Where might Ravens QB Lamar Jackson end up amid NFL free agency? Here are your potential suitors, ranked. – News from Mercury


The start of NFL free agency on Wednesday saw its share of frenetic activity — quarterback Aaron Rodgers announcing his “intent” to play for the New York Jets led the way — but there was one notable exception.

The only news about Lamar Jackson was that there was no news. Unless you count the Ravens quarterback dancing around in big red boots in a video he posted on Instagram and teammate Marlon Humphrey saying on Twitter that none of his own tweets about the Baltimore signings or other free agency moves had something to do with Jackson.

“He’s his own agent and he definitely didn’t tell me anything because he knows I’m going to tweet,” Humphrey wrote.

While the future of Ravens backup quarterback Tyler Huntley was made a little clearer when he was offered a first-empting right by Baltimore on Wednesday, only continued speculation remains about Jackson’s trades with the Ravens or other teams. Still, moves by other organizations (like the Jets) helped provide some clarity on where Jackson could end up beyond Baltimore.

Here are Jackson’s possible fates, by levels:

Probably out of the running

Washington commanders: After the Commanders released Carson Wentz last month and Tyler Heinicke signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, some have wondered if owner Dan Snyder might be interested in trying a run on Jackson. But Washington on Wednesday signed Jacoby Brissett to a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with $8 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. That gives them a veteran presence to go along with Sam Howell, a rookie last season, and former Georgia tackle Jake Fromm. Head coach Ron Rivera also told the NFL Network earlier this week “there’s no pressure” to make a bid for Jackson.

Carolina Panthers: Likewise, Charlotte once looked like a potential landing spot. But the Panthers on Tuesday signed veteran Andy Dalton to a two-year, $10 million contract, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Panthers also hold the No. 1 overall pick in the April NFL draft after the Chicago Bears traded the top spot in a blockbuster deal to Carolina last week and are in line to select a quarterback.

San Francisco 49ers: While that’s an enticing scenario for a team that reached last season’s NFC Championship Game, the 49ers’ biggest problem is that they are without a first-round pick in 2023 after trading to select quarterback Trey Lance third overall. in 2021. The Ravens can always run out of a sign and trade that doesn’t include the two first-round picks they’re guaranteed if Jackson signs an offer sheet and they don’t match. But San Francisco doesn’t even have a second-round pick this year (the first pick isn’t until #100). In addition, there are salary cap issues for the 49ers.

Las Vegas Raiders: Jimmy Garoppolo. Three years, $72.75 million. That’s all the explanation needed.

Houston Texans: Houston has the second and 12th overall picks in this year’s draft, which puts it in a position to pick a rookie quarterback over trading Jackson. The Texans also have just over $10 million in cap space.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady retired for good, leaving only Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert at halfback for the Buccaneers. On Wednesday, they signed Baker Mayfield on a one-year deal, according to multiple reports. None of those three franchise quarterback screams. The problem? Tampa Bay is poor with just over $2.3 million in space, the fourth-lowest amount in the NFL, for Over The Cap.


Miami Dolphins: Though Jackson grew up just 30 minutes north of Hard Rock Stadium and still maintains ties to South Florida, Miami is one of the few teams that said they wouldn’t chase him. They also don’t have a first-round pick this year. Coach Mike McDaniel also believes that Dolphins’ starting lineup Tua Tagovailoa “is the perfect fit” for his system, according to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.

New England Patriots: The Patriots are also among the teams on the list that said they have no plans to go after Jackson, per MassLive. While he’s a huge upgrade over current starter Mac Jones, New England has more pressing problems, particularly on their offensive line.

Tennessee Titans: Offensive line issues are also an issue at Tennessee, along with the team being in something of a rebuild. The lack of receivers can also make Jackson uninterested. Additionally, new general manager Ran Carthon publicly endorsed incumbent Ryan Tannehill. And even if the Titans were interested, it’s hard to imagine the Ravens wouldn’t match a conference rival’s offer.

Detroit Lions: The Lions have the cap space (just under $22 million, for Over The Cap), picks (two in this year’s first round), and a player in wide receiver Jameson Williams, who liked a tweet suggesting Detroit should bring in Jackson for the Motor City. They also had the fifth best offense in the league, according to the Football Outsiders DVOA, with veteran Jared Goff at the helm. “We’re happy with Jared,” Lions General Manager Brad Holmes said of the scouting match. “He’s our starter, but we need to add some pieces to that general room.”

Best attack chance

Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons entered free agency with over $62 million in cap space, second most in the NFL. After several changes, they still have over $38 million, according to Over The Cap. But among those changes was the signing of Heinicke, who is now joined by 2022 third-round pick Desmond Ridder in the quarterback room. Atlanta was also one of the teams reportedly not interested in chasing Jackson right after he was tagged by the Ravens. Still, they have the resources to do it if they so choose.

Indianapolis Colts: That brings us to the best team to potentially land Jackson. The Colts waived quarterback Matt Ryan and agreed to trade cornerback Stephon Gilmore to the Dallas Cowboys on Tuesday, creating extra cap space (they currently have over $25 million). They haven’t had a franchise-caliber quarterback since Andrew Luck announced his sudden retirement in 2019, with year-long replacements like Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Ryan. Indianapolis also has the 4th pick in this year’s draft, which could be used as a quarterback – if you believe a top four is worthy of leading the franchise. But the city that once stole NFL team Baltimore in the middle of the night is now the team best situated to steal its superstar quarterback and 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player.


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