As free agency nears, it’s getting more and more difficult to see the Las Vegas Raiders finding a long-term quarterback option this offseason. Aaron Rodgers appears headed toward a trade to the New York Jets and the Carolina Panthers just leapfrogged the Raiders by trading for the No. 1 pick. They will likely use that pick on pick on a quarterback, which means one less available to Las Vegas.
The best quarterback left available is Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson. The former MVP received a non-exclusive franchise tag, which means teams can make him an offer. The Ravens will get a chance to match. If Jackson chose a new team’s offer, they’d have to send Baltimore two first-round picks. That’s a small price to pay for one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.
NFL Hall of Famer O.J. Simpson doesn’t have any connection to the Raiders but he lives in Las Vegas. He took to his Twitter account to post a video recruiting Jackson to the Raiders.
Come join me in Las Vegas @Lj_era8 pic.twitter.com/PhHAVDBZdS
— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) March 7, 2023
It’s easy to see Jackson fitting in Las Vegas with his dynamic playing style. Head coach Josh McDaniels had success with Cam Newton back in 2020 and he was at the tail end of his career then. Jackson is 26 and in his prime. He could do big things if the Raiders acquire him.
Why It Will Be Difficult for Raiders to Add Jackson
Giving up two first-round picks for Jackson would be a no-brainer. He’s a proven difference-maker and should be for a long time. He’s still elite as a runner and continues to improve as a passer. He has also won 73.8% of the games he’s started in. However, the situation is much more complicated than that. Jackson is seeking a fully guaranteed contract in excess of $200 million. If a team is to sign him to that kind of deal, they’ll have to have that much cash on hand at the time of signing. Raiders owner Mark Davis has been raking in the cash since moving to Las Vegas but he might not have that much money sitting around right now.
Also, if the Raiders were to make an offer to Jackson, the Ravens will have five days to match. That offer would go against the team’s salary cap …read more