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Ravens News 3/28: Trade Possibilities and more

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Wild Card Round - Baltimore Ravens v Tennessee Titans Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Lamar Jackson requests trade from Ravens, but John Harbaugh expects him to remain team’s QB - Jonas Shaffer

In a series of tweets Monday morning, Jackson wrote that “as of March 2nd,” he’d requested a trade and cited the Ravens front office’s disinterest in “meeting my value.” The Ravens designated Jackson with the nonexclusive franchise tag about two weeks ago, allowing him to negotiate offer sheets with other teams, and have worked on a long-term deal with the 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player for over two years.

Jackson published his tweets just as Harbaugh was sitting down with reporters at the NFL’s annual owners meetings in Phoenix. Harbaugh said he hadn’t read Jackson’s messages and declined to share the specifics of his trade request. But Harbaugh said he remained committed to Jackson as the team’s quarterback, as he has over the past year.

Harbaugh acknowledged that he hasn’t talked with Jackson in “a while” but said the team’s relationship with Jackson isn’t irreparably damaged.

Lamar Jackson requests trade: Colts, Lions and Commanders among top landing spots for former NFL MVP - Brad Spielberger

The Lamar Jackson sweepstakes just got a lot more interesting.

On Monday, the Baltimore Ravens star quarterback announced on Twitter that he requested a trade from the team that drafted him on March 2.

This date is important, as it came just five days before the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the 2019 MVP for the 2023 season. Jackson is owed $32.4 million on the tender if/when he ultimately signs it, and the deadline for Jackson to sign a multi-year contract is July 15.

A couple of procedural notes:

1. According to Article 9, Section 3(h) of the NFL collective bargaining agreement, the Ravens cannot receive trade compensation of more than the CBA-mandated two first-round picks.

2. A team can wait until after the 2023 NFL Draft to sign Jackson to an offer sheet, with 2024 and 2025 first-round picks then becoming the compensation.

3. A team cannot send first-round draft picks acquired from another team unless those picks fall higher than their original slot. For example, the Detroit Lions could send the No. 6 overall pick they acquired from the Los Angeles Rams, though they wouldn’t want to do that. On the flip side, the Saints could not send the No. 29 overall pick that originally belonged to the San Francisco 49ers.

NFL Power Rankings 2023: 32-team poll after free agency - Jamison Hensley

14. Baltimore Ravens

Way-too-early ranking: 11

Top under-the-radar move: Hiring Todd Monken as offensive coordinator

The Ravens are banking on Monken to boost an offense that averaged 20.6 points last season, Baltimore’s fewest points since 2016. In helping Georgia win back-to-back national titles, Monken guided an explosive offense that averaged 39.8 points per game, which was the fifth best in the country. The big question is when QB Lamar Jackson, who received the nonexclusive franchise tag, will report to Baltimore and learn Monken’s system.

Lamar Jackson, Derrick Henry among 14 trade candidates who could be shopped ahead of, during 2023 NFL Draft - Cody Benjamin

DeAndre Hopkins

ARI • WR • #10

One of the most obvious trade candidates of the offseason, Hopkins remains an elite technician when healthy, but he’s missed 15 games the last two years and is due almost $30M at age 31 this upcoming season. Kyler Murrayneeds weapons like anyone, but 2023 is a true transition year for Arizona as Jonathan Gannon remakes the culture. Marquise Brown is also in tow and eligible for an extension, and Hopkins, whose exit would save an instant $8.9M, still profiles as a borderline No. 1 for a contender.

Logical landing spots: Bills, Chiefs, Lions, Packers, Panthers, Ravens

Courtland Sutton

DEN • WR • #14

Sutton’s fellow wideout Jerry Jeudy has been a more frequent subject of trade rumors, but we’re inclined to think Sean Payton is OK being patient with the former first-rounder, who’s just 23 and can easily be retained through 2024. Sutton, on the other hand, is a more proven commodity but due $17M+ in each of the next three years. Dealing him would save Denver $6.8M right away.

Logical landing spots: Lions, Patriots, Ravens

Baltimore Ravens NFL Draft 2023 guide: Picks, predictions and key needs - Jeff Zrebiec

Ravens’ key position needs

Wide receiver: The Ravens ended last season with one of the worst receiving corps in football. They signed Nelson Agholor to a one-year deal for depth, but if there’s a wide receiver available at No. 22 who they covet, they should run up the card.

Cornerback: Every year the Ravens seem to get hit hardest by injuries at the cornerback position. They feel good about perennial Pro Bowl performer Marlon Humphrey and are optimistic about a few of their young cover guys, but they need to come out of this draft with a starting-caliber corner.

Guard: Ben Powers’ departure in free agency leaves the Ravens with a void at the starting left guard spot. They have internal candidates in Ben Cleveland and John Simpson, yet that probably won’t stop them from bringing in interior offensive line help.

Interior defensive line: With the release of Calais Campbell and so many of the Ravens’ interior defensive linemen having just one year left on their deals, an investment in this position would help Baltimore both now and in the future.

Edge rusher: The Ravens used a first-round pick on Odafe Oweh in 2021 and a second-rounder on David Ojabo in 2022. Still, you can never have enough pass rushers and they cost a lot to acquire, so finding another one in the draft makes sense.

NFL Draft 2023: 13 Pro Day Standouts You Need To Know - Ryan Fowler

Kaleb Hayes CB, BYU

An extremely twitchy athlete with the ideal athletic profile to compete on the perimeter right away, he ran 4.31 and jumped 40 inches in the vert to cap off what has been a fantastic pre-draft process. A standout at the NFLPA Bowl, Hayes could be a steal for a team later in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jordan Howden CB, Minnesota

A standout at the Shrine Bowl, get to know Howden’s name now. Howden is excellent when asked to flip his hips in coverage, physical and sudden when reading his keys in the run, and will immediately boost any secondary. He’s a riser in the draft class.

Darrius Bratton CB, UVA

The standout of the Cavaliers’ Pro Day, Bratton stole the show with a 4.44 40, 38-inch vertical, and 11-foot-3 broad jump that would have ranked tied for third among all participants at the NFL Combine. An alignment versatile talent at 6-foot, 183 pounds, he has experience playing on the outside, at nickel, and in the box.