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Wednesday open thread: Should the Lions make a play for Lamar Jackson?

With Jackson’s non-exclusive franchise tag, the unthinkable just became a possibility.

Baltimore Ravens v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens slapped Lamar Jackson with a non-exclusive franchise tag just before the deadline Tuesday. Unlike a typical franchise tagging, Jackson is not off the market. Instead, teams will have to send Baltimore two first-round picks should they agree to terms with Jackson on an offer the Ravens fail to match.

It wasn’t long ago the idea of Jackson making it to free agency was just a fantasy. He’s not technically going to be a free agent, given the circumstances, but as far as I’m concerned he’s not not going to, either.

Two firsts is a steep cost, but the Lions hold the Los Angeles Rams’ sixth overall pick this year, which makes giving up Detroit’s 18th overall pick much more palatable. If the Lions were to acquire Jackson, it’s hard to see them being anything less than a playoff team next year, meaning the 2024 first-round pick the Lions hypothetically forfeit would be a very late one.

Question of the day: How much guaranteed money would you pay Lamar Jackson to come to Detroit?

It’s important to note that throughout this process over the last two offseasons, Lamar has made one thing clear: he wants a fully guaranteed contract. That means this question, in essence, is simply how much you’d pay Lamar, and we can assume all of it is guaranteed. If you’re angry because I am entertaining this and you think Jared Goff is the end-all-be-all at quarterback, I’m sorry you hold such incorrect opinions. Acquiring Lamar Jackson significantly improves the quarterback position for the vast majority of teams in the league, the Detroit Lions very much included.

My answer: I think my number would stand somewhere around $52 million average per year at most.

The highest average salary right now is Aaron Rodgers at $50.2 million average, followed by a steep dropoff to Russell Wilson at $48.5 million and Kyler Murray at $46.1 million annually. A $52 million average salary makes Lamar the highest-paid quarterback by a wide margin, and puts him a tier above Deshaun Watson’s $46 million fully guaranteed average.

The way the quarterback market moves though, a good front office strikes while the iron is hot. Daniel Jones just inked a four-year, $160 million contract Tuesday. This comes just days after the discarded Derek Carr inked a contract with the New Orleans Saints at a $37.5 million average. Jared Goff is better than Jones and with another season gone he’ll demand more than that next offseason, likely in the ballpark of $42-43 million, if I had to guess. Any team offered the ability to upgrade from Goff to Jackson for $10 million a year would likely jump at the opportunity.

Letting go of the 2023 first-round pick is palatable with the Rams pick, although a noteworthy drawback is that it would suck to have the draft in Detroit in 2024 without the Lions having a first-round pick. Decisions, decisions.

How much would you be willing to pay Lamar Jackson? Should he be the highest-paid quarterback in the league? Is $52 million wishful thinking? Vote below and let us know your thoughts.


How much guaranteed money would you be willing to pay Lamar Jackson?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    <$50 million
    (425 votes)
  • 16%
    $50-53 million
    (409 votes)
  • 3%
    >$54 million
    (75 votes)
  • 62%
    I don’t want Lamar Jackson
    (1524 votes)
2433 votes total Vote Now

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