Opinion: Lamarvelous landing spots

It’s been two weeks since the legal tampering period of NFL free agency began. That combined with the trades that have gone down in recent weeks has given fans plenty to talk about. With all the moves that have happened and the ones that could still potentially happen as the 2023 NFL Draft approaches in a month, the most seismic move of the offseason could still occur. This would be a Lamar Jackson trade.

Yes you read that correctly. A 26-year-old former MVP quarterback with no current or past major injuries could potentially be dealt. This is the type of stuff you see in a Madden Franchise mode, not real life. Teams do everything they can to find the right guy at the most important position in the sport and keep him for as long as possible. The only time they let them go is when they are old like Tom Brady was when he left the Patriots in 2020 at the age of 42 or when the Colts let Peyton Manning walk out the door after he suffered a career-threatening neck injury. 

Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens have been unable to come to an agreement on a long-term deal. There have been various reports on what the Ravens have offered Jackson, and what he is asking for. What we know for sure is that after Jackson played this past season on his fifth-year deal, the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him March 7. Which means that there is a one-year $32.4 million guaranteed deal for him on the table if the two sides cannot find a middleground. This also means that Jackson is free to negotiate with other teams and the Ravens have the right to match the offer. If they choose to decline matching an offer that Jackson and another team have agreed to, Jackson’s new team would send two first-round picks to Baltimore. 

The Ravens played their cards 20 days ago. Monday was Jackson’s turn. The star QB hit send on a tweet where he revealed that he requested to be traded from the organization March 2. Now that we know more about where Jackson stands, here are five teams that I believe would be great landing spots for the former MVP. 

San Francisco 49ers: This one is a bit of a pipe dream. I’m not really sure how the Niners could pull this off. The Niners already have so much money tied up on the offensive side of the ball. That is while having not much of it at the QB position and Jackson would command big money. Maybe the Ravens rated Trey Lance highly before the QB was drafted at No. 3 overall by the Niners in the 2021 NFL Draft and would be interested in him as part of a potential trade since we’ve barely seen him play in the NFL. Let’s just forget about that for a moment. Close your eyes and imagine. Lamar Jackson behind center with Christian McCaffrey and Kyle Juszcyk next to or behind him at running back and fullback respectively. George Kittle at tight end. Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk the two wide receivers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan as the play caller. It might be a pipe dream for me, but I guarantee that it would be a nightmare for the rest of the league. 

New England Patriots: I like Mac Jones. Jones took a giant step back in his second season, after a solid rookie year. The QB was given a raw deal when head coach Bill Belichick hired Matt Patricia to be the Patriots offensive coordinator last season. The guy had no experience coaching offense prior to last season. Now that the Patriots have a “real” offensive coordinator in Bill O’Brien, and some upgrades in the skill positions with the signing of WR Juju Smith-Schuster and TE Mike Gesicki, there is something for Jackson to work with. The addition of Jackson and another playmaker on offense combined with Bill Belichick’s consistently good defense would revive the big bad Patriots. 

Indianapolis Colts: The Colts merry go round at the quarterback position needs to stop at some point. Having guys like Jacoby Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Matt Ryan start at QB since the abrupt retirement of Andrew Luck hasn’t worked. It’s time for the Colts to get their long-term guy. The Colts currently have the No. 4 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. With the first two picks expected to be QBs, they shouldn’t reach for a QB just because they need one if they feel there is a dropoff from the ones that could be picked. They should either select the best defensive player on their draft board and trade their 2024 and 2025 first-round picks after the draft or just trade the No. 4 pick this year and the 2024 pick. Either way, pairing Jackson with newly hired head coach Shane Steichen, after helping to develop Jalen Hurts could be exciting.

Atlanta Falcons: Hey Falcons, hurry up and get Lamar Jackson so you can launch the Michael Vick experience all over again. Jackson in Atlanta would be electric. The Falcons starter at QB as things stand is Desmond Ridder. The 2022 third-rounder got some game time last season and didn’t really impress. He certainly can improve next season, but even so, he’s not Lamar Jackson. With guys like WR Drake London and TE Kyle Pitts as young and extremely talented players part of that offense on cheap contracts, this would give Jackson easily the best offensive skill players he’s ever played with. 

Detroit Lions: Speaking of young and talented offensive skill players, the Lions would certainly provide that to Jackson. Players such as WRs Amon-Ra St. Brown and Jameson Williams to go along with RBs D’Andre Swift and David Montgomery give Jackson the platform to be the leader of potentially one of the best offenses in football. The Lions were already a really good offense last year with Jared Goff at QB. Their offense ranked fifth in scoring and fourth in yards. Their offensive coordinator Ben Johnson is regarded as one of the best in the league and was a hot head-coaching candidate this off-season before deciding to go back to the Lions. I’d love to see Jackson in his offense. Think about how creative the offense could get in Detroit with Jackson, when Johnson has shown that he will call a pass play for an offensive linemen to ice the game.

Write to Mohamed Warsame at

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.