Commanders, Falcons, Panthers among teams reportedly not expected to pursue Lamar Jackson
The Baltimore Ravens left Lamar Jackson free to negotiate with suitors on Tuesday by applying the non-exclusive franchise tag to their quarterback.
Some of the NFL's most QB-needy teams reportedly aren't interested.
According to multiple reports, the Washington Commanders, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers are among the teams not expected to court the 2019 league MVP. Here are the reports coming out of those camps:
The Atlanta Falcons will not be pursuing QB Lamar Jackson, per sources.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 7, 2023
Scott Fitterer certainly will discuss and has discussed Lamar Jackson b/c that's what he does.
But Panthers are not expected to be in the Jackson market, per league sources.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) March 7, 2023
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
If you are wondering if the @Raiders will be involved in Lamar Jackson, the answer is very unlikely.
— Vincent Bonsignore (@VinnyBonsignore) March 7, 2023
Dianna Russini, however, reports the Raiders' situation is not definitive.
Team Source: The Las Vegas Raiders haven’t eliminated any QB options — including Lamar Jackson.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 8, 2023
The New York Jets, meanwhile, are reportedly doggedly pursuing Aaron Rodgers. Even with the divergent reports regarding the Raiders, that represents a significant chunk of the league's teams that don't have a clear answer at quarterback next season. Also out of the Jackson running are the Miami Dolphins, who don't have any intention of moving away from Tua Tagovailoa, ESPN's Jeff Darlington reported.
These reports all broke in the hours after the Ravens applied the non-exclusive franchise tag. The "non-exclusive" designation is key. An exclusive franchise tag would have barred Jackson from negotiating with other teams and cost the Ravens a projected $45.2 million next season.
The non-exclusive tag costs the Ravens $32.4 million, but leaves Jackson open to negotiate with suitors. If he signs an offer he likes, Baltimore would have the option to match it or let Jackson go in exchange for two first-round draft picks. Per Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, the Ravens and Jackson remain far apart as Jackson seeks something in the range of Deshaun Watson's fully guaranteed $230 million deal in Cleveland.
But it sounds like the market to pursue Jackson at the cost of a lucrative contract plus two first-round picks is tepid in some corners — at least in the immediate aftermath of his conditional availability. The Raiders have no clear answer at quarterback after releasing Derek Carr. The Falcons are still searching for an answer at the position in the post-Matt Ryan era. The Panthers are in a similar position having been in quarterback limbo since the end of Cam Newton's career in Charlotte.
The Commanders are open to giving the keys to 2022 rookie Sam Howell after releasing Carson Wentz. Head coach Ron Rivera is not committed to him. But it sounds like Jackson isn't on the table.
If these teams are indeed out of the Jackson market, that doesn't mean it's dried up as soon as it opened. Teams like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans all have their own quarterback questions and could conceivably be interested in pursuing Jackson.
But with the franchise-tag deadline passed, Jackson remains one of the most intriguing stories of the offseason.