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NFL Execs Think Ravens Could Trade Lamar Jackson; Link Dolphins, Texans, Falcons

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 02: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after J.K. Dobbins #27 scored a touchdown in the first quarter against the Buffalo Bills at M&T Bank Stadium on October 02, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

With their 2022 NFL season now over, the drama is only just beginning for the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson.

Based on history and his value to the franchise, Jackson staying in Baltimore is probably the likeliest outcome. Not surprisingly, The Athletic's Mike Sando spoke with an NFL team executive who said a trade market will "definitely" be there if the Ravens opt for that path, though.

The executive cited the Houston Texans and Atlanta Falcons as possibilities since both are in need of a long-term solution at quarterback. The exec even threw the Miami Dolphins into the mix since the deal would represent a homecoming for Jackson, who was born in Pompano Beach, Florida.

Another executive cited Jackson's knee injury as potentially creating a genuine divide between him and the team:

"I see a divorce unless their doctors are privately telling them Lamar really can't play because of the injury, which seems doubtful with the way Harbaugh has handled it. I could see a trade next spring if they can get a high enough pick to get a new QB. Lamar appears to have a ceiling that Jalen Hurts poked through this year. Harbaugh is making it seem like they are tired of the situation. They will never give him the Watson-type contract he reportedly covets."

Jackson is a former league MVP and a two-time Pro Bowler. His value was reinforced as the Ravens dropped three of their final four regular-season games and couldn't muster enough offense to best the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Wild Card Round.

Sure, landing multiple first-round picks plus additional assets would set Baltimore up nicely for the future, but there's no guarantee any of those assets—or even their combined return—would give the Ravens as much as Jackson provides.

Since becoming the full-time starter in 2019, he has thrown for 11,008 yards and 95 touchdowns and run for 3,742 yards and 19 scores. Replacing that type of productivity is much easier said than done.