Are the Atlanta Falcons preparing to sign MVP QB Lamar Jackson?

Oct 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) gets tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) gets tackled by Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports /

Terry Fontenot has made it his mission to clear the books for the Atlanta Falcons ever since he was hired to be the general manager at the beginning of 2021.

It really all started when he traded all-time great Julio Jones in 2021 then he made numerous other moves before he shipped Matt Ryan off to Indianapolis and more recently Deion Jones to Cleveland. They may not have got too much in return, but they cleared up a ton of money.

The question still remains, what will he decide to do with all that money? Could he be lurking in the forest waiting to make a shocking and surprising move to bring Lamar Jackson, the league’s most electric quarterback, to Atlanta?

Are the Atlanta Falcons gearing up to sign Ravens QB Lamar Jackson in the offseason?

Marcus Mariota has not gotten the job done for the Atlanta Falcons and it seems like head coach Arthur Smith doesn’t even have any confidence in him despite continuously starting him every week.

The Falcons have rookie Desmond Ridder sitting on the bench and he is the key to answering this whole question. There is a reason that they haven’t given him a chance to play yet and it could be a simple explanation or a complicated one, no one knows the answer to that except for those inside the organization.

If the Falcons are not convinced by Ridder, then it is a possibility that they might make an aggressive move for Lamar Jackson, who would be perfect for Smith’s offensive system.

However, you also have to expect the Baltimore Ravens to do everything in their power to sign him to a new deal, which could prevent the Falcons from even having a chance, but there is a reason the two sides were not able to come to an agreement prior to the season kicking off. If those negotiations stalled in July or August then they are likely to stall when the talks pick back up.

So, there are basically two factors in all of this, do the Falcons see Desmond Ridder as a franchise quarterback? And will the Ravens and Jackson come to an agreement before any outside team can even pick up the phone?

If the answer to both of those questions is ‘no’ then Terry Fontenot could be going all in on the former Louisville quarterback to bring him a little closer to home. The next big part of this discussion is money, what would the contract numbers look like?

What would it take for the Atlanta Falcons to sign Lamar Jackson in free agency?

This is a complicated question that we don’t have a clear answer to, but needless to say, the Atlanta Falcons would be forking out a lot of money and commitment to Lamar Jackson if they want him.

Spotrac has Jackson’s market value at about six years, $250 million, but honestly, that might be low-balling because that would mean an average annual salary of just under $42 million which would only make him the seventh-highest-paid quarterback in the NFL.

When a quarterback with an MVP to his name and his skillset and talent hits free agency, it doesn’t take an NFL agent to realize that at least one team will be willing to make him an offer that makes him more than the seventh-highest-paid player in the league.

Consider that there were questions about whether the Arizona Cardinals wanted to commit to Kyler Murray and then there was Deshaun Watson who hadn’t (and still hasn’t) played football in two years but the Cleveland Browns still traded a boatload of picks for him — well, both of those players were given $46 million per year.

With all due respect to those players, Lamar Jackson is different. The NFL hasn’t seen a player like Jackson since Michael Vick. Jackson hitting free agency would be the equivalent of Vick hitting free agency in his prime.

This all isn’t to say that it wouldn’t be worth the risk because it might very well be worth paying him a ton of money. He is simply a one-of-a-kind player who fits into what the Falcons want to do on offense perfectly. If he were to bring a trophy to Atlanta then he deserves all the money he can get from the team.

But there would be some hesitation as Lamar has missed a handful of games in the past and the question remains how long his body can hold up considering how he plays the game. It would be a risky move but one that Terry Fontenot could conceivably make.

Just consider that a few months back Terry was one second away from pulling off a giant trade for Deshaun Watson knowing that he would want a new contract at some point, that he hadn’t played football in two years, and that he would be suspended a significant amount of games.

It shows he is willing to pull off the risky move for a top QB and while he likely would not have signed Watson to the contract he was given by the Browns due to his baggage and uncertainty, he might be willing to give that money to a player who is a much more safe wager than Watson.

All of the offloading Terry Fontenot has done over his two years might be in an effort to bring in Lamar Jackson, we will just have to wait and see what happens.

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