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NFL teams believe Lamar Jackson could be traded this offseason

Lamar Jackson

The 2023 NFL playoffs may be raging on, but for all the other teams whose regular seasons are over, the offseason is the primary focus. This is where the Baltimore Ravens are at, with their main objective centered around retaining Lamar Jackson, who’s set for free agency this offseason.

Most franchise quarterbacks never even reach free agency. Typically we see teams agree to a long-term contract extension much earlier in the process, ensuring they don’t have to sweat it out while projecting their future roster.

But Jackson, a former NFL MVP, is a bit different. He doesn’t have an official player agent, opting to have his mom help him with contract negotiations and endorsement deals. Jackson also may have his eyes set on establishing a new market for paying superstar quarterbacks.

Either way, once he does sign, Jackson is likely to receive a record-breaking contract.

Unless, of course, the Ravens can’t see eye-to-eye on Jackson’s value. In which case, NFL teams around the league reportedly expect Jackson to be traded, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

If Jackson were to be traded, it would be the blockbuster of all blockbusters. But the Ravens clearly hope contract talks don’t turn that sour this offseason. Obviously, a trade could eventually be on the table, but the Ravens have a few other options before coming to the conclusion that a Jackson trade is their only choice.

Related: Evaluating the 3 best Lamar Jackson trade landing spots in 2023

Evaluating the Baltimore Ravens’ contract options with Lamar Jackson

NFL: Denver Broncos at Baltimore Ravens
Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Some speculation has wondered if Jackson wants a certain percentage of the team’s total budget, which would protect against future inflation, allowing him to always remain among the highest-paid QBs in the league. Others have wondered if Jackson wants a fully-guaranteed contract, like Deshaun Watson received from Cleveland, although Jackson has accomplished much more in his career and also doesn’t carry truckloads of off-field baggage.

Another line of thought could be for Jackson to take the ‘Kirk Cousins approach’, choosing to bet on himself by being franchise tagged twice in a row before finally signing a massive long-term contract. This would allow Jackson to rake in the dough over the next two seasons, being paid in the top five of all QBs in that span.

Evidently, teams fully expect the Ravens to explore placing the franchise tag on Jackson before giving in and deciding to trade him for a king’s ransom. But this will all be about what the franchise QB wants, not necessarily what the Ravens want. Basically, it should be a fascinating offseason in Baltimore.

Related: Why Lamar Jackson is a pipe-dream QB option for Las Vegas Raiders