The most commonly asked question in the NFL world currently is this; why are no other NFL teams going after Lamar Jackson? The Baltimore Ravens opted to give Jackson the non-exclusive franchise tag which gives other teams the option to offer to trade for him. Team after team, definitely in need of a quarterback or a quarterback upgrade, have publicly denounced any intentions to trade for Jackson.
Jackson was the Most Valuable Player in 2019. Jackson won the Heisman Trophy in 2016. Jackson is an All-Pro, two-time Pro Bowler, and was the NFL’s touchdown leader in 2019. Jackson is the most dangerous dual-threat quarterback in the NFL and has a record of 49-21 as a starter. Since he became a starter in 2018 Jackson has thrown for 101 touchdowns with 38 interceptions. Jackson has an additional 24 rushing touchdowns.
Why won’t any other teams pursue Jackson? After reading the above statistics it seems ludicrous that a team wouldn’t part with any draft picks the Ravens demanded in a trade. Here are three reasons why the other 31 NFL teams are not trying to trade for Lamar Jackson.
Reason no. 1: Lamar Jackson’s playing style is not sustainable
Lamar Jackson is such a dangerous player because of his ability to punish defenses with his legs and in the air. The play style of a true dual-threat quarterback is not without its risks as the quarterback subjects himself to additional hits as a runner.
Jackson is no exception to the rule. Jackson was fairly healthy from 2018-2020 however in 2021 Jackson suffered an ankle sprain in Week 14 against the Browns and missed the rest of the season. In 2022 Jackson sustained a knee PCL sprain and missed the final six games of the season, including the Ravens’ postseason match against the Bengals. The Ravens ended up losing that game and the popular belief was that they would have won if Jackson had been able to play.
Rumors circulated that Jackson could have played in the Ravens Wild Card game in 2022 but was choosing not to play due to his upcoming contract negotiations. Former NFL quarterback Michael Vick (who had a similar playing style to Jackson) said that he played an entire season with the same injury Jackson claimed to have. Television analyst Sean Payton (now Broncos Head Coach) apparently believed the rumors.
There is a very real chance that Jackson has missed enough games, 10 in the last two seasons, and that may have been enough for other teams to label him as “injury prone.” Jackson’s PCL sprain could have been enough to send warning signals to another team to stay away from trading for Jackson.
In January of 2023, Sean Payton stated he believed that Jackson had already played his final snap in Baltimore. He may have been correct, but at this time no other suitors are lining up to claim him and it could be due to injury.