Lamar Jackson Requests Trade

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he had requested a trade earlier this month. 

"A letter to my Fans," Jackson wrote. "I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y'all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me.

"Let me personally answer your questions in regards to my future plans. As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that's has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl. You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I'll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You'll See me again Truzzzzz."

The Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson on March 7. The tender is worth $32.4 million in 2023, and they'll have until July 17 to reach a multi-year extension.

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194 comments, Last at 05 Apr 2023, 5:00am

#82 by guest from Europe // Mar 29, 2023 - 4:39am

Yes, they could. He would still have the fully guaranteed contract! This is what he wants.

If he is really so stubborn and feels offended by the Ravens, and doesn't want to play for them, he could tell them "do not match this offer. Take your draft picks. If you match, i will report every minor injury that will happen to me. it will be like 2022 season." 

Points: 0

#189 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 04, 2023 - 1:16pm

There are a lot of WRs on the market that I would expect to be better than Hopkins over the next 2 years. 

30 is ancient in WR years at this point. The only WR in the NFL more than a couple weeks older than Hopkins who was a viable starter this year is Adam Thielen (with 700 yards). Literally everyone else is at like 300. 

On his current contract, he's got negative value. You don't trade for that. 

Points: 1

#193 by guest from Europe // Apr 05, 2023 - 3:23am

A few months younger than Hopkins is D. Adams. He is older than 30 years. 

Mike Evans will soon be 30 years old. T. Hill is 29, 1 year younger. Diggs was 29 last year. Upcoming season he will be 30.

If you are right about this, they will soon have negative value. Teams should then sign WRs on rookie contracts and a second contract of 2-3 years.

Points: 0

#50 by almon // Mar 28, 2023 - 12:03pm

that is a great question, thanks for that.

out of the good teams that are one qb away from being super bowl favorites, only the 49ers need a qb. i keep wondering why the 49ers don't mortgage their future for rodgers or lamar, and leapfrog the eagles in talent in the nfc

i can only guess this: 49ers value being good over multiple years more than bumping up their chances at winning a super bowl

or maybe the 49ers looked at the broncos who thought they were as good as the 49ers before getting russell wilson, and now is stuck with him for 3 more years...

Points: 0

#51 by theslothook // Mar 28, 2023 - 12:12pm

Do the 49ers have the cap space to sign Rodgers or Lamar? Maybe they would if the Packers are willing to eat most of that 59 million dollar bonus; but that seems ridiculously unlikely. Plus the 49ers don't have a first round pick to trade this year.


A theoretical universe where the 49ers had cap space to fit Rodgers or Lamar and had a full war chest of picks would be quite interesting; at which point a trade for either makes sense even at bad prices.  


As for the rest of the teams, I think Atlanta makes a lot of sense as a Lamar landing spot. Maybe Detroit? I could have also seen a real argument for the Giants doing a deal for Lamar. I bet they at least considered it, but it says something that they viewed Daniel Jones and his contract as more attractive than Lamar at league leading dollars all of it guaranteed. 

Points: 2

#69 by Pat // Mar 28, 2023 - 3:07pm

Do the 49ers have the cap space to sign Rodgers or Lamar?

Yeah, pretty trivially. They've got 5 unleveraged starters they could easily generate nearly $50M or so in cap space. They're not constrained at all. Picks are of course a different thing.

Points: 0

#74 by theslothook // Mar 28, 2023 - 6:31pm

In looking at spotrac, they have 5 million or so in cap left over. In looking over which players would incur huge dead money hits; I can't tell if that's a lot or a little compared to the rest of the entrenched contending teams.

Really, I should have asked - do the 49ers have a easy way to facilitate absorbing Rodgers or signing Lamar to the full boat guaranteed without doing a ton of salary cap machinations or literally gutting their roster of valuable starters. 

Points: 0

#98 by Pat // Mar 29, 2023 - 12:36pm

In looking at spotrac, they have 5 million or so in cap left over. 

