Move No.1: Acquire Lamar Jackson
Jackson is headed for free agency, but there seems to be a very, very slim chance the Baltimore Ravens don’t use a franchise tag on him. There’s a slightly (maybe more than slightly at this point) better chance he doesn’t sign the franchise tender. Not signing the tender invites other outcomes, like him not signing it until a trade to another team is done, the Ravens rescinding the tender (rare, but has happened before), etc.
If Baltimore used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, he can negotiate with other teams and the Ravens would get compensation if he left. A traditional franchise tag followed by a trade would be possible, and most likely.
The Lions are getting some, if unlikely and almost entirely hypothetical, mentions as a possible landing spot for Jackson.
Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus put together a trade scenario. In it the Lions give up both of their first-round picks this year, a second-round pick this year, their 2024 first-round pick and a third-rounder in 2024 for Jackson.
The prevailing angle here has been that Jared Goff is a “fine” quarterback, but the Lions will need an upgrade if they want to eventually reach (or win!) a Super Bowl. A quarterback of Jackson’s caliber and age–he just turned 26 on Jan. 7–doesn’t become available often. At this point, with a lot of moving parts to lock down, he is theoretically going to be available on some avenue this offseason.
The Lions should be broadly open to the idea of acquiring the 2019 NFL MVP right now, whatever the mechanics of the move will entail. If it’s rendered moot so be it, but there’s a growing chance Jackson and the Ravens are headed for a divorce.