The Falcons are seemingly big game hunting for the second offseason in a row. Last year, with a pitiful roster, the team pursued a highly controversial Deshaun Watson. With reports suggesting the Ravens could potentially trade Lamar Jackson, Atlanta makes a ton of sense as a landing spot, and the Washington Post believes a divorce is inevitable, with a hypothetical already lined up for the Falcons to acquire the MVP quarterback.
Around the NFL, teams “perceive Jackson to be available,” with executives around the league suggesting “… for weeks that it appears Jackson’s tenure with the Ravens is nearing its end,” according to the report.
John Harbaugh spoke at a press conference and was adamant about the two sides working out a deal, telling the media that Lamar Jackson is the Ravens’ quarterback. The Washington Post piece would still go on to suggest the Falcons as a realistic landing spot.
“The executives I spoke with kept coming back to two NFC South teams as potential Lamar Jackson landing spots: the Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers,” the Washington Post said. “Both missed out on Deshaun Watson a year ago — but not without a significant fight. Both have a need at quarterback, both markets could use a jolt, and neither owner is afraid to spend.”
Furthermore, the Washington Post suggested a potential haul that begins with two of Atlanta’s best players, along with multiple draft picks.
“Atlanta, never more of a pro football town than when Michael Vick was running its offense,” the Washington Post continued, “could offer rising star cornerback A.J. Terrell, the No. 8 pick, future picks in 2023 and maybe even aging defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, who would add bona fide chops to the interior of Baltimore’s defensive line, especially if Calais Campbell retires.”
AJ Terrell, Grady Jarrett, and multiple first-round picks could seem like too much, but it might be the going rate for a 26-year-old MVP quarterback. However, there’s an aspect that isn’t being considered. If Atlanta were to trade for Lamar Jackson, there would have to be a contract extension lined up, and the Falcons would have to sink a market-setting amount of money into all of this.
Reports state that the Ravens offered around $133 million in guarantees. That’s less than six other quarterbacks, some of which signed deals years ago — Deshaun Watson ($230 million fully guaranteed), Russell Wilson ($165 million), Kyler Murray ($160 million), Aaron Rodgers ($150.6 million), Josh Allen ($150 million), and Patrick Mahomes ($141 million).
You could argue Jackson doesn’t deserve as much as Allen or Mahomes because of this or that, but that’s not how NFL contracts work. They signed deals years ago; rates are going up. Murray certainly doesn’t deserve more than either of those signal callers, but that’s what the market called for. The Falcons will have to guarantee Lamar Jackson close to the top of the market for any deal to work out.
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