By all appearances, Lamar Jackson will be back with the Baltimore Ravens fir his sixth NFL season in 2023. Yet, the 2019 NFL MVP remains a free agent after the organization placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on the dual-threat quarterback.
This designation allows Jackson to seek a contract elsewhere, but any team that signs him to an offer sheet would also have to be prepared to trade two first-round picks to the Ravens in exchange for their starting QB. That’s if the Ravens don’t simply match the contract offer.
For now, there doesn’t appear to be an obvious fit for Jackson when browsing the NFL landscape. That’s not to say several teams wouldn’t benefit from adding the electric playmaker to their offense, it just seems as though franchises are moving forward with other plans this offseason.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Minnesota Vikings could be a team that makes sense as a trade partner for Jackson. Fowler noted there have been no official reports linking the Vikings to a Jackson trade, yet Minnesota would appear to be a natural fit, being that Cousins has just one year left on his current contract and will turn 35 this season.
The Vikings have yet to commit to Cousins past 2023 while also opening up tons of cap space for 2024. But there isn’t another Kirk Cousins set to hit free agency next year. You have Jackson, Cousins, and Ryan Tannehill as the top players with a contract set to expire after this season.
With Cousins entering the final year of his contract, and backup Nick Mullens is not a candidate to take over the starting role in the Twin Cities. Thus, the Vikings have no future at the QB position, and selecting 23rd in April, with just five selections in the draft, they don’t appear to have the capital to catapult into the top ten.
What the Vikings do have is one of, if not the best wide receiver in football with Justin Jefferson. It’s certainly possible the front office views a swing-for-the-fences trade for Jackson could be the move that makes an already good team into a championship contender. Yet, there’s been no actual indication either the Vikings or Ravens are considering such a blockbuster.
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