A potential consequence of a Lamar Jackson trade deal could be the Arizona Cardinals losing a valuable opening-round trade partner, particularly if Jackson is acquired by a quarterback-needy team.
As the NFL Draft approaches in about a month, the focus has shifted to the Arizona Cardinals and their first-round pick. With the third-overall selection, Cardinals’ general manager Monti Ossenfort is likely to receive a plethora of offers from teams in search of a franchise quarterback.
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Potential Lamar Jackson Trade Deal Confirmed?
On Monday last week, Lamar Jackson dropped a bombshell on the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson publicly, on Twitter, expressed his desire to play for a different team. This development may have implications for the Arizona Cardinals’ top-pick strategy. You may wonder, how does this news relate to Arizona’s draft plans?
Arizona Cardinal‘s General Manager Monti Ossenfort revealed that the team is open to trading their third pick. Based on predictions, three highly-regarded quarterback prospects are entering the draft this year who could be considered blue-chip players. If a team were to trade up to the third overall pick through an arrangement with the Cardinals, they would have a secure opportunity to select one of these elite candidates. However, if a Lamar Jackson trade deal goes through with one of these teams, it would eliminate a possible trade partner for Ossenfort and the Cardinals.
If the Indianapolis Colts were to engage in a potential Lamar Jackson trade deal, it would likely not bode well for Cardinals fans hoping for a trade with Indy. The Colts currently possess the fourth overall pick and are rumored to have some interest in Jackson, making them a potential trade partner for the Cardinals. A deal with the Colts could have allowed the Cardinals to acquire additional draft capital, as well as coveted edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr. in the opening round.
Numerous NFL teams are eager to acquire the third overall pick from the Arizona Cardinals.
The Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are among the other NFL teams that have shown interest in trading up to acquire a higher draft pick. If the Cardinals were to strike a deal with the Lions, Raiders, or Falcons, they would be able to remain in the top-eight draft picks. However, the Titans, Commanders, and Bucs hold lower draft picks at 11th, 16th, and 19th overall, respectively, which may be less appealing to the Cardinals.
If a Lamar Jackson trade deal were to occur, the Arizona Cardinals may benefit from the fact that Jackson is seeking a fully-guaranteed contract, which is a rare demand. The Cleveland Browns’ decision to offer Deshaun Watson a fully-guaranteed deal set a potentially concerning precedent, but it seems unlikely that other players will receive the same treatment. Jackson may have to reconsider his demand if he wants to secure a deal and continue his professional career.
A fact to note here is Jackson hasn’t had an agent represent him since being drafted in 2018. At present, he still doesn’t have one. Probably all of this could have been avoided or handled better, had Lamar had an agent to navigate this tricky part with him.
The Washington Commanders and Detroit Lions have both removed themselves from consideration for a Lamar Jackson trade deal. If the other interested teams follow suit, the Cardinals may be able to benefit from their luck. The Cardinals’ potential to trade back on the opening night of the draft and acquire additional assets could depend on whether the remaining suitors for Jackson back out.