The Falcons have been connected to Lamar Jackson more than any other team this offseason. It makes sense for a few reasons.
Atlanta seriously pursued Deshaun Watson last offseason; one would think they’d be willing to go big game hunting once again. Arthur Smith’s offense is also a seamless scheme fit for Lamar Jackson’s electric style of play. The club boasts a mountain of cap space to hand him the lucrative contract he seeks and a deep arsenal of draft picks to acquire the former MVP as well.
However, don’t get ahead of yourselves, Falcons fans. Ian Rapoport spoke to numerous teams, including Atlanta, at the NFL Combine and came away with the idea that nothing is imminent.
The reason for the hold-up is Lamar Jackson’s demand for a fully guaranteed contract; a similar structure to Watson is what he seeks.
When the Browns gave Watson an unprecedented deal, the rest of the league was furious because it re-set the market. Despite multiple players inking new deals after Watson’s, none of them came close to his guaranteed money. Jackson isn’t satisfied with a percentage of his new deal being guaranteed; he wants it to be 100% guaranteed.
The Ravens, one of the most well-run organizations in sports, aren’t giving in. I wouldn’t be so sure any team, including the Falcons, will oblige either. Atlanta probably could’ve matched Cleveland’s offer of a fully guaranteed deal, given Watson’s ties to the state and Arthur Blank, but didn’t. There’s no reason to think they would fork over that kind of money to Lamar Jackson.
With the franchise tag deadline approaching today, we should get clarity on the entire situation soon.
According to multiple reports, the Falcons will not be pursuing Lamar Jackson.
Photographer: Charles Brock/Icon Sportswire
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