Lamar Jackson‘s odd offseason hit a fever pitch on Monday, with the 2019 NFL MVP making his trade request from the Baltimore Ravens public. This sparked a frenzy of reactions, with every NFL fanbase who doesn’t have a long-term quarterback perking their ears up, including the Indianapolis Colts’ faithful.
Sitting with the fourth pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, the Colts are a strong bet to secure their long-term QB of the future on April 27. But that’s after at least two, and possibly three quarterbacks are selected ahead of them, which obviously isn’t ideal as it limits their options.
Should the Colts get into a situation they don’t like, it’s possible we’ll see them ramp up their efforts to get involved in the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes. Jackson, who was assigned the non-exclusive franchise tag this offseason, has yet to sign the contract tender. He is free to negotiate with any team that holds a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Yet, any team that signs Jackson to an offer sheet faces the risk of the Ravens matching the contract terms. However, if the Ravens, for whatever reason, decide not to match the offer sheet, Jackson would then join his new team while sending two first-round picks back to Baltimore in exchange for the dual-threat QB.
But it’s not that simple. The Ravens haven’t been able to appease their 26-year-old face of the franchise with an offer he deems fair. While there have been a few reports of Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens, no one really knows what type of contract he’s seeking.
Plenty of rumors have suggested he wants a fully-guaranteed contract, possibly not all that different than the one the Cleveland Browns were willing to hand Deshaun Watson, a five-year, $230 million contract. But this is pure speculation.
If Jackson truly is seeking a fully guaranteed offer, we can count the Colts out of the competition, thanks to what team owner Jim Irsay revealed on Monday.
Mr. Irsay indicated that “money is not a problem” when it comes to considering a trade for Jackson. But there’s a bigger point he later made, and that may be the dagger in these discussions.
“As an owner I do not believe in fully-guaranteed contracts. I think that a percentage is one thing, but from what I’ve seen from the NBA and baseball, I don’t see it as a positive competitively.”Indianapolis Colts team owner Jim Irsay on his mindset
As the owner of the team, Irsay is well within his right to hold whatever beliefs he chooses. He runs the team. Yet, drawing this line in the sand with such a talented player when the Colts have struck out time and time again when it comes to identifying an impact QB is puzzling. Some team will give Jackson what he wants, why shouldn’t it be the Colts?
Related: Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson reportedly still in active negotiations despite trade request