Lamar Jackson Is One Step Closer to Joining the Vikings

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings lost to the New York Giants at home in the postseason 71 days ago, and in the immediacy of defeat, some fans speculated the franchise should “go get Lamar Jackson.”

A wild idea at the time because Jackson was absent from the playoffs due to injury at the exact time Vikings fans were firing off the get-Jackson tweets — might actually come to fruition.

Lamar Jackson Is One Step Closer to Joining the Vikings

The former NFL MVP announced Monday that he requested a trade from the Ravens on March 2nd, apparently done with all dealings in Baltimore. If a team wants Jackson and his run-first skillset, the attainability has never been more real.

Lamar Jackson Is One
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

Jackson tweeted about the upcoming Ravens divorce, “I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y’all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me.”

“Let me personally answer your questions. in regards to my future plans. 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,” Jackson continued.

vikings labeled
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Baltimore recently placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on the 2019 NFL MVP, meaning any team can offer Jackson a contract and would have to donate two 1st-Rounders to the Ravens for his services — while the Ravens front office can match any offer. Teams have shied away from a Jackson contract because it would allegedly “do the Ravens bidding.” And in the end, most folks believed Jackson would return to Baltimore.

Jackson concluded, “You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I’ll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You’ll See me again.”

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And the Jackson tweet confirms Pro Football Talk’s reporting from last week, “Another source said that the representative is telling other teams that Lamar is ready to move on from the Ravens.”

“Per multiple sources, a representative for Jackson has contacted more than one team in an effort to spark negotiations aimed at a possible offer sheet. The representative is not certified by the NFL Players Association,” PFT’s Mike Florio explained six days ago.

After that pseudo announcement, sportsbooks produced odds accordingly for Jackson’s next NFL home. Wouldn’t you know it? The Vikings were fourth on the list.

  • Baltimore Ravens: +225
  • Tennessee Titans: +400
  • New England Patriots: +500
  • Minnesota Vikings: +550
  • Indianapolis Colts: +1000
  • New York Jets: +1400
  • Atlanta Falcons: +1500
  • The Field: +575
Vikings Going Down
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If the Vikings are willing to trade two 1st-Rounders, trade Kirk Cousins to a place of his choosing (he has a no-trade clause), and pay Jackson between $45-$50 million annually, general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah might just have himself a deal.

Just a handful of teams would listen to Kirk Cousins-related trade talks this far with free agency in the rearview, but a few might include the New York Jets, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers, or Jackson’s Ravens — especially if Jackson bolts. And that’s about it.

Right after the first week of free agency, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler opined on the Jackson-to-Vikings hullabaloo. He first offered context, “If for some reason the Aaron Rodgers trade would fall through — nobody expects that — they could pivot to Jackson. And then when you talk about good fits, I asked some executives around the league what teams would make sense. They mention Tennessee, who just cleared some cap space. They have a new GM Ran Carthon, who’s working on the roster. They could use a running quarterback; they have experience with that in the past.”

Then, the Vikings weaseled into the trade rumor mill, “And even a wild card like Minnesota. Kirk Cousins has one year left on his contract if they want to reestablish their identity there.”

Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports.

Finally, if the Vikings are even semi-interested in acquiring Jackson, they must answer these questions:

  1. Jackson’s last two seasons have been muddied by injury. Does the general manager who preaches ‘value’ really want an oft-injured quarterback on his team for $50 million per season?
  2. The Vikings would swallow oodles in dead cap funds trading Cousins now.
  3. About 60% of the Vikings salary cap would go toward five players before you know it — Lamar Jackson, Justin Jefferson, Christian Darrisaw, Brian O’Neill, and T.J. Hockenson. Would defense even matter?

Still, the realism of trading for Jackson reached an apex Monday — and if Minnesota wants him, now is the time to strike.

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