Just look at the players that have high salaries. Those players are unleveraged, and can trivially generate cap space.

do the 49ers have a easy way to facilitate absorbing Rodgers or signing Lamar to the full boat guaranteed without doing a ton of salary cap machinations 

Converting high salaries and generating cap space that way aren't "machinations." It's how you maintain a min spend requirement while allowing for the possibility of signing/extending players. This late in the year the only teams that are going to be carrying $40-50M in straight up space are the ones who have no idea what they're doing.

Points: 1

#54 by IlluminatusUIUC // Mar 28, 2023 - 1:08pm

The 49ers don't have their own 1st (Trey Lance), 2nd, 3rd, or 4th (Christian McCaffery). While they do have a couple comp 3rds, I highly doubt Green Bay is in any rush to do San Francisco a favor and that's not enough for Baltimore.

Points: 1

#61 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Mar 28, 2023 - 1:57pm

Patriots seem like a reasonable location for Jackson, to me:

a) Belichick is getting to the end of his run, so he's (maybe) more inclined to press for results now

b) Belichick tends to use his first round picks on guys who'd be available in the third round anyway, so the cost is less to NE than to most teams

c) the defense was pretty good last year, so if it can avoid regression (big if) and special teams improve (would be shocked if they don't), then a middle-of-the-road offense might be good enough to take a run at some upsets in the play-offs

d) the offense has no structure coming out of last year's debacle, so since you need to implement an entirely new scheme anyway, why not implement a scheme around Jackson with Zappe (a decent runner) as the back up, and trade Mac Jones off for a backup corner back or something

e) Jackson has shown that he can have success without quality WRs, so the lack of talented WRs in NE isn't as big a deal for him as most QBs; on the other hand, Jackson got a lot out of throwing to Mark Andrews and NE has two decent TE receivers (Hunter Henry and Mike Geisicki)

Points: -1

#63 by dryheat // Mar 28, 2023 - 2:19pm

You seem to be ignoring the contract.  Would New England be better off building around  Lamar Jackson offense?  Possibly.  Would Bill Belichick, who squeezes veterans into taking less with the best of them, agree to Jackson's reported contract demands instead of a highly-regarded prospect on his rookie contract?  Pffft.

Points: 0

#190 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 04, 2023 - 2:05pm

Lamar Jackson represents an enormous amount of risk. He's going to be hugely expensive. He's a pain in the ass. He's going to require draft picks to acquire. And his established level of performance is one ridiculous year, and 3 years of meh. And that ridiculous year isn't recent, and he's been injured since. 

Hugely expensive. Hugely risky. 

Aside from 2019, where the Baltimore offense was ridiculous, they've been a couple percent above average during Jackson's entire career. His post-2019 performance level seems way more likely than that year. And that's almost exactly what the Patriots have gotten for the last 2 years out of Mac Jones - only with way more variance. 

If you think last year was an organizational issue, and 2021 Mac Jones is normal -  you've already got a better offense than Jackson has run the last couple years - and that's assuming no improvement from Jones (who reportedly looked fantastic at the start of camp). And Jones is cheap salary-wise, and they already own him, and his skills precisely match the things they've traditionally valued (accuracy, quick decision making, etc), and if they can get back to that +10% offense, fix the mess that was ST this year, and keep the defense where it is, they're a +25% team, and a threat. 

That being said, pretty much nothing Bill Belichick is doing right now makes me feel confident in the organization. Joe Judge was an enormous problem last year in the locker room, and with Jones specifically, and he's been promoted. They've got what is really a billion dollar decision they need to make (Mac Jones new deal + 3 seasons of commitment to him VS draft new QB + commit 3 seasons) - and they're willing to jeopardize that over a special teams coach who was openly fighting with Jones. There's simply no way Judge provides enough value that he's worth jeopardizing that decision over. 

And the fact that he's got a bug up his ass about Jones going to people external to the organization for help while Jones was actively complaining that Judge had no idea what he was doing while he was the QB coach points to this being way more of a personal pride issue than a football issue. Good managers encourage employees to engage outside learning resources when they can't provide them internally. 

Points: 0

#64 by guest from Europe // Mar 28, 2023 - 2:20pm

I would have named Patriots and Steelers as teams which "only need a QB", but they usually don't do such trades.

Points: 1

#66 by guest from Europe // Mar 28, 2023 - 2:41pm

49ers are set for the foreseeable future.

Points: 0

#71 by Sixknots // Mar 28, 2023 - 4:13pm

Are they?   Purdy is a Mr. Irrelevant with a serious elbow injury and Lance is Mr. Unknown (he has no real record in the NFL or college).

Points: 1

#73 by guest from Europe // Mar 28, 2023 - 5:48pm

Well, we can't see very long into their future plans. Purdy was good for them in 2022. 49ers will go with them in 2023 and 2024, at least. 

Points: 0

#76 by Sixknots // Mar 28, 2023 - 6:38pm

Depends on the definition of "set".  Could mean *good with* or could mean *stuck with*.

Who knows, maybe Darnold will blossom in Shanny's system.

Points: 1

#80 by JMM // Mar 28, 2023 - 9:37pm

Jackson's best play might be to just sign the tender and let his request for trade stand. That will put pressure on the Raven's to trade or place a 2nd tag next year. That will give him 2 years of his guaranteed compensation and the opportunity to negotiate an unencumbered, presumably guaranteed, contract at the end of the 2nd tag.  

I don't see getting anything better than he already turned down from here. Or he can ask the Ravens to put back on the table their last offer, add 5% as a "make me feel better" factor and sign that. Maybe they will, maybe they won't.

Points: 3

#96 by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Mar 29, 2023 - 12:18pm

The main risk to Jackson in that scenario may be injury risk.  Not sure what happens to someone playing under a franchise tag if they get injured in their tag year.  Are they just done?  Get the remainder of that year's salary and good luck with their next career? 

Points: 0

#99 by Pat // Mar 29, 2023 - 12:38pm

Get the remainder of that year's salary and good luck with their next career? 

Yup, that's exactly right. The single-year salary is guaranteed, but that's silly, no one's going to cut a franchise player mid-season for anything other than actions that would violate the contract anyway.

There's no protection whatsoever for the effects of an injury past this year.

Points: 2

#100 by JMM // Mar 29, 2023 - 1:20pm

No protection in the contract, but "aftermarket" insurance policies against injury would be the fall-back.

Certainly not an ideal situation, but it's where he is.

Points: 1

#103 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 29, 2023 - 2:02pm

I thought the non-exclusive tag, if signed, converted into a guaranteed deal. Is this not the case?

Points: 0

#104 by GwillyGecko // Mar 29, 2023 - 2:11pm

Yes, but it's only a one year deal. So no protections for injury other than getting paid for the entire year.

Points: 1

#105 by Pat // Mar 29, 2023 - 2:38pm

It's worth pointing out what I mentioned above, which a lot of people don't realize: having additional "unguaranteed" years on a contract does actually provide injury protection for a player, because they cannot be cut when injured. Which drives me crazy that no one mentions.

So, for instance, if the franchise tag was instead a 2-year contract with both a player and team option on the second year (i.e. either side can terminate) it'd be much better for the player.

Points: 2

#114 by Aaron Brooks G… // Mar 29, 2023 - 4:45pm

Reason I asked is the transition tag is not guaranteed. They can just cut you.

Points: 0

#117 by Pat // Mar 29, 2023 - 4:59pm

Yeah, but that guarantee's silly. No team's going to go through the effort of placing a tag on a player and not keep them for the entire season. I mean, sure, it could happen, but things would have to go horribly wrong.

Points: 0

#121 by theslothook // Mar 29, 2023 - 8:37pm

Polling people here? If you are a GM, do you think Lamar is worth 2 first rounders + let us say a 5 year, 250 million dollar contract completely guaranteed?

Because at that price, I don't think he is and that may be the rub.

Points: 1

#127 by LondonMonarch // Mar 30, 2023 - 4:18am

In a parallel universe where he is guaranteed to be fit, yes.

In the real world where he is a smallish running QB who already has an injury record, no.

