Baltimore Ravens: A Draft Day trade to shift the franchise in a shocking way
By Ryan Heckman
When the 2023 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night, the Baltimore Ravens will be one of the most polarizing teams to watch. They enter into the weekend with a lot of uncertainty.
Most of that uncertainty comes due to the quarterback position, obviously, where they have Lamar Jackson's situation continuing to stay in limbo. The two sides have yet to come to an agreement on a contract extension, and all signs point to a possibility of Jackson sitting out this season rather than playing on the tag.
One solution, however, would be to move on from Jackson altogether. It might end up being best for both sides, in the end, and would give Baltimore clarity going forward. Better yet, making a deal either right before the draft kicks off, or during the first round, could give Baltimore less-blurry vision for the remainder of the weekend.
A possible trade that's been discussed, according to longtime sportscaster Dan Patrick, is between the Ravens and San Francisco 49ers. What would that deal look like? Well, Patrick mentioned San Francisco going after Jackson in exchange for Trey Lance, who has been in trade rumors for a few weeks now.
"I was told this yesterday -- the Niners have monitored everything, including Lamar Jackson. They’ve explored that, or at least looked at it. They kicked the tires on that. And of course you should do that. Always try to improve," Patrick said.
The Baltimore Ravens might be in a situation where their hands are tied, and should just trade Lamar Jackson after all
Look, both sides don't necessarily like each other and it's not getting any better. Ravens fans are growing tired of the situation. They want a clear vision for the franchise. Many are weary of Jackson's injury issues and some even criticize the quarterback for not playing.
Now, we don't know the ins and outs of what's gone on between the Ravens and Jackson. But, we do know that Baltimore does not have a clear plan for their immediate future. If that plan is indeed Tyler Huntley, then we're in for one long season of mediocrity.
A trade including Jackson and Lance would likely involve the 49ers giving up multiple first-round picks, too. Baltimore could wind up getting Lance, a possible franchsie quarterback, along with two first-round picks. Maybe the Ravens send back a late pick in the deal, too, but for San Francisco, this is a move that would win a Super Bowl.
This is, hands down, a move that puts San Francisco in position to win it all this coming season, barring injuries. You see an offense led by Kyle Shanahan, with Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle, plus Jackson and the rest of those offensive utility weapons in San Francisco, and the rest of the NFC could kiss this season goodbye.
Add in the fact that the 49ers boast the league's best defense, and it's all but over. Nothing is written in stone, but you could pretty much start working on those ring designs over the summer.
For Baltimore, they would have a real opportunity to start fresh and commit to building this team for future success. And, who knows, maybe Lance develops into the star many thought he could be coming out of college. Injuries have hurt his chances at developing, but if he's healthy now and remains healthy, then Baltimore has a shot at finding a star in him.