Any realistic buzz behind it has seemingly been crushed from within, but the Detroit Lions are gaining some hypothetical traction as a landing spot for Lamar Jackson.
Things have gone from a little awkward to worse between the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson. Questions over the severity of a knee injury that sidelined him for the final six weeks or so of the season surfaced, and after Baltimore’s season ending loss to the Bengals Jackson vented on social media.
"When you have something good,” Jackson posted on his Instagram story, “you don’t play with it. You don’t take chances losing it. You don’t neglect it. When you have something good, you pour into it. You appreciate it. Because when you take care of something good, that good thing takes care of you too.”"
Ultimately, as Jackson now becomes a free agent, the Ravens hold the franchise tag card in their pocket. Jackson could always not sign it, and a distinction between the exclusive or non-exclusive tag would be important. A tag-and-trade would be another option.
If Jackson were available, however that specifically looks, a chunk of teams has to start considering what it would take to get him.
Detroit Lions gaining theoretical traction as landing spot for Lamar Jackson
Jackson to the Detroit Lions sounds nice in theory. But if the sentiment from head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes can be believed, Jared Goff will not be unseated as the starting quarterback next season.
But that won’t deter some hypothetical chatter.
Albeit merely as a “wild card”, the Lions made a list of 15 possible landing spots for Jackson from CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin.
"The NFL’s feistiest spoiler, Detroit could — and probably should — be in the market for a top QB prospect, even with Jared Goff’s underrated, gritty turn as its starter. Jackson would be a more proven version of that, perhaps instantly vaulting the Lions into the playoff race. But with such good draft positioning, they might rather handpick their own signal-caller to groom, especially with Goff also available as a placeholder."
Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus went steps further, putting the Lions on his list of three possible trade scenarios for Jackson. As you might expect, a trade package is in there.
Clearly it would take a boatload to trade for Jackson, with the assumption of a big contract for him on the near horizon too. McGuinness’ scenario seems to forget about Goff completely, but more likely it comes with the assumption the Lions would trade him if they can get Jackson.
Trading for Jackson is the kind of all-in move Holmes doesn’t seem likely to do, as he remains committed to a roster build that isn’t quite done. But Jackson to the Lions is still an interesting thought, even it’s entirely hypothetical until further notice.