track for Watson in 2021, committed to Tua Tagovailoa last year. While recent reports appeared to reveal that trust weakening, Darlington adds Mike McDaniel “fully believes Tua is the perfect fit for his system.”
The Raiders would also seemingly loom for Jackson and hold a top-five cap-space figure ($39.1MM as of Tuesday afternoon), but while Josh McDaniels coached Newton in 2020, it would be a transition for his offense to install a player like Jackson. Still more than $40MM over the cap, the Buccaneers probably lack the funds to make a legitimate pursuit.
Teams would need to revamp their offenses to bring in a unique talent like this; it will be interesting to see which ones move into position as a legitimate suitor. However, this many quickly surfacing as uninterested parties is a bit odd given Jackson’s accomplishments and the value of this position. Teams working in concert to prevent another guaranteed contract from coming to pass would represent collusion, but it is a bit too early to make such a claim. That said, there does not appear to be as many interested parties as expected here.
66 comments on “Panthers, Commanders, Dolphins Unlikely To Pursue Lamar Jackson”
I don’t see the Ravens lowering whatever their last offer was, but if I were Lamar, I’d be pissed at DeMaurice Smith for using me as a pawn in the quest to get guaranteed contracts normalized.
If you were Lamar, you’d also presumably have an agent to worry about that instead of you.
This is also true.
it is mind boggling that he has no agent but as long as he makes within 10%-20% of he woulda made w an agent i guess hes coming out on top
I learned yesterday that the league only allows agents to get no more 3%. So I get he is losing money, but the contract he would have gotten this time around is really worth all this for a few million? To us that sounds like a lot but seriously?
This really has some fascinating potential. I’d be curious to see if these teams are public in their refusal to pursue Lamar purely because of his “fully guaranteed” expectation. That would just reinforce the NFLPA chatter around collusion amongst owners, and could be the pivot point leading to some severe labor disputes in the not-so-distant future.
I just think Lamar is overvaluing himself.
Watson’s deal was considered a surprising overpay at the time and (even though it’s early) hasn’t looked good for the Browns so far.
I’d be very cautious about committing that kind of guaranteed money to a QB like Lamar. He’s undoubtedly an exceptional player… but with his style of play there is an increased risk of injury or regression as he ages.
He might find that other teams are wary of paying him that much too. Or maybe not. Either way it will definitely be interesting.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I think Lamar is overvaluing himself too. That’s kind of why I think this will be so interesting. As ludicrous as the Watson deal was, it technically set the market and most would argue that, in a vacuum, Lamar is worth more. Teams can claim the latter, while players will scream the former. Lots of fighting to come, me thinks.
Sorry, teams claiming former and players the latter
Deshaun Watson has shown himself to be the more complete quarterback, and he plays in a style which is less likely to generate serious injury.
They are both about the same size, curiously enough 6’2″,
220-ish lbs. Based on the eye test, I thought was Watson was bigger.
Last couple of years he has been on the IL more than he has been on the field. Avoid him at all costs as running QB’s don’t last long term.
there’s only 1 Browns organization,,,, but there’s still the Raiders lol
The Giants also helped his case. The owners have to be very upset at that bonehead overpay to reset the bar lower
Based on how open he’s been about a fully guaranteed contract, considering his injury history, and knowing he represents himself, I think it will be really easy for teams to just point to all of that as their reasons for not pursuing him.
Yep, the NFLPA botched it royally by saying “Fully gtd or bust”
Now it doesn’t even look like collusion lmao.
Conspiracy theory. Lamar’s done. Fried. Wants out of the game. He knows a fully guaranteed contract is unrealistic but will hold firm with that requirement. That’s his out. He’ll decline the tag, sit out 23 and during the course of the 23 season announce his retirement. He’s set for life with what 40 +/- million earned already. Yes? Plus he’s relatively healthy. He’s getting out while the gettin’s good. No Andrew Luck ending here. Good for you LJ, good for you!
If he were doing that, why would he go through this whole strange spectacle first?
C Yards Jeff – I like it. I’d tweek it a little by adding a collusion lawsuit against the league right after his retirement. Not quite ” birds aren’t real” but not a bad conspiracy theory.
I might be persuaded to go along with a conspiracy theory if Lamar takes a job at Dairy Queen like Le’Veon Bell did.
He strikes me as more of a WAWA type guy
Dude whatever your smoking I want some of that.
First and foremost, I’m thinking the Raiders owner, Davis, may just be crazy enough to offer him a fully guaranteed deal. He’s gotta big time home attendance problem. His logic being highwire act Lamar gooses attendance. Oof has heard my rant on this already.
But, if retirement is his end game, he waits to announce it because of PRIDE. Leaving now, in his mind, makes him look bad. IE letting down the fans, his teammates, the Ravens and the NFL. So he slow plays it until, again in his mind, that he’s no longer news. I picture a Friday evening during the 23 season a breaking story running along the bottom of my TV screen as I’m watching something maybe like a pre season NBA affair on ESPN. He justifies the decision based on the injury woes of 21 + 22.