It is too much of a risk that you end paying him $50m guaranteed for 2 or 3 years when he is either not playing or substantially impaired.

Points: 2

#130 by Raiderfan // Mar 30, 2023 - 7:08am

No.  The Ravens are a well managed, well coached team.  They won one playoff game with him on his rookie contract, which included his MVP season.  The likelihood of even making a or multiple deep playoff runs paying him 50M annually seems very small.  I think the only team talented enough where Jackson could take them over the top is SF.

Points: 2

#191 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 04, 2023 - 2:09pm

Not just that, but outside 2019, their offense was basically average. If you're going guarantee 50M/yr on a QB  - you need to get a good offense out of it. 

He's fun to watch, but hes just not that good. 

Points: 0

#138 by guest from Europe // Mar 30, 2023 - 9:34am

No team is paying that. There is a lot of space between 1 year $32M and 5 years $250M. He wants a guaranteed contract. We can guess that much. So 2 years, 3 years. I think 3years $140M. But there is no offer!

Barnwell wrote in the article that it doesn't have to be 2 1st round picks. Teams can agree to less.

Here is a list of QB contracts:

Are those top 12 veteran contracts better value than Rodgers and Jackson? Allen and Mahomes are the only ones.

With every contract there is a risk. Allen runs around like Newton did and could get injured. Apparently he had some arm injury last year... on the draft lottery scale 49ers are paying $8M to Lance for nothing. Bears are paying Fields for horrible play. Z. Wilson is already a sunk cost.


Points: -2

#151 by Eddo // Mar 30, 2023 - 2:35pm

Jackson bragged about turning down a three year guaranteed deal.  It's not that he just wants a guaranteed contract, it's that he also wants it to have the highest AAV among QBs, and speculation is that he wants it to be 5+ years.  The 5 years / $250M assumption is 100x closer to what he wants than the 1 year / $32M one.

Points: 3

#155 by IlluminatusUIUC // Mar 30, 2023 - 4:08pm

The interpretation I've seen is that it was a 5 year deal with the first 3 fully guaranteed I think. I think a sticking point is that it had over 40 million in injury guarantees which Schefter was reporting as "guaranteed money" but Lamar doesn't seem to agree.

Points: 0

#160 by guest from Europe // Mar 31, 2023 - 4:42am

Well, he isn't getting that. He is no financial expert, no businessman. He wants the most he can get.

3 years and $151-160M would be highest AAV. And after 3 years he could get another contract... and that is less risk for a team: in case of injury or decline, there are no 4th and 5th years.

Points: 0

#125 by big10freak // Mar 29, 2023 - 9:21pm

I always support individuals working to take charge of their career paths 


It’s admirable 

Points: 0

#152 by LondonMonarch // Mar 30, 2023 - 3:10pm

Dov Kleiman reports that Jackson is saying he doesn't necessarily want the largest QB contract ever but he wants the largest guarantee. Given that Watson got $230m guaranteed that doesn't take you far away from the 5yrs/$250m which has been repeatedly leaked as his inflexible demand.

Points: 2

#153 by Pat // Mar 30, 2023 - 3:20pm

Which... is just Jackson saying "I don't want the largest QB contract ever, I just want the largest QB contract ever."

Sooo weird.

Points: 2

#164 by KnotMe // Mar 31, 2023 - 11:00am

Lamar might be assuming Mahomes had the largest QB contract ever, (it had an 'agent' value of 450M IIRC). So if you gave Lamar a super long contract, I think it's possible to beat Watson's guarantees wo being the "biggest" QB contract ever. (yeah, those numbers are BS).

I don't think any team would do it bc Mahomes 10 year contract works partly bc of the guarantee structure and upping the guarantees pretty breaks the concept I think but...I think it's technically possible. 

What it comes down to is no team thinks Lamar is worth such a huge contract + 2 firsts. 


