NFL Insider Believes Patriots Rival Will ‘Seriously Consider’ Lamar Jackson

Aaron Rodgers reportedly is the Jets' top target, though


Feb 16, 2023

The quarterback-needy New York Jets appear poised to make a run at Aaron Rodgers this offseason. But if that pursuit fails, could they shift their focus to another former NFL MVP?

During an appearance this week on “The Rich Eisen Show,” NBC Sports’ Peter King said he believes the Jets will “seriously consider” a move for Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson if they strike out with Rodgers.

“We all think, and I think you think, that the No. 1 step would be Aaron Rodgers,” King said. “If that doesn’t work, could the No. 2 step be Lamar Jackson? This is going to be one of the toughest decisions a franchise, in my opinion, has had in recent years for a very simple reason.”

The reason? Acquiring Jackson would require a significant investment. The Ravens reportedly plan to place the franchise tag on the QB if the sides cannot agree to terms on a contract extension. If they utilize the non-exclusive tag, another team could sign Jackson to an offer sheet but would need to fork over two first-round draft picks in return if Baltimore declined to match.

Then, of course, there’s the matter of giving Jackson the enormous contract he desires. An NFL Media report last week indicated “Jackson’s desire for more fully guaranteed money — in line with Deshaun Watson’s five-year, $230 million fully guaranteed contract with the Browns — has kept the sides from striking a deal, despite Baltimore making multiple offers near the top of the QB market in key metrics.”

The 26-year-old is supremely talented as a rusher and passer but missed 11 games due to injury over the last two seasons, raising concerns about his long-term durability.

“Obviously, anybody would want Lamar Jackson to be the quarterback of the team,” King said. “But how much guaranteed money are you willing to give a player who in the last two years has missed 34% of the snaps because of injury? It’s easy to sit here and say, ‘Get Lamar. Sign Lamar. Pay Lamar.’ Of course. But what does that mean exactly?

“So to me, I think the Jets are going to have a very tough decision on their hands. I think they will go after Rodgers if he does play, and if they don’t get him, I think they will at least put their sniffers out and seriously consider Lamar Jackson.”

The Jets boast a formidable defense and an exciting collection of offensive skill players, but they were done in by poor quarterback play this season as they went 7-10 and missed the playoffs. Zach Wilson, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft, has completed just 55.2% of his passes with a 15-18 touchdown-to-interception ratio over his two seasons in New York and is not expected back in 2023.

Even serviceable QB play would make the Jets contenders in the AFC East, so it’s no surprise they’ve been linked to nearly every available signal-caller ahead of free agency. Other potential options include Jimmy Garoppolo, who overlapped with Jets head coach Robert Saleh, and Derek Carr, who was cut by the Las Vegas Raiders this week.

Thumbnail photo via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images
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