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Why a move for Lamar Jackson is unrealistic for the 49ers

Rohan Chakravarthi
Mar 9, 2023 at 1:10 PM--

The Baltimore Ravens made headlines earlier this week when electing to utilize the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, which allows teams to submit offers for the quarterback and potentially gain his services for the price of two first-round picks.

As expected, Jackson became a talking point in 49ers circles, as the pairing of his talents with head coach Kyle Shanahan's play-calling would be a deadly combination.

The 49ers could make a move for Jackson, despite not having the requisite picks to submit an offer in free agency, via a sign-and-trade, where they could package assets such as young quarterback Trey Lance, other players, and draft picks in a strong move for the quarterback.

However, that's an unrealistic task for the 49ers. Here's why the move doesn't make sense, despite the value that Jackson provides on the field.

Lamar Jackson's contract

It's been fairly clear that Lamar Jackson is going to demand a hefty salary, regardless of where he plays next, as he could possibly earn $200+ million in guaranteed money after Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray earned $189.5 million in guarantees on his five-year, $230.5 million deal last offseason.

Jackson, however, has reportedly demanded a fully-guaranteed contract, on par with Deshaun Watson's five-year, $230 million, fully guaranteed deal.

The San Francisco 49ers have maneuvered the cap well over the Kyle Shanahan era, but Jackson would require them to break the bank open, which likely means cost-cutting measures elsewhere down the line.

The 49ers are currently structured to withhold a rookie contract at quarterback which has been their preferred deal since they drafted Trey Lance, and has allowed for the team to extend several key pieces like wideout Deebo Samuel.

Additionally, the value it would require to trade for Lamar Jackson, given the necessity for a sign-and-trade since San Francisco doesn't hold a 2023 first-round pick, would be significant, seeing how older quarterbacks like Russell Wilson fetched a haul in return.

But, the number one reason why a potential trade isn't realistic isn't due to money or trade value.

The Baltimore Ravens

Based on the initial response from opposing teams publicly, it appears that the Baltimore Ravens elected to franchise tag Lamar Jackson to allow the quarterback to see his market, as it doesn't seem that other owners are willing to pay a fully guaranteed contract for the former MVP.

Additionally, if it's not a guaranteed contract, and instead matches similarly to what other quarterback deals have been, the Ravens have allowed another team to essentially negotiate for them, as they have the option of matching any offer sheet submitted for Jackson.

The Ravens have remained steadfast in their desire to retain Jackson, with guaranteed money appearing as the primary dispute, so if that situation gets solved for them via an opposing team's tender, they could very well match a deal and keep their star quarterback through his prime.

If a team does indeed elect to give Lamar Jackson an offer sheet, the Ravens would have five days to match, keeping that team hampered over the period of time in free agency, once again de-incentivizing an early offer.

Now, should the 49ers entertain the idea of trading for Jackson? Absolutely.

Kyle Shanahan's No. 1 problem during his tenure as San Francisco's coach has been the inability to figure out his quarterback situation, which has hampered the 49ers during their numerous playoff runs, depriving the head coach of a championship.

But, given all the factors presented: San Francisco's cap situation, trade value, and the Baltimore Ravens' tactics, the move just doesn't seem likely at the moment for the 49ers.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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  • BigAl
    Yea I mean the only realistic way would be a package involving Bosa. Im really not trading Bosa either unless Im getting Mahomes back, maybe Herbert or Burrows. Either way Im still not convinced Jackson can win from the pocket either. He starts well, plays bad, then gets hurt. It would be like Reich going to the Panthers, lets fix a problem with the problem. After that NFC Championship Im pretty sure every 49er fan is sick of QB availability being an issue or even the issue. I rather just lose at this point, just we werent good enough, instead of QB injuries being the reason. I will say in a video game sense I love the idea of Lamar Jackson on this offense. I just cant fathom it being realistic with our teams current draft picks, salary cap, and roster compatibility with the Ravens ...( The Ravens are like the one team where even Warner, a guy I would trade for Jackson, wouldnt be an upgrade) Whats up with Grant Cohn videos all over this site now? Really?? Im disappointed, thats pathetic. Someone sold their soul for a few bucks
    Mar 9, 2023 at 3:37 PM
  • Grant Bong
    @ The person who wrote this .. you forgot to turn off the comment section @Austin... Thank you. It seems as if this topic is conjuring up clicks for certain bloggers including the guy writing for Press Democrat. No one in 49erland cares about the overpriced loser asking for even more money and does not even have a agent. Here's a tip for LJ- count your blessings dude and be lucky for what you already have. Spoiled jerk.
    Mar 9, 2023 at 3:11 PM
  • Austin
    Stop wasting our time with articles about an overpriced loser at a position that we don’t need help in. Brock Purdy is our QB and Lance will spell him while he recovers. No serious person has ever thought that extending ourselves financially for another QB makes sense.
    Mar 9, 2023 at 2:09 PM


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