Points: 0

#178 by Pat // Apr 03, 2023 - 12:38pm

Yeah, that's why it's a "so weird" thing. Watson's contract being fully guaranteed is a bit of a goofball - Watson has no injury, history, so guaranteeing it for injury is mostly a "whatever" thing for a team. And guaranteeing it for skill (as I've mentioned) is mostly pointless for a QB since they'll get a bajillion chances anyway. Watson's biggest risk to his earnings isn't injury or skill, it's legal - and his contract is not guaranteed for legal reasons. As evidenced by the fact that he just lost money due to it. Now, it wasn't a lot of money because they knew it was going to happen, but any future legal issues? Oh. That'll be money.

Mahomes's contract had a lot guaranteed for injury, but very little guaranteed for skill at the start. Because it's pointless. If his play drops off and they want to part with him, it'll be a multi-year process that they discuss it between the team and him.

I just don't know what Lamar's worried about. If he's worried about injury, deal with that. If he's worried about getting cut for skill, that's just silly.

Points: 0

#182 by guest from Europe // Apr 03, 2023 - 2:05pm

 And guaranteeing it for skill (as I've mentioned) is mostly pointless for a QB since they'll get a bajillion chances anyway.

I agree with this. So why is such a problem guaranteeing the contract of any proven QB?

Points: 0

#184 by KnotMe // Apr 03, 2023 - 2:54pm

I think it was mentioned that the Ravens already offered a 3 year guaranteed contract. I think the Ravens mostly don't want to go that big for that long. For other teams, I don't think they want to do the big contract + 2 firsts. (Or similar compensation in trade)

I think the issue with specific player and demands rather than guaranteed contracts in general. 

Points: 0

#192 by Hoodie_Sleeves // Apr 04, 2023 - 2:24pm

Because Lamar isn't anywhere near proven enough to get $50M/year fully guaranteed. His track record simply isn't good enough.

Watson had two years as a young top-10 guy, followed by a step up to a top 5 guy, then the legal stuff happened. Jackson has had one insane year, and 4 below average years. Watson has a consistent track record of on-field success with some off-field risks. Jackson hasn't. 

For a team - he's exactly the sort of player you're willing to pay more for, as long as a ton of it isn't guaranteed - because if he's the below average guy he has been the last 3 years, he's not worth much, and you want to be able to cut him. If he's the guy who he was in 2019, you're happy paying whatever the hell he wants - but you don't know which he is right now. And $250/5 fully guaranteed is a career-ender for the GM and Head Coach if he's the below average guy.

Points: 0

#194 by guest from Europe // Apr 05, 2023 - 4:53am

Watson had two years as a young top-10 guy, followed by a step up to a top 5 guy,

In his rookie year Watson played a few games and got injured. In 2018 and 2019 his DVOA stats were at 9% and his ranking 11th and 12th. All of this with Hopkins as WR1. Watson was improving and very good in 2020.

Jackson's DVOA pass stats in the last 3 years were in range -3% to 5% DVOA, ordinal ranking 21st to 14th. (From 5% to 9% isn't far, it isn't a difference of below average and top-10) In those years Ravens have only 1 season where a single WR has positive DVOA, 5%. Their WRs don't qualify for top-70. They are WR3-types. Their best pass catcher is TE Andrews. He had one great year in 2021 with 300 DYAR. Other years he is at 50 DYAR. Your Jacoby Meyers was a much better WR than any of Ravens' ones. Ravens WRs might be the worst in the league. For whatever reason Ravens can't develop WRs. The best WR in their history was Old S. Smith and D. Mason and 1 year of Boldin. Stats for a particular QB mean that QB in that offense with those pass catchers, not in vacuum. As i wrote already, Brady in 2019 3% DVOA, in 2020 25% DVOA. Same player in different pass offense surroundings. Tagovailoa and Hurts have much better stats in 2022 with star-WRs compared to what they had in 2021...

On top of that Jackson runs a lot which doesn't show up in pass stats. Without him Ravens score 10-17 points per game. Those were their scores in 2021 and 2022 in about 10 games without him.

Maybe Jackson is average. Maybe he is as good as his highlights. I hope we will find out. Unfortunately, it would have to be in another offense: Ravens with different personnel or another team.

Points: 0

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