Lamar Jackson may have played his last down as a member of the Baltimore Ravens very well.
Although the Baltimore Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson, there’s a good chance he’ll play for someone else in 2023.
I didn’t think it was possible, but the drama surrounding Jackson’s contract situation with the Ravens has been more agonizing than Aaron Rodgers’ impending divorce from the Green Bay Packers. Green Bay wants to leave Rodgers, while he wants to continue playing, preferably with the New York Jets. It’s about Brian Gutekunst and Joe Douglas finding the right job.
As for Jackson, his relationship with the Ravens is becoming more fractured by the day. Although there is a chance that it can be fixed, it looks thinner than none. Baltimore is a well-run organization, but they can be control freaks. Jackson is representing himself, but seems tired of the Ravens’ control tactics in these absolutely exhausting negotiation processes.
Let’s see which team Jackson will fit for in Week 1 of the upcoming 2023 NFL season.
Lamar Jackson’s team for the 2023 NFL season: who will he play for?
Look. The simplest and most logical outcome would be for Jackson to return to the Baltimore team facility with his tail between his legs, play the franchise tag, and live to fight another day. Unfortunately, things have gotten a little too acrimonious for me to think Baltimore will want to endure another year or two of perpetual ice cream headaches, so he’ll be traded soon.
Right now I have a team at the top of my potential business partners for Jackson, as well as a dark horse destination. The team that makes the most sense to trade for Jackson has to be the Indianapolis Colts. Besides, it wouldn’t shock me if the Detroit Lions fired a quick shot at us and completely flipped the NFL on its head, man. Let’s discuss the odds of Jackson making it to either location.
When it comes to the Colts, they feel the most hopeless. They can play in the same conference as Baltimore and used to play in the same metropolis as them back then. For Mayflower reasons, we may not get the cleanest negotiations between general managers Chris Ballard and Eric DeCosta. However, Jim Irsay wants a new franchise quarterback more than anything else. However, he may have to set aside some of his thoughts on guaranteed contracts to get there.
The Colts have been a chaotic mess since beating Andrew Luck. They tore up retreads faster than the wives of the late Larry King. It was a bit comical to watch from afar, but their fans have been through enough. Jackson is in the middle of his prime. What if I told you that if he left for the Colts in 2023, he would be good enough to start for them in 2024?
Trading for Jackson may cost Indianapolis its No. 4 overall pick this year and first next year, but that’s the price to pay for a franchise quarterback and, frankly, relevance. Indianapolis would go from being a laughing stock to having the best quarterback in the AFC South. They should be able to challenge for a division crown right away. Plus, he would be a perfect fit for Shane Steichen.
Keep in mind that Steichen was the Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator under former Colts offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni. The Eagles were expected to be hot garbage when Sirianni took the job. Well, they’ve made the playoffs the last two years and played in the Super Bowl. Steichen played a huge role in the growth and development of Jalen Hurts. Jackson is the top talent.
Simply put, Jackson fits well with what the Colts want to do offensively. They don’t have great receivers, but that shouldn’t matter with a decent offensive line and Jonathan Taylor in the backfield. Since the Colts need a quarterback, they must trade from No. 4 or will have to settle for whoever is still left between Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson.
While Indianapolis is the perfect landing spot for Jackson, Detroit isn’t a bad option for him either, man. A trade to the Lions is expected to include Jared Goff going to Baltimore, as well as the No. 6 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft that Detroit got from the Los Angeles Rams in the Matthew Stafford trade. Jackson helps the Lions win division titles, while Goff serves as a bridge to the next.
Goff would play great in attacking Todd Monken, while Baltimore could sit back and not have Levis or Richardson uncovered. Heck, they could take the best defensive player available at No. 6 and double down on their identity that made them an AFC North powerhouse in the first place. Because Baltimore and Detroit play in opposite conferences, they make ideal business partners.
Overall, I have reservations about Jackson being more culturally appropriate than Goff. After being told by Sean McVay that he just wasn’t good enough for him, Goff fit in really well playing for Dan Campbell in Detroit, man. He thrived in Ben Johnson’s offensive system, while having Mark Brunell as quarterbacks coach. Frankly, I think the Lions really like what they have in Goff.
Ultimately, a third or perhaps even a fourth trade destination could emerge for Jackson. Many teams desperately need a franchise quarterback. However, it takes two teams to make a trade. From an impulsive standpoint, I would expect Irsay to be the one to call the Ravens on the phone and have them trade his bad franchise for a new quarterback.
Look for Jackson to play for the Colts or Ravens next year, maybe even a team like the Lions.
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