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About Those Fleeting Lamar Jackson, Vikings Rumors


Nov 7, 2021; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Minnesota Vikings at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports.

Out of desperation, frustration, or utopian fantasy, some Minnesota Vikings called for the exploration into Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson’s services last weekend after Minnesota lost to the New York Giants in the postseason.

The “go get Lamar” theory was widespread on Twitter as Jackson played on the final year of his rookie deal in 2022, an oddity in the NFL as general managers generally lock up their franchise guy well in advance.

About Those Fleeting Lamar Jackson, Vikings Rumors

But no cigar for Jackson, and he correspondingly lives in other teams’ rumor mills. Pairing Jackson with Justin Jefferson and whichever offensive playmakers remain after the Vikings 2023 offseason would indeed be fun, but it may not be realistic.

About Those Fleeting Lamar
Dec 4, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up prior to the game against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports.

The Ravens approach to Jackson and his contractual future will be a hot topic this offseason — in addition to the Aaron Rodgers melodrama — but Baltimore’s head coach John Harbaugh recently poured cold water on Vikings fans’ dream about a Jackson-led purple and gold squad.

Reporters asked Harbaugh Thursday if Jackson would be the Ravens QB1 in September, and he replied, “200 percent. There is no question.”

John Harbaugh
Dec 8, 2019; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh jogs on the field prior to the game against the Buffalo Bills at New Era Field. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports.

“Lamar is our quarterback, and he’s been our quarterback. Everything we’ve done in terms of building our offense and building our team and how we think and how we put people around him is based on this incredible young man and his ability,” Harbaugh added.

And, to be clear, that doesn’t sound like the response from a leader of a football team who is on the fence about his franchise player. If he was unsure about the Ravens commitment to Jackson, Harbaugh easily could’ve replied, “That’s up to the general manager. I coach the players.”

Of course, he didn’t say that and instead emphatically confirmed the Ravens eventual marriage to Jackson, who won the NFL MVP award in 2019.

NFL's Top QBs after Week 3: PFF, DVOA, EPA+CPOE Formula
Aug 27, 2022; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) on the sidelines during the third quarter of the game against the Washington Commanders at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson was injured in Week 13 squeaker win over the Denver Broncos — and that was that for his 2022 campaign. Baltimore absolutely needed the mobile quarterback in the postseason but was bounced by the divisional rival Cincinnati Bengals last weekend, a team that hopes to score a road win at the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

Pondering Jackson for Vikings purposes indeed had a delightful upside, but even if the Ravens were lukewarm on the longterm commitment, getting Jackson to the Vikings would be tricky. Foremost, he desires a Deshaun Watson-like contract, probably north of $250 million. The Vikings must pay Justin Jefferson this offseason, meaning the situation is a “who gets the bag?” scenario — Jackson or Jefferson. Somehow acquiring Jackson — for an unthinkable haul of draft capital — while keeping Jefferson glued to the Vikings depth chart for the next seven years would mandate a total skimp on the rest of the depth chart indefinitely.

It’s all likely moot now, though. Unless Harbaugh is lying, Jackson will stay in Baltimore, which isn’t all that surprising when one stops to think critically about the situation.

Jackson turned 26 two weeks ago and has missed 31% of all football games in the last two years.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).


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