On Monday, quarterback Lamar Jackson publicly announced he is seeking a trade from the Baltimore Ravens. Not long after, NFL general managers, team officials and owners were asked about the prospect of trading for the quarterback. While most stood on their previous comments of not being interested in signing Jackson, as they did when the news released regarding the non-exclusive franchise tag, Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard offered a different response.
"Anytime a special player is available – which he is — you gotta do the work. I'm not gonna get into deep discussions on where it's at, what we're doing or what we might do, but he's a really special player. You never know how any of this will work out."— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) March 27, 2023
— Chris Ballard on Lamar
The Colts appear to be the front-runner in the Jackson sweepstakes if they’re wanting to pursue, with teams like the Washington Commanders and New York Jets being out.
#Commanders coach Ron Rivera discussing his QB, says he believes Sam Howell has many of the same qualities of Brock Purdy. … As for adding a high-money QB (Lamar Jackson), he says they never looked into it. “I know he’s a tremendous talent.” But it wasn’t for them.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 28, 2023
Joe Douglas, asked about Lamar Jackson, says it would be “disingenuous” to show interest in Jackson because they have a QB plan and want to stick to it. He says it would be negotiating in bad faith if they veered off their plan. #Jets— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) March 27, 2023
The interest in Jackson isn’t resoundingly positive for Jackson from the Colts’ side of things, with owner Jim Irsay being uninterested in a fully guaranteed contract. Irsay was asked about Jackson who said he’s willing to pay Jackson a lot of money, but not a guaranteed deal.
“the money is not a problem,” Irsay told The Athletic’s Zak Keefer. “I do not believe in fully-guaranteed contracts.”
This leaves the question of what the Colts would want to offer Jackson if they were to go the offer sheet route, and it would make things interesting as the Ravens would have five days to match the offer.
In any event, the Ravens seem poised to match most offers, and only a seismic deal bordering a fully guaranteed contract would be the one to grant a new team Jackson in their jersey. But so far, teams other than the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings appear uninterested in doing so.