One of Lamar Jackson’s top trade destinations this offseason is the Atlanta Falcons, but another NFC South team could swoop in for Jackson right under Atlanta’s nose.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson still hasn’t gotten his mega-deal, and recent news coming out of Ravens camp suggests Jackson and the franchise are on a divergent course.
Jackson, who played out the final year of his rookie contract last season, is seeking a contract comparable to Deshaun Watson’s fully guaranteed deal. He and the Ravens are reportedly “$100 million apart in contract talks” over the issue of guaranteed money, and unless one side caves in, Jackson will most likely be franchise-tagged in 2023 and potentially traded.
Earlier in the offseason, Jackson appeared to be on good terms with Baltimore and posted a picture of himself wearing his signature Ravens No. 8 jersey on his Instagram story. Yet he also posted a very vague message about “taking care of something good,” which made his whole contract situation a lot murkier.
Today, Jackson is throwing sleuths for another loop and liked a post on Twitter by CatCrave, FanSided’s Carolina Panthers’ site.
CatCrave posted a picture of Lamar Jackson and former Ravens center Bradley Bozeman embracing on the field — is Jackson’s “like” a not-so-subtle hint about where the star quarterback might end up next season?
Lamar Jackson fuels trade rumors by liking a Carolina Panthers blog post
After Baltimore let Bozeman go in free agency in 2021, the veteran center joined the Panthers on a modest one-year deal and is currently negotiating a new contract to stay in Carolina.
To be clear, Jackson wouldn’t be going to Carolina to reunite with Bozeman. He would be going there if the Panthers are willing to give him the presumably fully guaranteed deal that he wants, and playing with Bozeman again would just be an added bonus.
After trying and disposing of a long line of veteran and inexperienced quarterbacks alike, the Panthers don’t have a reliable option under center and could look to the draft to find their guy to start the Frank Reich era. It wouldn’t be totally unimaginable to see Carolina trade for Jackson, though such a risky move doesn’t seem like something Reich and his experienced staff would choose to do.
Regardless, Jackson will have no shortage of suitors this offseason if he and the Ravens can’t come to a mutual agreement. Based on the latest drama surrounding Jackson’s lack of input in picking the Ravens’ new offensive coordinator, the Ravens could be preparing for a momentous franchise shift that doesn’t include Jackson in the franchise’s future plans.
Everything is on the table. Something as small and harmless as a like on Twitter usually doesn’t amount to anything serious, but one can never be too sure in the NFL offseason.