Falcons owner Arthur Blank comments on QB Lamar Jackson

The Atlanta Falcons still had Matt Ryan under contract when they decided to pursue Deshaun Watson last offseason, which led to many assuming the team would go after free-agent quarterback Lamar Jackson in 2023.

However, once the Baltimore Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, the Falcons were one of the first teams to come out and say they weren’t interested.

Jackson, 26, is a former league MVP with a career record of 45-16, although he can’t seem to find a team willing to pay him what he’s worth. When asked why the team was not interested in Jackson despite making a run at Watson last offseason, Falcons owner Arthur Blank said they are “very different” situations.

Blank would go on to highlight Jackson’s injury history and style of play as reasons the team won’t be pursuing him, as you can see ESPN’s tweet below.

Jackson has missed five games each of the last two seasons, however, his contract status may have played a role in his decision not to play with an injured PCL in 2023.

As for Watson, he missed nearly two seasons after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list due having over 20 sexual misconduct allegations against him.

Since these allegations weren’t enough to stop the Falcons from going after Watson, it’s somewhat surprising to see them bow out of the Jackson sweepstakes. The former first-round pick responded to defend his record and decision to sit out last season.

Atlanta is moving forward with second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder as the starter. Head coach Arthur Smith said he expects Ridder to take the next step in his development this season.

Ridder started the final four games of the 2022 season, throwing for 708 yards passing, two touchdowns and zero interceptions. The Falcons also signed wide receivers Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller, and traded for tight end Jonnu Smith from the Patriots.

On Wednesday, the team signed free-agent defensive end Calais Campbell to a one-year deal.


Falcons sign Pro Bowl DL Calais Campbell to one-year deal

Falcons post-free agency starting lineup projection

Falcons sign former Bucs WR Scotty Miller to one-year deal

Falcons earn 'D-plus' free agency grade from Football Outsiders

Falcons 2023 NFL free agency tracker

Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire