Lamar Jackson has been available to negotiate with other teams for a few weeks, yet still doesn't have a contract for the 2023 season and beyond. The Baltimore Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, meaning the quarterback can talk to any team regarding a contract and can sign an offer sheet.
If Jackson does sign an offer sheet, the Ravens will have the opportunity to match it or allow Jackson to sign with that team and receive two first-round draft picks in compensation. The Ravens can also trade Jackson to a team and allow him to negotiate a new contract with that team.
Despite Jackson's impressive resume and that he's only 26 years old, no team has busted down the door for him to be their signal-caller. The teams that have question marks at quarterback have provided interesting answers why they aren't pursuing Jackson, from the owners to the head coaches. Here is what they've said about Jackson.
Owner Arthur Blank on the team pursuing Deshaun Watson last season and not Jackson this year:
"Different player, different time," Blank said, via The Athletic. "You have a winner [in Jackson], a MVP in the league. There's no question he's one of the top quarterbacks in the league.
"Looking at it objectively, I'd say there's some concern over how long can he play his style of game. Hopefully a long time ... but he's missed five, six games each of the last two years. Each game counts a lot in our business."
Head coach Arthur Smith on Jackson:
"Here's our stance on all of these hypothetical questions around the league: I think anytime that you are looking to improve your football team, that part of your job to be aware of what's going on. We look at everything. Some of the rumors are true. Some are not. You guys have covered this league a long time.
"We take everything into consideration. We are always looking to upgrade our football team at every position. That's kind of been our stance and I think that would be most standing operation procedures for most teams in this league."
Bottom line: The Falcons' current starting quarterback is Desmond Ridder and intend to open the season with him as the No. 1 quarterback. Taylor Heinicke was signed to compete with Ridder for the job.
Panthers GM Scott Fitterer on pursuing Jackson:
"He's a great option. A really expensive option. But we're focused on more of the draft picks at this point."
Bottom line: The Panthers traded up to get the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. They'll have their choice of any of the top signal-callers, which include Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud.
Head coach Dan Campbell on any Jackson interest:
"Look, Lamar is a heck of a talent," Campbell said, via Pro Football Talk. "Trying to defend that guy has been something else. We played them two years ago. But, man, we've got a quarterback. So, I'm like, 'We've got a quarterback, and thank God we got one.'
"So, we're good. But, man, he's a heck of a talent."
Bottom line: Campbell is correct with his quarterback assessment. The Lions do have a quarterback under contract in Jared Goff, who is coming off two good seasons in Detroit. The Lions could be looking to add a quarterback if one of the top options falls to No. 6 overall (their pick), but signing Jackson isn't in the cards.
Colts GM Chris Ballard on acquiring Jackson:
"Anytime a special player is available, which he is, you've got to do the work," Ballard said, via ESPN. "I'm not going to get into deep discussions on where it's at or what we're doing or what we might do. But what I'll tell you is he's a really good player, really special player. But you never know how any of this will work out."
Colts owner Jim Irsay on Jackson:
"It really has nothing to do with actual dollars," Irsay said. "I mean, paying a contract like that is not a problem. I mean, it's not a problem for me. The issue is what's the right thing to do for the franchise in terms of what helps us win in the long run.
"As an owner I do not believe in fully guaranteed contracts,. I think that a percentage is one thing, but from what I've seen from the NBA and baseball, I don't see it as a positive competitively."
Bottom line: The Colts are certainly interested in Jackson, but Irsay made it clear he won't give him a fully guaranteed deal that Deshaun Watson received last offseason. Will that change?
New England Patriots
Owner Robert Kraft on Jackson interest:
"You know, Meek Mill is my friend. He texted me saying that Lamar Jackson wanted to come here. But that's Bill (Belichick's) decision," Kraft said.
Bill Belichick on Jackson:
"I'm not going to talk about players on any other team. Period," Belichick told reporters.
Bottom line: Jackson does have reported interest in playing for the Patriots, but New England doesn't appear interested in signing him.
New York Jets
General manager Joe Douglas on pivoting to Jackson over Aaron Rodgers:
"First of all, Lamar Jackson is a fantastic player, but where we stand is, it would be disingenuous and negotiating in bad faith if we went down that path," Douglas said, via ESPN. "We have our plan, we have our process and we're sticking to that.
"We're never going to operate in bad faith."
Bottom line: Aaron Rodgers wants to go to the Jets, and the Jets want to acquire him. New York won't risk that by pursuing Jackson, even if a deal hasn't been made yet.
San Francisco 49ers
Head coach Kyle Shanahan on Jackson interest:
"Everyone knows Lamar's skill set," Shanahan said, via 49ers Web Zone. "Lamar's a stud. I'm sure they'll work it out there. But Lamar's a great player.
"We've got three quarterbacks we're pretty good with right now. And we're pretty set with how we've built our roster salary cap-wise.
"Our goal is always to see how good we can make the team, and we feel we're in a very good situation at quarterback right now. Not just with three guys who are capable of being starters, but we also got three guys that have allowed us to build a very good roster."
Bottom line: The 49ers are content with the quarterbacks they have on their roster, more committed toward building a strong team around them.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head coach Todd Bowles on team pursuing Jackson:
"He's a great player, but like I [explained earlier] we are shedding a lot of money," Bowles said, via JoeBucsFan. "What the Bucs may offer Jackson would be an insult to a great player like that.
"We have our plan. We know it was time for us to get under the cap. He makes a lot of money but he's a heck of a player. I hate playing against him."
Bottom line: Notice how Bowles didn't flat-out reject the idea of acquiring Jackson. Perhaps the team will revisit that discussion.
Head coach Ron Rivera on Jackson interest:
"We never did [look into it]. That's just something that never felt suited to what we wanted to do. I know he's a tremendous talent. I know he's a player that can impact your team. That was just the direction for us as a football team," Rivera said.
"You look at the impact of what your roster building is and the assets we'd have to use to get him. What would the financial impact be? These are the things we'd have to think about. This is why we did what we're doing. We are roster building -- I think -- for the first time."
Bottom line: The Commanders are content with Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett. They never looked into adding Jackson.