Vikings on the ‘ESPN List’ for Lamar Jackson

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

According to ESPN, about 44% of the NFL, including the Baltimore Ravens, is on the list to secure Lamar Jackson’s services in 2023.

The 2019 NFL MVP tweeted Monday about his trade request at the beginning of the month, “As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that’s has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the Super Bowl.”

Vikings on the ‘ESPN List’ for Lamar Jackson

Jackson also thanked his fans and seemed to say goodbye to the organization that drafted him five years ago. On March 7th, Baltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on the 26-year-old, meaning any team can offer two 1st-Round picks and a fat contract for Jackson, while the Ravens have a chance to match the deal. If they do not, the trade consummates.

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports.

Naturally, in an offseason where Derek Carr is on the move to the New Orleans Saints, Aaron Rodgers will eventually get traded to the New York, and Tom Brady hanging it up for good, the Jackson trade request might be the most significant quarterback movement of them all. He’s in the prime of his career, and the Ravens have been relevant since his arrival.

The trade request confirmation sent the entire NFL media conglomeration a flock to decide where Jackson might land. Per sportsbooks and pundits, the Minnesota Vikings are on the list.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell discussed every possible trade fit Monday, and the Vikings ranked 12 of 13 — so not very high on the pecking order. In Barnwell’s estimation, only the Packers were “lower” on the totem pole for Jackson trade likelihood.

Lamar Jackson Is One
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

“It seems reasonable enough, given that the Vikings pick No. 23 in April’s draft and might like their chances of finishing in the top half of the league next year with Jackson in the fold. Adofo-Mensah sent a second-round pick to the Lions to acquire tight end T.J. Hockenson last fall, but the Vikings presumably would get some draft capital back if they traded Cousins this offseason,” Barnwell stated about the possibility of Jackson to Minnesota.

Since joining the league from the 1st Round of the 2018 NFL Draft, Jackson is the NFL’s 10th-best quarterback per EPA+CPOE, sandwiched in a territory with Tom Brady, Josh Allen, and Dak Prescott.

NFL's Top QBs after Week 3: PFF, DVOA, EPA+CPOE Formula
Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports.

Barnwell also explained why the Jackson deal for Minnesota won’t pan out, “The Vikings are closer to rebuilding than they are to meaningfully contending, and Jackson won’t single-handedly solve their problems on both sides of the ball. The Vikings also are in a salary cap bind, and that’s before signing wide receiver Justin Jefferson to what will surely be a record-setting extension this offseason.”

Jefferson’s upcoming contract is just the beginning of the financial gymnastics required to trade for Jackson. General manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah still has an extension to-do list with T.J. Hockenson, Christian Darrisaw, and Danielle Hunter within the next 12 months. And that’s before trading Kirk Cousins, who cannot be on the team if Jackson is the QB1. That’s tricky with Cousins’ no-trade clause.

Barnwell concluded the Vikings section of his piece, “This probably would end up with the Ravens getting two first-round picks and Cousins for Jackson and a fifth-round selection, but there are lots of reasons these teams don’t add up.”

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Interestingly, per Barnwell, every NFC North team is somewhere in the race to explore a Jackson trade, even the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.

The Atlanta Falcons, New York Jets, and Indianapolis Colts are considered frontrunners from the ESPN analysis.

The Jackson-led Ravens have reached the playoffs in four of his five seasons at the helm but haven’t traveled further than the Divisional Round.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by