The begin of NFL free company on Wednesday noticed its share of frenzied exercise — quarterback Aaron Rodgers saying his “intention” to play for the New York Jets led the best way — however there was one notable exception.
The solely information on Lamar Jackson was that there was no information. Unless you rely the Ravens quarterback dancing round in some giant pink boots in a video he posted to Instagram and teammate Marlon Humphrey saying on Twitter that none of his personal tweets about Baltimore’s signings or different free company strikes had something to do with Jackson.
“He is his own agent and he definitely not telling me anything cause he know I’ll tweet it,” Humphrey wrote.
While Ravens backup quarterback Tyler Huntley’s future turned just a little extra clear when he was given a right-of-first-refusal tender by Baltimore on Wednesday, solely continued hypothesis stays over Jackson’s negotiations with the Ravens or different groups. Still, strikes by different organizations (just like the Jets) helped present some readability on the place Jackson may find yourself aside from Baltimore.
Here are Jackson’s attainable locations, by tiers:
Likely out of the operating
Washington Commanders: After the Commanders launched Carson Wentz final month and Tyler Heinicke signed with the Atlanta Falcons on Tuesday, some questioned whether or not proprietor Dan Snyder was maybe keen on making a run at Jackson. But Washington on Wednesday signed Jacoby Brissett to a one-year deal price as much as $10 million with $8 million assured, in keeping with ESPN. That offers them a veteran presence to go together with Sam Howell, a rookie final season, and former Georgia starter Jake Fromm. Coach Ron Rivera additionally advised NFL Network earlier this week “there is no push” to bid for Jackson.
Carolina Panthers: Likewise, Charlotte as soon as appeared like a possible touchdown spot. But the Panthers on Tuesday signed veteran Andy Dalton to a two-year, $10 million deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The Panthers additionally personal the No. 1 total decide on this April’s NFL draft after the Chicago Bears traded out of the highest spot in a blockbuster cope with Carolina final week and are in line to draft a quarterback.
San Francisco 49ers: While an attractive state of affairs for a crew that reached final season’s NFC championship sport, the 49ers’ greatest downside is that they’re with out a first-round decide in 2023 after buying and selling as much as choose quarterback Trey Lance third total in 2021. The Ravens may all the time work out a sign-and-trade that doesn’t embody the 2 first-round picks they’re assured if Jackson indicators a suggestion sheet they usually don’t match it. But San Francisco doesn’t actually have a second-round decide this yr (their first decide isn’t till No. 100). Plus, there are wage cap points for the 49ers.
Las Vegas Raiders: Jimmy Garoppolo. Three years, $72.75 million. That’s all the reason wanted.
Houston Texans: Houston owns the second and twelfth total picks on this yr’s draft, which places it in place to draft a rookie quarterback slightly than deal for Jackson. The Texans even have simply over $10 million in cap house.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady retired for good, leaving solely Kyle Trask and Blaine Gabbert because the Buccaneers’ quarterbacks. On Wednesday, they added Baker Mayfield on a one-year deal, in keeping with a number of reviews. None of these three screams franchise quarterback. The downside? Tampa Bay is cap poor with simply over $2.3 million in house, the fourth lowest quantity within the NFL, per Over The Cap.
Wild playing cards
Miami Dolphins: Though Jackson grew up simply half-hour north of Hard Rock Stadium and nonetheless maintains ties to South Florida, Miami is one in every of a handful of groups that has stated it gained’t be pursuing him. They, too, would not have a first-round decide this yr. Coach Mike McDaniel additionally believes present Dolphins starter Tua Tagovailoa “is the perfect fit” for his system, in keeping with ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.
New England Patriots: The Patriots are additionally among the many groups on the listing who’ve stated they don’t plan to go after Jackson, per MassLive. While he could be an unlimited improve over present starter Mac Jones, New England has extra urgent points, notably on its offensive line.
Tennessee Titans: Offensive line points are an issue in Tennessee, too, together with the crew being in one thing of a rebuild. A scarcity of receivers may additionally depart Jackson uninterested. Plus, new basic supervisor Ran Carthon has publicly supported incumbent Ryan Tannehill. And even when the Titans had been , it’s onerous to think about the Ravens wouldn’t match the supply sheet of a convention rival.
Detroit Lions: The Lions have the cap house (simply shy of $22 million, per Over The Cap), picks (two within the first spherical this yr) and a participant in huge receiver Jameson Williams who favored a tweet suggesting Detroit ought to convey Jackson to the Motor City. They additionally had the league’s fifth-best offense in keeping with Football Outsiders’ DVOA with veteran Jared Goff on the helm. “We’re happy with Jared,” Lions basic supervisor Brad Holmes stated on the scouting mix. “He’s our starter, but we need to add some pieces in that room overall.”
Best probability to strike
Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons entered free company with greater than $62 million in cap house, the second most within the NFL. After a bevy of strikes, they nonetheless have greater than $38 million, in keeping with Over The Cap. But amongst these strikes was signing Heinicke, who now joins 2022 third-round decide Desmond Ridder within the quarterback room. Atlanta was additionally one of many groups reportedly not keen on pursuing Jackson quickly after he was tagged by the Ravens. Still, they’ve the assets to take action in the event that they selected.
Indianapolis Colts: That brings us to one of the best crew to doubtlessly land Jackson. The Colts launched quarterback Matt Ryan and agreed to commerce cornerback Stephon Gilmore on Tuesday to the Dallas Cowboys, creating further cap house (they presently have greater than $25 million). They haven’t had a franchise-caliber quarterback since Andrew Luck introduced his sudden retirement in 2019, counting on one-year stopgaps corresponding to Brissett, Philip Rivers, Carson Wentz and Ryan. Indianapolis additionally personal the No. 4 decide on this yr’s draft, which it may use for a quarterback — if it believes one of many prime 4 is worthy of main the franchise. But town that when swiped Baltimore’s NFL crew in the midst of the evening is now the crew finest located to steal its famous person quarterback and 2019 NFL Most Valuable Player.