Trade for Lamar Jackson? Here’s what 10 NFL teams had to say
PHOENIX — Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey believed franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson’s announcement of his trade request was delivered at the right time Monday when he saw a group picture of all the top NFL decision-makers at the annual league meeting.
“8 releases the farewell tweet while all 32 GM’s are together,” Humphrey tweeted on Monday.
But if Jackson’s plan was to drum up interest from other teams, it doesn’t appear to have worked, at least not publicly. On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions joined the Washington Commanders, New York Jets and Carolina Panthers as teams that have stated they will not pursue Jackson, who does not have an agent and is representing himself.
The team that has expressed the most interest in Jackson has been the Ravens, who placed the nonexclusive tag on him on March 7.
“I’m sure they’ll work it out there,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.
Under the nonexclusive tag, Jackson can engage in contract negotiations with other teams. If Jackson signs an offer sheet, Baltimore will have five days to match it or receive two first-round picks as compensation. The deadline for Jackson to sign a multiyear offer sheet is July 17.
Asked whether the Ravens have maintained contract talks with Jackson, coach John Harbaugh said, “I know they’re working hard at it. They’re trying to be in constant contact. You’re not talking every second of every day, but as far as I know, it’s very consistent.”
Here’s a look at what some teams have said when asked about Jackson, who has been the hottest topic of discussion at the meetings:
Current QBs: Desmond Ridder, Taylor Heinicke
First-round draft pick: No. 8
Coach Arthur Smith declined to talk about Jackson by name, saying, “We are going to talk about our own players.” Smith has declared Ridder as his starting quarterback.
Smith added, “Here is our stance on all these hypothetical questions around the league: Anytime you’re looking to improve your football team, that’s part of your job is to be aware of what’s going on and look at everything. Some of the rumors are true, some are not. We take everything into consideration.”
Falcons owner Arthur Blank praised Jackson when he spoke to local reporters Tuesday, but he also referenced the former MVP missing 11 games over the past two seasons, including the wild-card loss to the Cincinnati Bengals last season. “Looking at it objectively, I’d say there’s some concern over how long can he play his style of game,” Blank said. “Hopefully, a long time … but he’s missed five, six games each of the last two years. Each game counts a lot in our business.”
Current QBs: Andy Dalton, Matt Corral, Jacob Eason
First-round draft pick: No. 1.
After the Panthers traded up for the chance to get the top quarterback on their draft board, general manager Scott Fitterer said last week, “[Jackson’s] a great option, a really expensive option. But we’re focused on more of the draft picks at this point.”
Current QBs: Jared Goff, Nate Sudfeld
First-round draft picks: Nos. 6 and 18
“Lamar is a heck of a talent,” coach Dan Campbell said. “But, man, we got a quarterback. And thank God we got one. So, we’re good.”
Current QBs: Gardner Minshew, Nick Foles, Sam Ehlinger
First-round draft pick: No. 4
Colts GM Chris Ballard confirmed the team’s interest in Jackson, saying, “Anytime a special player is available, which he is, you’ve got to do the work. But you never know how any of this will work out.” Colts owner Jim Irsay later said that teams are “always looking for great dynamic players” but said “it’s important not to compromise your future to do it.”
Current QBs: Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe
First-round draft pick: No. 14
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Jackson got a recommendation from a popular rap artist. “You know, Meek Mill is my friend,” Kraft said. “He texted me saying that Lamar Jackson wanted to come here. But that’s [coach] Bill [Belichick]’s decision.”
New York Jets
Current QBs: Zach Wilson, Chris Streveler
First-round draft pick: No. 13
Jets general manager Joe Douglas said his focus is on acquiring Aaron Rodgers in a trade with the Green Bay Packers and he wouldn’t pivot to Jackson to put pressure on the Packers, saying, “it would be disingenuous and negotiating in bad faith if we went down that path.”
San Francisco 49ers
Current QBs: Brock Purdy, Trey Lance, Sam Darnold
No first-round draft pick
Shanahan indicated the 49ers will not consider adding Jackson, saying, “We got three quarterbacks that we’re pretty good with right now. We’re pretty set with how we’ve built our roster salary cap-wise.”
Current QBs: Geno Smith, Drew Lock
First-round draft picks: Nos. 5 and 20
The Seahawks re-signed Smith on March 6, a day before the Ravens tagged Jackson. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said, “I couldn’t imagine him being available, and we couldn’t afford him.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Current QBs: Baker Mayfield, Kyle Trask
First-round draft pick: No. 19
The Buccaneers have only $2.4 million in salary cap space, and coach Todd Bowles said any offer that the team could make “would be an insult to a great player like that.”
“We know it’s time for us to get under the cap, and he makes a lot of money,” Bowles said. “But he is a heck of a player, and I hate playing against him.”
Current QBs: Sam Howell, Jacoby Brissett, Jake Fromm
First-round draft pick: No. 16
The Commanders won’t look to add Jackson. General manager Martin Mayhew said: “I won’t get into specifics about him. I don’t want to sound critical of anyone. He’s a very talented guy. He’s one of the better quarterbacks in this league. But for us right now, we’re moving forward with Sam and Jacoby.”
ESPN Jets reporter Rich Cimini, Colts reporter Stephen Holder, Commanders reporter John Keim and Patriots reporter Mike Reiss contributed to this report.