The only substantial money Lamar Jackson will ever earn is likely to be on a football field. He would be crazy not to pay another three years at least for $150 million, which is on the table (probably with $90 million guaranteed).
Strategically, if Jackson is most worried about high APY, he should be aiming at a short term contract (two or three years), with another chance to cash-in on a longer term contract. This is the Kirk Cousins strategy, which Cousins has milked very successfully. Take your money now but leave yourself another chance at the table, when salary caps have risen.
@AlecK; sweet take. All this time I’m thinking 5 yr deal and nothing shorter. So 3 yrs and maybe there’s an owner out there that’ll even guarantee the whole thing?! Interesting. How about $60 mil x 3 yr =180 mil?
I just had a vision of Lamar in a black and silver jersey. Whatever the 3yr deal would be, the Raiders and the league would make a killing in jersey sales alone even after Lamar gets his cut!
Who would destroy their salary cap offering anyone $60M?
Exactly. I’d say Lamar Jackson, who runs a one-dimensional offense which runs into a brick wall in the playoffs when confronted with top-ten defenses, is worth about $40 million/year. And that is if the team has the running backs and offensive line to pair with him, and a plan of how to attempt to overcome the playoff barrier.
If John Harbaugh couldn’t do it, I don’t know what other coach will do better.
Here’s the thing, I hear Lamar’s agent is one tough negotiator. 40 mil @ 3yrs, and even if fully guaranteed, fogettaboutit!
Just shows how you the rest of the league feels about you. had he had a agent he would’ve known that and he wont get a fully guaranteed deal for anybody because you would need to build your offense around him.
Vegas could be a sleeper. McDaniels’ best season as a HC was with … Tim Tebow. Jackson is clearly a better passer and runner than Tebow was at the time.
Not saying it’s likely to happen, but Jackson should be at least a 3-4 year option.
I’d put them as a heavy favorite to sign a red flag player to an ill-fated contract
Jackson needs a agent if he intends to deal with multiple savy general managers. With that being said, he would have been wise to have had one since day one,in my opinion.
Do the Dolphins not believe in Tua? Or have the confidence in him? They’ve been linked now to Jackson and to Brady which was made up by Eisen smh
Dolphins can’t sign Jackson to an offer sheet until after the draft because they don’t have a first rounder this year.
The Dolphins would love to believe in Tua. But there were questions going into last year and now he has a ton of uncertainty because of the concussions he sustained. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL were forced into holding him out due to public perception if he were to suffer a future concussion. Would you?
The Ravens are a clear #2 inside the Beltway and close to #1. Commanders have a golden opportunity to reclaim the Beltway from the AFC team up I-95. Instead the Commanders say “we’re not gonna try to sign Baltimore’s biggest star”.
And people in D.C. wonder why FedEx Field is always filled with Cowboys/Eagles/ Giants fans!
I like Rivera and Del Rio as coaches. The belief in Howell is real or they wouldn’t have drafted him. The owner is an ass and needs to sell the team but nobody is paying $7 billion for the Commodes. Ravens have been the big boys in the area for over 20+ years and will continue with or without Lamar.
I’m not entirely sure how the ravens are a clear #2, the DC fans gave up long ago. New Jersey people failing to grasp concepts is unsurprising.
Ravens games are usually on TV in D.C. The club is competitive year in and year out, plus it’s aggressive on marketing throughout Maryland and has a team store in one of the Beltway malls.
So they are #1 then, not #2.
Seems like teams are wisening up and not paying used Running Backs their second contracts…
The sticking point is teams GMs and head coach’s not wanting to put all their eggs in one basket.
If you draft in a QB no matter how good you’ve usually brought yourself 4 years or so of time to develop said player and use him as the excuse for poor results. However if you trade for a top name guy not only are you giving up picks and talent but your also bringing a bunch of expectations and if you don’t win your most likely going to lose your job. Similarly to the Russ trade in Denver and clear out there.
These guys at Carolina, Washington, etc they don’t want to risk their careers on achieving immediate success. It’s sad for the fans who want top tier QBs and there teams to be winning games and don’t care for a long drawn out rebuild that most the time don’t work.
Browns are a good example, constantly hit the draft and grabbed QBs early in the first and taken time to develop them but constantly miss and fail. They got tired of it after Baker and have gone all in on Watson. Yes it’s a huge risk for the GM and coach but looks at the history of constant failings. Watson we know if fit and healthy is close to top 5 at his position easily top 10. So it’ll be about getting him playing well and build around that.
I don’t know that Watson at his best is an elite QB. Watson is a career .500 QB that is now eating up the lion’s share of his team’s salary cap. I don’t think Watson is currently a top 15 QB and not having cap space to put a team around will expose him (no pun intended).
Currently not top 15 lol
In no particular order
Mahomes Rodgers Hurts Burrow Herbert Allen Lawrence Lamar thats 8 guys I’d have ahead of him and then slot him in about 9th above the likes of Dak Geno Stafford Carr. I’m comfortably have him top 15
Well, there you go. I have him behind QBs that went to the play-offs and pro-bowl. I put Dak, Geno, Stafford, Carr, Goff, Murray, Purdy, Wilson ahead of Watson because they have had success in the NFL recently. I also think there might be as many three rookies drafted that are better as well.
The annual salary bringing in a vet star, along with the guarantees, are what wreck the model. A team gives up both draft capital and cap space. And when the QB either gets injured (Alex Smith at the Redskins) or flops (Russell Wilson in Denver), there’s no good options left.
Trading a ton of first and second round picks to pick at the top of the draft is also a disaster – RGIII set the Redskins back five years when he was injured as a rookie in the sole playoff game.
Drafting your own with your own draft pick, or picking up a mid-tier vet like Ryan Tannehill, Jimmy Garropolo, Derek Carr, Geno Smith at a value rate seems to be the only viable model to build a team to go above one-and-done in the playoffs.
do they not want him or is it a respect thing since its been his team for so long? like they dont want other teams screwing with them when they want to resign their own long term dudes?
Baltimore would alienate a huge portion of their fan base if they just said bye-bye, but getting stuck with a huge cap hit for a guy that can no longer give you a full season is a ticket to getting fired.
Baltimore has won two super bowls with…who at QB? I think the fans would be much happier talking about a SB than about Lamar Jackson. Basically, if they let him go and win…great. If they keep him and win…great. Fans will be happy with winning, they don’t care about the names on the back of the jersey.
I think lots of GMs are starting to question if a team that is paying a QB 50 million dollars can put together a competitive roster around him. The Chiefs are cutting Frank Clark, trading Tyreek Hill, and letting Orlando Brown leave as a FA.
Kansas City traded Tyreek Hill last spring.
I know. It is the cumulative impact on the roster that comes from QB taking up so much cap space that I’m talking about. More roster moves to come, I’m sure.
Clark was overpaid and underperforming during the regular season; not a loss.
Using the tag was still over paying him. He sucks and will only get worse.
The Ravens are probably angling for the two first round draft picks and to see their cap space freed. Tagging is still okay as it’s a one year rental. Remains to be seen what quality of football Lamar is willing to play. When Jackson didn’t recover from injury in time for the end of the season last year, there was some team grumbling that Jackson chose not to play.
Bear in mind that their former Strength & Conditioning Coach got graded an F- in the recent NFLPA survey with multiple former Ravens calling the dude out publicly… it’s very possible that Lamar was unable to play because the strength coach wrecked the rehab (as he had done for others).
Teams are realizing that you do need a good QB even top notch one but hinder your cap don’t make the team better..
Just watch as teams are throwing huge money to QB like smith, Carr, Jones who are not top of the line QB..
The contracts for Carr and Smith are not so bad. These are QB’s in their prime who are playing very acceptable football. The contracts would look better at $35 million and not $30 million. That’s an extra very good starting offensive lineman or a couple of decent swing line replacements (which when the injuries pile up becomes very important, there are offensive linemen being subbed in who are amusement park turnstiles against top tier DL, which just wrecks an offense, regardless of what the QB is being paid).
Geno is getting 25 million AAV. Not bad for a QB that was in the playoffs and went to the Pro-bowl!
Not mentioned in any of these articles is the need for owners to put the guaranteed money portion of these contracts into escrow at the time the contract is signed. This is a BIG number across the entire roster – thus instantly adding another $230 million to that might be a financial burden for some of the poorer owners (like Dan Snyder or Steve Bisciotti?). The NFL is a very profitable business, but a lot of that cash just comes in one door and goes out another…
Not so bad come on, Derek Carr with raiders was never top notch QB and with saints, he still going to be average QB that doesn’t make them better..
As for Geno one hit wonder and I’m a Seahawks fan but to put up another season like this season is probably not going to happen..
As far as Lamar Jackson goes past two seasons has injury season where he missed games, is it possible he can play the QB position like a QB and not as running back
Geno Smith has been in the Seahawks’ system since May 2019. I think he has a chance to be even better, or at least repeat his performance from last season. I believe it is time to recognize that the Seahawks know how to get the most out of a QB!
Looking like the best bet for Lamar is the Raiders want to make a splash and make him a offer. My guess is that he backs off the Watson like guaranteed money demand when the market for him doesn’t materialize and eventually signs with the Ravens.
The 2019-2020 Lamar is worth a big contract. The 2021-2022 not so much.
So which Lamar shows up for 2023?
Hot take-Lamar is done with the Ravens, especially after this last slap in the face. He has no interest in attempting to carry that offense for another season, so he’ll simply refuse to show up. They have refused (or maybe just failed miserably) to build around him. Unless another team steps up and takes him, this is going to get ugly. Or maybe I should say uglier than it already is. I definitely see both sides of this. Which is why, I believe, interested teams are sitting back to watch the meltdown instead of actively bailing the Ravens out.
If Jackson wants 50 million AAV guaranteed, then he is going to have to carry the offense of any team that he signs with because they will have no cap space to get him much help.
Best team for Lamar is Atlanta if they can get him and Derek Henry would be unstoppable