Indianapolis recently traded veteran CB Stephon Gilmore to the Cowboys and has released veteran QB Matt Ryan, clearing space that could potentially be used to try to lure Jackson from Baltimore.
It would probably take a market re-setting deal for Baltimore not to match an extension, but a desperate team such as the Colts — who have been in QB purgatory ever since the early retirement of Andrew Luck — could make such a deal.
Indianapolis has the pieces on offense (RB Jonathan Taylor, WR Michael Pittman Jr.), to help persuade Jackson the Colts could win with him immediately. That lineup would be particularly appealing to Jackson, especially coming from the skill-position wasteland that is Baltimore. Besides Indianapolis, though, Jackson’s market seems to be drying up quickly.
Many QB-needy teams have already filled the position or at least have an idea of their direction at quarterback. This leaves Jackson with few options in terms of teams with a need at the position and the cap space to sign a player of his caliber.
Carolina seems committed to drafting a QB. The Panthers recently traded for the first overall pick that will likely be used to draft their quarterback.
Washington signed Jacoby Brissett and Atlanta landed Taylor Heinicke to back up their second-year QBs.
Miami picked up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option, committing to him for the next two years.
The Jets are in a cat-and-mouse game with Aaron Rodgers and are apparently committed to bringing him to New York.
The Titans and Patriots entered the offseason with concerns at QB, but new Tennessee GM Ran Carthon recently committed to Ryan Tannehill for 2023. Meanwhile, New England had about $35 million in cap space, but it added WR JuJu Smith-Schuster for a three-year, $33 million deal, making it unlikely to enter the Jackson sweepstakes.
Indianapolis could be hesitant to make a move for Jackson in fear of wasting time and resources on a contract the Ravens could end up matching. It is reasonable to think that most teams have not been interested for the same reason.
Baltimore could be working the non-exclusive tag to use other teams to negotiate with Jackson for them. A team interested in him would not only need to have the space to sign him, but also the confidence that their deal would be too rich for the Ravens to match.
Ultimately, it might come down to preference for the Colts. They have the fourth overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, which is within range for one of the top QBs in the incoming rookie class.
Will the Colts want a veteran QB to help them compete right away or will they commit to a rebuild through the draft?
The Jackson intrigue keeps the football world on edge.
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Publish Date:2023-03-18 03:03:55