Why aren’t the Detroit Lions in on the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes?
Why aren’t the Lions in on the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes? PFT crew weighs in originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
Aaron Rodgers isn’t the only marquee quarterback figuring out his future this offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson earlier this month, giving him the opportunity to negotiate with other teams and the team a chance to match any offer sheet.
It’s been two weeks, and no NFL team has bit at the chance to sign Jackson. In Mike Florio’s eyes, the kneecap-biting Detroit Lions should strongly consider going all-in on the 2019 NFL MVP.
“It just seems odd to me to settle for Jared Goff, the guy that you picked up a first-round pick (for) in the Matthew Stafford trade because you were taking his awful contract off the Rams’ hands,” Florio said Monday on “PFT Live.” “How is that the guy that you’re building around if you’re trying to get yourself to where you’ve never been?”
Goff and the Lions are coming off a promising 9-8 season and just missed out on an NFC wild card berth. They’ve been busy this offseason, too, with safety C.J. Gardner-Johnson becoming the latest addition Sunday night.
Still, Florio believes the quarterback spot needs addressing if the Lions are going to make a serious run in the NFC next season.
“[Goff] doesn’t fit the approach,” Florio said. “And he just did well enough last year that they’re like, ‘You know what? We thought we’d be getting rid of him after two years, but he’s good enough that we’re going to keep him.’ But I think Jackson would fit the vibe there with the Lions right now far better than Jared Goff.”
Chris Simms lent some perspective for why the Lions, along with dozens of other teams across the NFL, could be hesitant to go after Jackson even if he would be a clear upgrade over their current signal-caller.
“[The Lions] could be that team that just looks at it and goes, ‘We’ve finally got a culture and something good here. We don’t want to risk it or discombobulate things for Lamar Jackson,’” Simms said on “PFT Live.” “And, to everything we’ve been talking about, Lamar and that conversation is dicey. Can you get a deal done? Will it happen? If we’ve got to get a deal done three years from now, are you going to be able to get that done then with Lamar? There’s a lot of conversations that go into dealing with him I think that are outside of football that probably scare a lot of teams and front office people.”
Soon after the news of his tag was announced, reports surfaced of numerous teams removing themselves from the Jackson sweepstakes. There has been little movement in the Jackson market since, and it could stay that way if there is continued dissonance between front offices and owners over how to handle his next contract.
“Sometimes the football people say yes, the owner says no. Sometimes the owner says yes, the football people say no,” Florio said. “I have a feeling in this situation, you’ve got some football people that would be willing to do it, and you’ve got some owners, for reasons we’ve discussed ad nauseam over the last couple of weeks, not willing to do what needs to be done.”