The final week of March got off to a hot start, as Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson sent a series of tweets detailing his frustrations with the organization and that, on March 2, he formally asked to be traded. Jackson has let it be known that he believes he has a particular value, literally and figuratively, and that the Ravens have failed to see eye to eye with him and match his worth. Jackson has dealt with some injuries the last two seasons, missing 10 games in total. However, his numbers in the last two seasons — along with the rest of his career — have been impactful.
Jackson is 15-9 the last two seasons, with a 63% completion rate, over 5,000 yards passing and 33 passing touchdowns. He also has rushed for over 1,500 yards and scored five touchdowns. For his career, Jackson is 45-16, has completed 63.7% of his passes, has thrown for over 12,200 yards and 101 touchdowns, and has rushed for over 4,400 yards and 24 touchdowns. Along with all of that, he has seven career comebacks and 10 game-winning drives, was the 2019 NFL MVP and AP Offensive Player of the Year, and has been named first-team All-Pro in a stacked era of NFL quarterbacks.
So why do the Ravens refuse to pay Jackson what he believes he is worth? Is it the injuries over the last two seasons? Is it his 15-9 record in the games he has played? Or is it the increase in turnovers in both 2021 and 2022? Whatever the reason may be, the Ravens have definitely not helped the two-time Pro Bowl quarterback by failing to sign or draft him a true WR1 who is consistent and healthy.
But with Jackson tweeting out his trade request, are there teams that see his value as he does. And will they be willing to trade the farm to get a former MVP quarterback who is only 26 years old? Here is a list of teams that could be willing to pull the trigger on a blockbuster and franchise-changing trade.
The Indianapolis Colts have been vocal about what direction they want to go with the quarterback position. Since Andrew Luck shockingly retired, the Colts have had nine different starting signal-callers and have had a different starting quarterback in Week 1 for six straight years — and will make it seven years at the start of the 2023 season. So Indianapolis has said it wanted to draft its next quarterback. But when a 26-year-old former MVP who would be the perfect fit for newly hired head coach Shane Steichen's offense requests a trade, you can be persuaded to bail from the original plan. And with the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, they might be able to make this trade sooner rather than later.
It seems to be a common theme that the Titans are a "sleeper" team to make a change at quarterback. And with the division still within their reach to get back on top of, making a move for Jackson would be huge in putting the 2022 season in the past. The Titans do not have any additional first- or second-round picks; but they do have a bridge quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and a defensive tackle in Jeffery Simmons who could soften the blow on how much draft capital would be used.
This possibility may seem like a stretch. But Kirk Cousins is 34 years old; and despite the contract the Vikings gave them, it has been disappointing season after disappointing season over the course of that fully guaranteed deal. And with Cousins set to become a free agent after next season, this would be a perfect time for Minnesota to make a move for a quarterback. Obviously, Cousins would be a part of the trade package, which would supplement how many draft picks would be given away, as the Vikings do not have a lot of valuable picks in the 2023 and 2024 drafts.
Desmond Ridder does not seem to be "the guy" of the future at the quarterback position for the Atlanta Falcons. And although they signed former Washington Commanders quarterback Taylor Heinicke, it still seems as if the Falcons will look to make a splash at the QB1 spot via a trade or draft pick this year or next year. The Falcons currently sit at the eighth overall pick in next month's draft; and with a potential extra pick in both the second and third round in the 2024 draft via the Calvin Ridley trade to the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Falcons would have plenty to work with in trading for Jackson.
I do think this one is a bit out there, as it seems the Detroit Lions are content with Jared Goff at quarterback. However, it has been reported that Jackson has had the Lions at the top of his list; and the Lions have not only an extra first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft but also an extra second-round pick in the draft. Pairing Goff with one or even two of those extra picks, and potentially a future draft pick, would make this a win-win for both teams without giving up too much.
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