Will Commanders make a play for Lamar Jackson?
Here’s something that was said on PFT Live, #PFTPM, and multiple other shows. I recently realized it hasn’t been mentioned here.
The Commanders may make a run at Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The light first flickered after the Commanders hired Eric Bieniemy. Coach Ron Rivera admitted during a Super Bowl-week interview with PFT Live that Sam Howell was QB1. Rivera made it clear that, one year after the Commanders literally called every other team to see if they had a quarterback available in trade, the Commanders won’t be looking for a veteran starter.
Of course, that was before the Ravens gave Jackson a qualified shot at the open market, via the non-exclusive franchise tag.
Obviously, Lamar is a better option than Howell, from a football standpoint. Jackson would be far more expensive, and the question would become whether the investment makes sense to the team, from an overall roster construction and cap/cash allocation standpoint. From a football standpoint, he clearly would make the Commanders better.
And if owner Daniel Snyder is selling (or if he ultimately isn’t), adding Jackson would be the perfect bright, shiny object to distract from the ongoing controversies. If it makes the team better, attitudes toward Snyder would change, whether he’s still there or not.
If he sells and if the team improves under new management, people could be inclined to credit the new owner. But if Snyder adds Jackson before Snyder exits, it will be impossible to not give Snyder credit for making the move.
Giving Jackson a fully-guaranteed deal (which the Ravens likely wouldn’t match) also would stick new ownership with the bulk of the bill. And it likely wouldn’t affect the purchase price. Anyone who owns the team will have cap and cash obligations. Jackson will simply be part of the player payroll for the new owner.
Then there’s the most fascinating point. With fully-guaranteed contracts for veteran players currently frowned upon, Snyder could give his soon-to-be-former partners a gigantic middle finger as he rides his superyacht into the sunset.
So, yes, it makes sense for Snyder to explore it, on multiple levels. It frankly makes too much sense to not pursue the possibility.