The Baltimore Ravens have placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. This means that Jackson can now test the market and agree to contract length and compensation from any team, but the Baltimore Ravens own the right to match this contract or accept two first-round draft picks in exchange for him to move on. This means that the market can truly decide what he is worth, which gives us some really juicy scenarios for teams that need a quarterback.
So, who are the best spots? I have four in mind that make sense and could alter the trajectory of the league!
4 Teams That Should Offer Lamar Jackson
1. Tennessee Titans
This offensive style and overall team culture feel like it would be the easiest transition for Jackson. You have a run-first team with a defensive-minded head coach in Mike Vrabel.
Baltimore is the exact same construct at this moment, although they did make a coordinator change this off-season. Tennessee has been beholden to the limitations of Ryan Tannehill, who has guided them to playoff success, but as a number-one seed ultimately suffered a home playoff loss in their first game of the postseason just one year ago and then missed the playoffs this last season.
Something has to give and this would be a significant upgrade to their team and could ultimately win them the AFC South. They would have arguably the best quarterback in the division, a young number-one receiver in Treylon Burks, and a philosophy of running the ball which directly matches his unique skill set. This would be a scary move for the league, but one that Titans fans should be clamoring for.
2. New York Jets
We all have seen the headlines that Aaron Rodgers is interested and the Jets seem to be flirting back. That is a rental contract at best. Rodgers is 39 years old, Jackson is 26.
Lamar Jackson is entering his prime and already has an MVP under his belt in an offense that wasn’t exactly loaded with skill position players. The Jets have a budding star receiver, Garrett Wilson, a great young running back who was taking the league by storm prior to his injury in Breece Hall, and a defense that holds opponents to the second-lowest points per game.
With rookie contracts around him, they can afford an aggressive contract for Jackson and ultimately keep the band together for a few years before decisions get difficult. Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Jackson would look awfully nice in some mean Jets Green. Good luck to the AFC East if that happens.
3. Miami Dolphins
There’s no place like home… Ok so Miami isn’t exactly his hometown, but Lamar Jackson is a Florida native, and seeing as his agent is a direct family member, would it be that surprising to anyone if he reconnected or at least was in closer proximity to some familiar faces?
Not to mention the football part of this move, which would feature an up-and-coming genius coach with a myriad of designed runs and disguised plays that a mobile quarterback dreams of. Add in an elite top-of-the-league receiver in Tyreek Hill an athletic tight end (an archetype we have seen Jackson have success with…assuming he re-signs with the team) Mike Gesicki and we could see a massive step forward for the Miami Dolphins. The Tua Tagovailoa injury situation needs to be put to rest for the sake of his long-term health, and let’s be real, he has a limited skill set in today’s game.
Take your talents to south beach, Lamar Jackson! Soak up the sun and grab a few dubs on your way to some playoff runs.
4. Atlanta Falcons
An elite mobile quarterback who can run like we have never seen, breaking rushing records for his position while also competing with running backs for most yards rushed in any given week. Have you read that before Falcons fans?
It’s only fitting that Atlanta goes all in on a run-first quarterback, especially with Kyle Pitts and Drake London to pick up the soft coverage this would allow for. This team is young and unproven, but there is a legitimate cause for concern if they can mold this young core around an MVP like Jackson.
He isn’t the only piece they need to build a successful team, but he is definitely the most important and would immediately be the best quarterback in the division, giving them a decisive advantage against the field. It doesn’t matter for the Falcons bright future if they don’t have the right guy calling the shots on the field. Jackson immediately gives this team a surge in production and ultimately, playoff hopes.
Main Image: Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY