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Lions rule out pursuit of Lamar Jackson but leave door open to drafting a quarterback

Mike Florio and Chris Simms dive into the current favorites for where Lamar Jackson could be traded, and question why there’s been “crickets” across the board.

Lamar Jackson can sign with any team at any time. He is not employed by the Ravens at the moment, with the non-exclusive franchise tag unsigned.

The quarterback has requested a trade, he wrote on social media Tuesday not coincidentally as John Harbaugh was speaking to reporters at the league meetings.

So, more than half the coaches in the league have received or will receive a question about whether their team is considering Jackson.

Lions coach Dan Campbell got the question Tuesday.

“Look, Lamar is a heck of a talent,” Campbell said, chucking in the middle of his answer. “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.”

The Lions obtained Jared Goff in a trade with the Rams two years ago, picking up three picks in the deal, too. He was viewed as a bridge quarterback when he arrived but became one of the league’s best last season with Ben Johnson calling the plays.

Goff passed for 4,438 yards with 29 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2022.

He has two years left on his contract, and the Lions have draft picks 6 (from the Rams in the Goff deal) and 18. They could look to the future and invest in a quarterback prospect if one is there they like.

The Lions expect to contend this season, so they don’t expect to pick this high again for a long time.

“I would say this, man,” Campbell said. “This year, as with most, you’re always looking to upgrade. And free agency has given us the ability in areas to, man, we can do whatever we need to do in the draft. We feel pretty good about that. We don’t feel forced to do anything.

“So with that, I would say, man, it doesn’t matter what the position is. If we can upgrade our team top to bottom, we will do that.”