Lamar Jackson requests a Trade From Ravens


Wikimedia Commons

Lamar Jackson in Ravens Uniform

Lamar Jackson announced on Mar 27, 2023, that he requested a trade away from the Baltimore Ravens organization (Twitter). Though he made the request on March 3rd, both himself and the organization kept it quiet and nobody knew until Jackson made the announcement on Twitter.

The Ravens and Jackson have been trying to work out a deal for around the past two years, and they just couldn’t agree. Jackson is one of the best QBs in the National Football League, and he would come with a price tag for any team he was going to sign a contract with. Lamar Jackson thinks he is worth more than the Ravens were willing to pay.

Jackson in his first 4 seasons has had a win rate of .700. This percentage is higher than that of Aaron Rodgers’ and Josh Allen’s so far. Without Jackson over the past couple of years, the Ravens have won only 3 out of their 12 games, and many NFL enthusiasts agree that Jackson is the main reason that the Ravens win games.

But is Jackson asking for too much? He wants at least 200 million dollars in guaranteed money, which is close to what the Browns paid Deshaun Watson in early 2022. The deal that the Browns made with Deshaun Watson messed up the quarterback market for the entire NFL. Watson got an enormous contract, despite being off of the field for about a year. But because he got paid so much, Lamar Jackson knows he’s worth more to the Ravens than Deshaun is to the Browns, so Lamar wants more money. 

Lamar requested a trade on March 3rd, which as of the time this is written is almost a month ago. But the Ravens have not made any effort to either trade him or give him the money he wants and maybe even deserves at this point in his career. The head coach of the Ravens, John Harbaugh, seems unconcerned about losing Lamar Jackson. He says he’s “pretty fired up about Lamar Jackson…” on March 27th (CBS Sports). He spoke to the press about the situation the day that Lamar tweeted that he had requested a trade. Harbaugh seems to think that Lamar will be playing for the Ravens in the 2023 season. He said he’s “confident that’s going to happen.”

Harbaugh most certainly knows the situation with Lamar better than most other people though. It is possible that there is a deal in the works and a negotiation will be made, but one thing is clear; if the Ravens want to keep Lamar Jackson on the roster and on the field, they’re gonna have to pay him. 

The Ravens also put a non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. This means that Lamar can still be traded, which is why he requested to be. He says that the Ravens organization has “not been interested” in meeting his value. So why haven’t the Ravens been willing to pay Lamar, after all he has done for the organization?

It could be because of his tendency for injuries. Lamar has missed 10 games over the past 2 seasons. If he isn’t going to start all 17 games, what’s the point of paying him over 200 million dollars? There have been accusations that he sat out the playoff wild card game against the Cincinnati Bengals because of money, but in response to that, he said “I don’t remember me sitting out on my guys week 1 vs jets to week 12 vs Broncos. How come all of a sudden I sit out because of money in which I could’ve gotten hurt at any time within that time frame”. He says that if he didn’t sit out any of the time during the regular season when he wasn’t injured, why would he suddenly do that in the playoffs because of money? 

But the Ravens don’t have to trade him.

The deal that the Ravens already offered Lamar was for 133 million dollars guaranteed, 175 million if he got injured any time that the contract was still effective, and 200 million if he is still on the Ravens roster on the fifth day of the 2026 NFL season. Lamar was obviously dissatisfied with this deal because he declined, and soon after requested a trade. 

But the Ravens don’t have to trade him. The organization obviously still wants him on the team, and they showed that by offering him 133 million guaranteed dollars. But if they end up not being able to make a contract extension deal, and also don’t trade him away, then he would still be on the roster, making well under what he thinks he deserves. If this happens, it is extremely likely that Lamar would sit out the season, and not play for the Ravens until they either traded him or worked out a deal. Essentially, he’s not playing until he gets paid.
As for trade possibilities, the Colts are the team most likely to acquire Lamar. They have the 4th overall pick in the upcoming draft, which is what they would give to the Ravens if they got Lamar. Trades like this have happened before, but fans are saying that this would be unfair to the Ravens. This is because many believe that draft picks are overvalued (Chicago Booth). With draft picks, teams never know whether the player will make it in the league or not, whereas Lamar Jackson is already proven and is one of the best QBs in the league. The Ravens will probably make more attempts to sign Lamar Jackson back on the team, but if they end up simply not wanting him to pay that much money, they may settle for the draft pick from the Colts.