As NFL rumors continue to swirl around Lamar Jackson, another quarterback-needy team has publicly taken their name out of the running.
There were two big quarterback sagas that needed resolving this offseason. The first, involving Aaron Rodgers, has been given some clarity with the Packers quarterback stating his desire to be traded to the Jets. The second remains a complete mystery.
We’re talking Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on their star quarterback, allowing him to negotiate with other teams. However, since the Ravens can match any offer sheet, there hasn’t been much movement on the negotiating front. A trade still seems the most likely way Jackson changes teams this year.
Several teams have already made it known that they wouldn’t pursue Jackson. Add the Panthers to the list.
“He’s a great option. He’s a really expensive option. But we’re more focused on the draft picks right now,” general manager Scott Fitterer said per Field Yates of ESPN.
Panthers aren’t looking at Lamar Jackson trade
I know what you’re thinking. Of course the Panthers wouldn’t be in the race for Jackson. They just gave away a slew of picks to move up to No. 1 overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.
However, Carolina reportedly wanted to keep their options open with regards to trading the top pick and moving back for the right price.
In terms of bargaining chips, the No. 1 overall pick would be pretty powerful if the Panthers decided they want the proven ability of Jackson over the risk of drafting the wrong quarterback.
The idea of Carolina trading for Jackson wouldn’t be completely crazy.
The counterpoint is pretty strong though. A star quarterback on a rookie deal is worth everything to NFL franchises. Jackson is more of a sure thing than Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud, but he’s also significantly more expensive. That’s enough reason for the Panthers to keep things simple now that they’re picking No. 1.