Lamar Jackson finds himself in a bit of a pickle with the Baltimore franchise tagging the 2019 NFL MVP quarterback on Tuesday. The obvious question following the Ravens’ bold move is: Where does Jackson go from here?
Does he tag along and stay in Baltimore? Where he received his first NFL start and captured the imagination of sports betting fans. Or does he temper the market, exploring his options in free agency with another team in a bid to get the kind of contract/money that Baltimore appears reluctant to give him?
Jackson is reportedly hoping to land something in the region of Deshaun Watson’s controversial deal with the Cleveland Browns, which included a fully guaranteed $230 million But those negotiations, which began last year before the start of the 2022 NFL season, have clearly come to naught.
Instead, the Ravens placed a non-exclusive tag on Jackson just before the league’s franchise tag deadline on Tuesday, as per the team’s announcement. This non-restrictive tag will allow Jackson to chat up would-be suitors in a bid to secure a long-term contract. It will also give both Jackson and the Ravens an idea about his market value in the eyes of the league’s other teams.
Who are these suitors? What are the chances they make him an offer he can’t refuse or that Baltimore can’t match?
As ever, NFL betting markets are weighing in on Jackson’s predicament, taking to market NFL odds for Jackson’s next team. We discuss these below and offer some discerning thoughts and insight for your consideration.
Lamar Jackson Next Team Odds
- Detroit Lions +250
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers +300
- Indianapolis Colts +400
- New York Jets +500
- New England Patriots +600
- Tennessee Titans +700
- Miami Dolphins +700
- Las Vegas Raiders +800
- Washington Commanders +1000
- Carolina Panthers +1200
- San Francisco 49ers +1400
As per the Lamar Jackson Next Team Odds, the Detroit Lions are the favorites at +250. That’s interesting, to say the least, given the Lions got pretty decent play from Jared Goff last season that saw him finish inside the top 10 signal callers in the league. Goff and Jackson are polar opposites when it comes to their quarterbacking skills. The Lions’ offense would need to change substantially if Jackson were the offensive pivot.
Quarterback-needy teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+300) and the Indianapolis Colts (+400) are the next best-bets, followed closely by the New York Jets (+500). But in the case of the latter, reports indicate that the Jets are actively courting Aaron Rodgers and a deal might be imminent there. Thus, if anything, it doesn’t look like Jackson will be heading to the Big Apple,
The Miami Dolphins (+700) announced on Friday that they’re picking up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option. This likely puts them firmly out of the Jackson sweepstakes.
The San Francisco 49ers have more quarterbacks than they know what to do with right now, with Jimmy Garoppolo, Trey Lance and Brock Purdy on their books. So, it’s somewhat interesting to see them listed as a potential suitor – albeit a longshot at +1400.
What Level of Interest is There in Jackson?
Just because betting online markets are trading on the so-called “Jackson sweepstakes,” it doesn’t automatically mean that there is a robust market or a viable suitor for the Ravens quarterback. Quite the opposite, in fact, would appear to be the case — well, at least, that’s according to the latest NFL news reports that imply a distinct lack of both a market and suitors.
Some reports have gone so far as to suggest that teams are bowing out of the sweepstakes well in advance. ESPN NFL insider Dianna Russini named the Atlanta Falcons as one such team that is out on Jackson in a tweet on Tuesday, immediately on the heels of the league’s franchise tag deadline.
The Athletic’s Joe Person cited that the “Panthers are not expected to be in the Jackson market, per league sources,” in another tweet later on that same day.
The Atlanta Falcons will not be pursuing QB Lamar Jackson, per sources.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 7, 2023
Similarly, ESPN’s First Take host, Kimberley A. Martin wrote “Washington is a team that, on paper, makes sense (just like the Falcons). But based on what I’m hearing, the #Commanders are not likely to pursue Jackson.”
Been trying to gauge league-wide interest in Lamar Jackson since #Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
Washington is a team that, on paper, makes sense (just like the Falcons). But based on what I’m hearing, the #Commanders are not likely to pursue Jackson.
— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) March 7, 2023
Vegas Nation reporter Vincent Bonsignore tweeted “If you are wondering if the @Raiders will be involved in Lamar Jackson, the answer is very unlikely.”
The next day, ESPN’s Russini issued a tweet that would suggest otherwise. That the quarterback-needy Raiders haven’t ruled out Jackson. “ Team Source: The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t eliminated any QB options — including Lamar Jackson.
Team Source: The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t eliminated any QB options — including Lamar Jackson.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 8, 2023