How Lamar Jackson could still end up playing for Ravens next year, explained

Lamar Jackson has requested a trade away from the Baltimore Ravens. Not all hope should be considered lost, though.

While Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was addressing media, Lamar Jackson sent out a Tweet to let fans know he had requested a trade from the team that gave him a non-exclusive franchise tag just a few weeks ago.

The trade request occured weeks ago, but Jackson chose to make it public on Monday.

The Tweet indicated Jackson is ready for a split, but Harbaugh said that he expects Jackson will be the team’s starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2023 season. He spoke highly of the quarterback in the process.

Those two things can’t both be true, right?

There’s a world in which the Ravens and Jackson can patch things up. A trade request might just be the catalyzing factor to get a deal done that satisfies both parties.

Here’s how Lamar Jackson could return to Ravens despite trade request

From a purely inside-the-lines perspective, the best option at quarterback for the Ravens in 2023 and beyond is Lamar Jackson. The team seems to like him, and if the contract were not an issue, Jackson also seems to want to play for Baltimore. It behooves the two sides to figure something out, finally.

The Ravens can now choose to play along with Jackson’s trade request and seek suitors in a deal that would move him to a new team. Or, they can offer him a contract he can’t refuse in an effort to patch things up with the QB.

If they decide to trade him, they very well could be starting from square one at quarterback. Their backup option is Tyler Huntley who performed admirably as a backup last season but is simply not Lamar Jackson. They could look for a QB in the draft with picks they get back in a trade (like from the Colts, potentially?) or in return for Jackson straight-up in a trade. Most likely, neither of those are exactly better options than Jackson.

Perhaps that’s why Harbaugh played it so cool with the media: He knows the Ravens have one final card left to play. They can simply say, “fine, Lamar, have your money,” and give him the deal he’s been after, or at least something close enough to sway him.

Jackson has played his final card in this saga of “to pay or not to pay” with the star quarterback. It’ll bring an end to this chapter, whether it be by the Ravens succumbing to his wants or opting to trade him.

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