How trading Lamar Jackson could benefit the Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is set for a BIG payday with his pending free agency approaching. The Ravens and Jackson have had aggressive talks to try to come up with an extension during training camp and early in the season. Jackson wants guaranteed money similar to the Deshaun Watson who received a five-year $230 million from the Cleveland Browns.

The fact is the Browns kind of reset the market for quarterback contracts when they gave Watson all guaranteed money. The two recent give quarterback moves have been Watson and Russell Wilson.

The Browns traded three first round picks, a third and a fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans for Watson and a sixth round pick despite knowing that he was going to be suspended.

The Denver Broncos traded two first-round picks two second round picks an a fifth-round pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Russell Wilson and a fourth-round pick.

Jackson is younger and largely considered better than Wilson or Watson and does not have any off-the-field issues that Watson has. Jackson is a great quarterback, he is electric with his legs and with his arm. At age 25, Jackson is just approaching his prime. The Ravens return on a Jackson trade should be better than what Houston and Seattle both got for Watson and Wilson.

The Wilson trade has already turned out great for Seattle as they have a competitive team and a low dollar contract quarterback playing well in Geno Smith. Seattle was one of the surprises this season and has a lot of high draft picks to play with in the future. On the other side the Broncos have had one of the worst offenses this season and Wilson has struggled the entire year. The Broncos are stuck with Wilson’s contract and do not have high draft picks in the near future.

With a trade of Jackson the Ravens would have a plethora of high draft picks and talent for at least another half decade. Another argument is that if the Ravens can not win a Super Bowl with Jackson while he is under his cheaper rookie contract the chances of them winning with him on a top dollar contract would only get less.

Losing Jackson would be painful for the Baltimore fanbase, which wholeheartedly loves him. Sports is a business however, and losing good talent and star players always hurts.

I personally think Jackson is a fantastic football player, I am not sure if he is being held back by offensive coordinator Greg Roman or not. The Ravens offense has not been as explosive as it was during Jackson’s MVP season in 2019. Lately, the Ravens offense has struggled to put up points in the red zone. Jackson sometimes puts the offense on his back and then sometimes makes crucial mistakes, turnovers and misses wide open receivers. Losing Rashod Bateman the Ravens best receiver and other key members of the offense has also hurt the offense.

The Ravens have also never had a top-five or even top-ten quality receiver for Jackson. With Jackson under a big contract that is unlikely to change, top receivers get big dollar contracts. Few teams have found Super Bowl success after signing a top-dollar quarterback and year after year the price only goes up.

While I do love watching Jackson and think he is an amazing player I think the Ravens should use the Franchise Tag and explore a trade. I think the return for Jackson would just be too much to pass up. The Ravens could argue that Jackson could be put on one of the worst teams in the league and make them instantly successful and sell seats in the stadium.

Ideally, as a Ravens fan I wish Jackson and the Ravens could come up with a team friendly and player friendly deal. If they do end up with a deal I hope the Ravens are successful and win multiple Super Bowls with Jackson under center.

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Brian Hradsky

The owner of MSB, I created this website while in college and it has never died.

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