Lamar Jackson announced on Twitter this morning that he requested a trade from the Ravens on March 2 because he and the team are at an impasse in contract negotiations. Our analysts break down the news and take a look at what the fantasy impact would be for Jackson and the rest of Baltimore’s playmakers, in addition to some potential landing spots.
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Lamar Jackson Landing Spots & Fantasy Impact
Lamar Jackson requested a trade at the beginning of March, making it that much more likely that he does end up getting moved to another team. I’d love to see Jackson land in Miami, New England, New York (Jets), Washington or Atlanta as favorable landing spots — with Miami/Atlanta the obvious headliners of the group. With weapons a plenty, the dude could easily be back in MVP form. But speaking in more realistic terms, the Colts have been rumored to be higher in the Jackson camp so he could easily end up there even if it’s not quite the best spot for fantasy.
But with Jackson’s game being so tied to what he offers by himself as a rusher, he’s almost team-agnostic. Wherever he goes, he’ll likely be a fringe top-5 fantasy quarterback. He’s a steal as the QB6 in early best-ball drafts. In his six games played with wide receiver Rashod Bateman last year, Jackson averaged nearly 27 fantasy points, 2.1 passing TDs and 208 passing yards per game. Jackson also averaged nearly 70 rushing yards per healthy start.
– Andrew Erickson
It’s hard to imagine the Ravens granting Lamar Jackson’s trade request. Baltimore can still be a legitimate contender in the AFC after finishing 12th in offensive DVOA (despite Jackson missing five games) and seventh in defensive DVOA last year, so it’s hard to envision the Ravens starting from scratch at the all-important QB position. It also seems unlikely that any team would give up multiple first-round draft picks for the privilege of meeting Jackson’s exorbitant salary demands, even though he’s a uniquely talented star.
As unlikely as a trade may be, the Lions are an intriguing dark-horse candidate to enter the Jackson sweepstakes. Jared Goff played well for Detroit last season but probably isn’t good enough to take the Lions to the promised land as their rebuilding project picks up steam. Detroit is awash in draft capital, with two first-round picks and two second-rounders. The Lions bolstered their defensive backfield in free agency and have plenty of offensive talent. As of March 27, only seven NFL teams had shorter DraftKings odds to win the Super Bowl than the Lions. This is a team ready to win now, and perhaps Jackson could be a cornerstone of their rebuild.
– Pat Fitzmaurice
The perfect on-paper marriage of need and trade assets would make Lamar Jackson a future Indianapolis Colt. A trade for Jackson would involve sending the fourth overall pick and other assets to Baltimore. While the in-depth details could be extensive, a workable skeleton framework for a deal is easy to see here.
The Colts have been a quarterback turnstile since the retirement of Andrew Luck. Landing the 26-year-old former MVP offers Jim Irsay a great combination of youth and pizazz for the team's future. With only Gardner Minshew, Nick Foles, and Sam Ehlinger on the roster, this team quickly needs an answer for their starting quarterback spot. If Chris Ballard and the coaching staff don't project "their guy" falling into their laps at the fourth pick or aren't enamored with this year's class, Jackson could be a perfect fit.
Shane Steichen's history with Jalen Hurts has been well documented, so the ability to design an offense around a quarterback with wheels shouldn't be questioned. One of the staples of Steichen's offense that will play well with Jackson's skill set is his love for play-action passing. Over the last two seasons, Hurts ranked ninth and ninth in play-action dropback rate (30.4-31.1%, minimum 100 dropbacks per PFF). Over the last three seasons, Jackson has finished third, 18th, and tenth in PFF play-action passing grade (minimum 100 dropbacks). This landing spot would be a match made in fantasy heaven.
The easy stylistic replacement for Jackson would be Anthony Richardson, but he could be gone by pick four. If Richardson is gone, Baltimore still has the option to enter the Will Levis experience or wait and tie their wagon to Hendon Hooker while pairing him with a stop-gap option like Teddy Bridgewater or Carson Wentz.
Much is left to be decided as this soap opera unfolds, but we could see the offensive philosophy change for the Ravens depending on Baltimore's plan of attack in a post-Jackson world. A more pocket-prone quarterback could breathe new life into the passing volume for the receiving options in this offense with a possibly increased passing rate or more check-downs for the running backs. J.K. Dobbins and Rashod Bateman remain intriguing values in early best ball drafts.
– Derek Brown
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