Tired: Lamar Jackson entered the offseason as a free agent and nobody wanted to sign him. Wired: reports emerged in the past few hours revealing the interest of two teams not based in Baltimore approaching the Ravens QB last spring.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that two franchises, the Las Vegas Raiders and the Carolina Panthers, are known to be the only teams that inquired about Lamar Jackson before he ended up re-signing with the Baltimore Ravens.
According to league sources feeding information to Schefter, however, "neither was overly aggressive and neither came close to singing him to an offer sheet."
Jackson, who is about to win his second MVP award after earning the 2019 piece of hardware, seemingly had too large an injury bill for those teams to extend him an offer sheet and snatch him from Baltimore. It made sense back then, however, with the Raiders letting Derek Carr go and the Panthers having no quarterback before they drafted Bryce Young.
According to Schefter, those two teams and some other franchises were concerned about Jackson's injury history and his demands for a fully-or-partially guaranteed deal last spring, thus passing on trying to sign the quarterback.
Jackson eventually inked a five-year, $260 million deal with the Ravens, further solidifying his role as the team's franchise quarterback, and currently in a position to lead a postseason run in January and February of 2024 that he and Baltimore hope ends in the third Super Bowl coming to the Charm City.
Just a few days ago, the very own Schefter entered an argument with NFL-employed Rich Eisen in which Lamar Jackson's contract and interest (or the lack of it) from other teams in signing the quarterback was a clear indication of the NFL and their owners colluding against Lamar.
Mike Florio also shared his thoughts on the whole situation months after the contract was signed and everything seemed to be in the distant past, bringing back some comments made by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank that are aging worse than milk.
We will never know for sure if anybody was legitimately interested in signing Jackson, scared of his injuries or the public perception of handing him a hefty, fully guaranteed deal, and whatnot.
One thing we know, though, is that Jackson is (soon) a two-time MVP and a Baltimore Raven for now and the next few seasons. Win-win.