The quarterback carousel continues to turn, and it just sped up in a big way.
Lamar Jackson and the Ravens may be headed for a divorce, if the quarterback’s trade request comes to pass. The former NFL MVP revealed on March 27 that he requested a trade from the Ravens in early March, this coming before Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
As it stands, most teams that had quarterback instability this offseason have shored up their rooms, but the Ravens and Jets may have the most unsettled quarterback situations in the league. Now, Jackson’s trade request has thrown a curveball to teams still looking to solve their QB puzzles, namely those two squads.
Here’s what Jackson’s trade request means for the Jets, Packers and one Aaron Rodgers:
What Lamar Jackson’s trade request means for the Jets
The Jets entered the offseason with plans to upgrade the quarterback position in a meaningful way, and Jackson’s unexpected availability could throw a small wrench in their best-laid plans — but in a good way.
The Jets are currently entangled with Aaron Rodgers, but a deal has yet to go through as both New York and Green Bay play the waiting game. Jackson’s trade request works in Gang Green’s favor twofold:
1. It gives the Jets another option at quarterback as they sort through their QB situation, in case the Packers remain dug in on compensation and a deal can’t get done.
2. It gives a small bit of leverage to the Jets, who can pivot away from Rodgers and talk Jackson with the Ravens.
Of course, it’s not a given that the Jets would land Jackson given the mechanics of the non-exclusive franchise tag, but a Jackson pursuit could ease up the Packers’ stranglehold on whatever trade comp they want.
Should the Jets want to pursue Jackson, there’s also the added danger of potentially ticking off the Rodgers in the process. Even if Rodgers doesn’t have a ton of options (two, really), that’s not a tree you want to necessarily shake.
At least Rodgers isn’t a dude known to hold grudges or anything.
What Lamar Jackson’s trade request means for Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers made it abundantly clear that he wants to play for the Jets. Would they leave him at the altar?
Rodgers already didn’t have many, if any, suitors outside of the Jets. His contract, while not as encumbering as the numbers make it seem, isn’t appealing to 30 other NFL teams. If it was, Rodgers likely would have been granted permission to speak with more teams, but it’s been reported that he’s only spoken with — and desires — one. The Packers have only seemingly engaged with the Jets, too, making for the right match.
Quarterback voids are being filled ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft: Jimmy Garoppolo landed in Las Vegas, closing off one potential Rodgers landing spot. The Titans seem to be in a state of limbo, but the team recently reaffirmed its support of Ryan Tannehill. Others, like the Panthers, Texans, Colts and Buccaneers, may turn to the draft to fill their needs.
For Rodgers, it’s really the Jets or retirement. If the Jets move on and circle Jackson, then the latter may become a reality a bit quicker than he would have liked.
What Lamar Jackson’s trade request means for the Packers
Debates around who really has the leverage in the Jets-Packers negotiations rage on, but Jackson’s availability may harm the Packers in a big way. If the Jets decided to walk away from the table and sets their sights on Jackson, the Packers may be left holding the Rodgers bag.
Rodgers indicated that his original plan was for retirement, but after he emerged from the darkness retreat, he felt comfortable in wanting to play — already putting the Packers behind something of an 8-ball. The team likely didn’t want to incur a massive cap charge for Rodgers in 2023 (and 2024) if he’s on the roster. Having No. 12 on the roster while they very clearly want to move on from him and get Jordan Love to the top of the depth chart isn’t the best course of business, either.
At some point, the Packers will have to come off their asking price for those reasons. The Jets have reason to be patient, and even more patient, than the Packers. Simply, the Jets can out-wait the Packers until after the 2023 NFL Draft and give up future picks, nothing that would harm them immediately.
Green Bay, which probably wants to surround Love with as much talent as possible, will need the cap space and the picks to make sure its 2023 evaluation of the QB goes as smoothly as possible.
Time is running out, and the scales may have just tipped in New York’s favor.
Published at Mon, 27 Mar 2023 18:30:02 +0000