Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is set to enter the most crucial offseason of his NFL career in a few months. The entire NFL world is watching to see what happens between Jackson and the Ravens — and that includes former head coach Sean Payton.
Payton joined Peyton and Eli Manning on their simulcast of Monday Night Football a little over a week ago and was asked about Jackson’s contract situation.
The longtime New Orleans Saints head coach didn’t mince words when dropping an obvious hint that he would love to unite with Jackson on some NFL team, be it the Ravens or elsewhere.
“He has a chance to be a free agent, and I have a chance to be a free agent,” Payton declared, obviously suggesting that he’d love to coach him in the NFL.
Now, Payton’s suggestion may be more of a pipedream for the former Super Bowl-winning coach than anything, but he made his interest clear.
Could Sean Payton actually unite with Lamar Jackson somewhere?
The Ravens are going to do everything in their power to ensure that Jackson doesn’t leave this offseason. Despite extension talks stalling this summer, the two sides remain on good terms, by all accounts.
The team always has the option of using the franchise tag if need be, although the addition of Roquan Smith could complicate matters as Smith is a potential franchise tag candidate as well.
The Ravens have no intentions of moving Jackson this offseason, but if the two sides are unable to reach an agreement on an extension, it’s unclear what actions the former MVP might take. The last thing the Ravens want is an unhappy franchise quarterback.
For Payton to somehow form a union with Jackson, one of two things would have to happen. Perhaps Ravens head coach John Harbaugh shockingly retires and Baltimore acquires Payton’s rights from the Saints.
The other, more logical, scenario — and the one Payton was alluding to — would see Jackson leave the Ravens (either via trade or free agency) and join a new team. That new team would then hire Payton as their new head coach.
While such a scenario remains very unlikely, it’s clearly one that Payton has thought about. His praise for Jackson on Monday Night Football didn’t go unnoticed.
Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine this situation developing any further. Still, Payton has made his intentions clear. If he had it his way, he’d be coaching Lamar Jackson next season.