Ranking the Best Potential Destinations for Lamar Jackson
With Lamar Jackson potentially leaving the Baltimore Ravens, we break down the best destinations for him to land.
With reports coming out that Lamar Jackson and the Ravens are still pretty far off in their discussions for an extension, it looks at least possible that he could be traded.
Jackson is undoubtedly one of the best players in football. The former unanimous MVP is just 26 years old and one of the best quarterbacks in the league. The concern is whether he can stay on the field after back-to-back season ending injuries.
After Deshaun Watson signed a fully guaranteed five year $230 million deal last offseason, the market has been reset. The Ravens may not be willing to give that much guaranteed money in a contract for a player for as great as he is on the field, has had some trouble staying on it.
I still believe the most likely scenario is that Jackson resigns with the Ravens. However, let’s have some fun and explore some possible destinations just in case.
With that being said, let’s explore options for teams who could trade for him.
Most of the league will at least have interest in the superstar quarterback, but there’s six potential destinations that I think makes the most sense.
Any cap space information used is found on Spotrac.
6. Las Vegas Raiders
With Derek Carr on the way out, the Raiders are in need of a quarterback. If they’re in the market for a veteran quarterback Aaron Rodgers is their most likely target with Davante Adams already there. However, I wouldn’t rule them out as a contender to trade for Lamar Jackson if he becomes available.
They are in a solid position with the salary cap to trade him for him and give him an extension as they have the ninth most cap space in the NFL with $17.5 Million.
Roster wise the Raiders still have a lot of holes to fill, especially on defense. However, putting Lamar Jackson in this offense instantly would make them a good team.
The Raiders could offer up one of the better packages to the Ravens in a potential trade. If the Ravens are going to trade Lamar Jackson they’re going to want to be able to get a young quarterback in return. With the seventh overall pick the Raiders could offer them that.
Beyond that, I would expect Jackson to command at least a total of three first rounders. The Raiders may not be willing to make that offer, but that’s the price for a 26 year old superstar quarterback.
5. New York Giants
Daniel Jones stepped up his game under new head coach Brian Daboll this season. He’ll most likely be back next season, but if Lamar Jackson is available that could change.
Adding him to a team that made the Divisional round last season would make the Giants one of the main contenders to come out of the NFC.
Salary cap wise they are in an ideal position to make a move like this as well as they are third in the league with $44.4 Million in cap space.
With the 25th overall pick the Giants can’t offer a whole lot of draft pick compensation in this draft. However, they could potentially offer some young players that the Ravens would be interested in.
Top ten picks from last year’s draft like Kayvon Thibodeaux and Evan Neal could be in play along with future first round picks in a potential Lamar Jackson trade for the Giants.
4. New England Patriots
The Patriots enter the offseason in an interesting spot. They have a pretty good roster, however with Mac Jones struggles in his second season it’s hard to see how this team becomes contenders to come out of a stacked AFC without Jones taking a big step up next season.
One way to make this team a contender in the AFC very quickly would be by trading for a star quarterback. With Lamar Jackson this all of sudden becomes a very exciting team.
They already have a good defense as they were top ten in defense by yardage and points allowed last season. Offensively, they could still use more receivers, but with Jackson under center that’s likely a top ten offense in football.
A Patriots trade package for Lamar Jackson would likely revolve around the 14th overall pick, as well as multiple future first rounders.
I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s likely the Patriots would make an offer like this, however it something they should consider if Jackson becomes available.
3. Carolina Panthers
Given that the Panthers were one of the most aggressive teams in the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, it would make since for them to be in on Lamar Jackson as well.
The Panthers aren’t a great roster by any means but they do have some good pieces and with a star quarterback in the picture would all of a sudden become the NFC South favorite and a contender to come out of the NFC.
With the ninth overall pick in this draft the Panthers could offer the Ravens one of the best trade packages. A top ten pick would give the Ravens a chance to land one of the top quarterbacks in this class.
They would also likely have to offer 2024 and 2025 first rounders, which is obviously a lot but given their aggressiveness in trading for Deshaun Watson they’re one of the more likely destinations for Lamar Jackson if he’s traded.
2. Washington Commanders
The Commanders are yet another team with a good roster who would all of a sudden become contenders with a star quarterback.
Defensively, they are a strong unit as they were third in total defense last season and that was without Chase Young for a lot of the season. On offense they have some solid weapons in Terry McLaurin and last year’s first round pick Jahan Dotson.
Cap wise they can afford to make a move like this. They currently are 15th in the league in cap space with just under $7 million in cap space. They also can easily free up more money by releasing Carson Wentz who has a $26 million cap hit, but has $0 dead cap.
The trade package the Commanders could offer to the Ravens would likely look similar to the Deshaun Watson trade. The 16th overall pick plus first rounders for the next two seasons would likely be required for the Ravens to highly consider an offer from them.
This would be a risky move however it’s something that could raise the Commanders ceiling quite a bit and make them Super Bowl contenders. With the team they already have in place they are in a better position than most teams to make a move like this.
1. New York Jets
When thinking of teams that would immediately become Super Bowl contenders with a good quarterback the Jets are the first team to come to mind.
They are coming off an incredible draft. That included first-team all-pro corner Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson who still eclipsed 1000 yards despite a bad quarterback situation, plus Breece Hall who was off to a great start to his career before an ACL injury ended his season.
The defense is one of the league’s very best as they were top five in both yardage and points allowed. The offense meanwhile could very good as well with Lamar Jackson under center.
Despite having just the 13th overall pick the Jets are in a good spot to make a compelling offer to the Ravens. They would likely be more willing than most to offer three first round picks because their roster apart from quarterback is Super Bowl contender quality.
They also have star young players to offer the Ravens if that’s what they ask for. Sauce Gardner and Garrett Wilson are look like legit stars at their respected positions in just their first year. The Jets obviously wouldn’t want to give up either of those guys, however they may be willing to in order to get a superstar quarterback.