Lamar Jackson may be legitimately be eyeing a way out of Baltimore, and the Detroit Lions are apparently on his short wishlist.
As contract negotiations continued to seemingly get nowhere, the closer it got to Lamar Jackson playing this season on his fifth-year option without an extension from the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson set a deadline of Week 1 for talks, which will now be tabled until after the season but could theoretically ramp back up whenever.
Jackson is of course acting as his own agent, which adds a layer to the situation.
The door is also theoretically open for Jackson to leave the Ravens next March, though they could franchise tag him. And if not next offseason for Jackson to leave Baltimore, maybe it comes in 2024.
According to Hussam Patel of Five Reasons Sports, the 2019 NFL MVP is looking for a way out of Baltimore. Per Patel’s source close to Jackson, he won’t play if the franchise tag is placed on him.
Also via Patel, Jackson has a list of three teams he’d be interested in going to.
The Detroit Lions are on Lamar Jackson’s wishlist?
Jackson was born in Pompano Beach and attended high school in Florida, which has fostered a little bit of Dolphins speculation over time. That is now fortified by them being on his apparent wishlist.
The Eagles may not be sold on Jalen Hurts long-term, and they could send some of the ample draft capital they’ve built up to the Ravens in a sign-and-trade deal for Jackson.
The idea of the Lions pursuing Jackson, let alone actually landing him, hasn’t ever felt all that realistic. Which isn’t to say they don’t have a situation that might appeal to him come next offseason, should he be available. It’s mostly that the next time the Lions are a preferred destination for a star player will be the first.
A hypothetical question for the Lions is if they should want to give Jackson the kind of long-term contract he wants and can command. But it’s a hypothetical that may need to be addressed a little more directly internally.
General manager Brad Holmes cannot instantly rule anything out in the pursuit of a franchise quarterback. Even a 000.1 percent Jackson wants to become a Detroit Lion should be considered or pursued to its reasonable end, as much (or as little) as it’s ultimately in their control to actually get him if he is legitimately available.