2. Recent big-name quarterbacks flopped
Two players really hurting Lamar Jackson right now are Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson. All of the fears from the previous slide played out with Wilson.
Wilson got banged up, he did not fit with the new coach, or the new players, and it took too much time, the team got into a big hole, and now Seattle picks the top five. Teams may trade their first-round pick this year, but if you are afraid of losing a top-five pick next year, you will not be anticipating signing Jackson.
The other big issue is Deshaun Watson. Because Watson missed an entire season, and because his legal issues stand higher than injuries for Jackson, you would think that teams who had the appetite for risk involving Watson would also have that appetite for Jackson.
The big issue is that Watson has been a dud so far. Sure, his suspension hurts, but the same idea of a possible suspension hanging over Watson is Jackson and his health. If he misses six games and the team adding him is in a hole, and it ends up like Watson, they are the laughingstock of the NFL.
Even the last free agent to sign big money Kirk Cousins has not resulted in much of anything, and that has been the best outcome.
The last two teams to go all-in saw it blow up in their face. The last team to sign a free agent won fewer games the first year after they signed him. Teams understand the risk.