The Falcons may want to build the roster up first
Another important factor in trading for Lamar Jackson along with his injury history and contract demands is the draft capital required. Now that the non-exclusive franchise tag has been applied to Jackson, any team can trade for him if the Ravens don’t match their offer, which would see a potential destination team trade two first-round picks for the star quarterback. Two first-round picks for a player of his caliber may seem like a bargain to many but still too much for some, like Terry Fontenot.
In this case, Terry Fontenot may deem two first-round picks too much for Lamar Jackson. Even though Jackson would fit like a glove in Arthur Smith’s run-heavy scheme, Fontenot may think that the draft capital needed to pull a deal off is still too much as he and Smith may think that the Falcons are not a quarterback away from competing.
The Falcons may simply want to build the roster up first (i.e. creating a solid base in the trenches and surrounding areas) as that would only benefit whoever is under center. If the roster is solid in most areas, hypothetically most quarterbacks could come in and do a decent job. However, despite improvement over the past two seasons, the Falcons’ roster still has several holes which could be addressed this offseason. To build the roster up to his liking, Fontenot may want to keep hold of a large amount of cap space available and draft picks.
Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot may very well be admirers of Jackson as he would be an ideal fit at quarterback, but they also may not want to compromise the cap situation as well as future draft picks. If the Falcons are successful this season, Fontenot and Smith will look like geniuses. On the other hand, if the season goes off of the rails, the decision to not trade for Jackson will be heavily scrutinized. The decision to reportedly not trade for Jackson will certainly be looked at down the road, whether or not the Falcons are successful in seasons to come.