NFLTR Review: The Top Contenders If The Ravens Trade Lamar Jackson

The single biggest NFL storyline this offseason is what will happen between the Ravens and Lamar Jackson. In this issue:

  • Why the trade talk won’t go away
  • What a deal could fetch for the Ravens
  • More than half the league will be interested, but five teams stand out above the pack

Around The Trade Block: Lamar Jackson

This is probably not the first trade article about Ravens QB Lamar Jackson you’ve read this offseason. The future of the 2019 MVP is a hot topic this year, and for good reason. Ordinarily talking about a player of Jackson’s caliber playing anywhere besides Baltimore, the team that drafted him, would be far-fetched at best and pointless pot-stirring at worst. And to be clear, we’re not saying there’s a high chance Jackson is dealt. But it does appear to be a very real possibility

Where Things Stand

Here’s the situation. Jackson has been eligible for a new deal since the 2021 offseason but has played out the remaining two years of his rookie deal without one. Jackson and the team haven’t publicly discussed what’s holding the deal up, but reports for a while have indicated it’s guaranteed money, with Jackson seeking 100 percent guarantees and the Ravens unwilling to set that precedent. Team sources from Baltimore in the ESPN article linked above have confirmed that. 

Jackson wouldn’t be the first quarterback to get a fully-guaranteed deal, as Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and Browns QB Deshaun Watson secured that commitment from their current teams. The NFL has largely been successful in labeling those deals as outliers, however, and neither sparked a trend with quarterback contracts. The Ravens don’t want to be the team that changes that. There’s some principle behind it, but it doesn’t help that Jackson has ended the past two seasons hurt, even though his absence has shown just how reliant the Ravens are on his ability. 

Now that Jackson’s rookie deal is over, the only way the Ravens can keep him without a contract extension is the franchise tag. Baltimore can place either the exclusive tender or the non-exclusive tender on Jackson by March 7 and retain his services for one year. The non-exclusive tag would be $32.4 million. Another team could sign Jackson to an offer sheet on the tender and the Ravens would have the option to match. If they declined, they would get two first-round picks back. The exclusive tag will be calculated later this offseason and will be the average of the top five salaries at quarterback. The most common projection is $45 million, all of which will count on Baltimore’s cap in 2023. But they retain sole negotiation rights with Jackson. 

The Ravens will place the tag on Jackson. It’s just a question of which tag they will use, and this will be a major clue to their plans. Should the Ravens use the non-exclusive tender, it would show they’ve seriously grappled and come to terms with the possibility of not having Jackson. Teams can’t “poison pill” contracts like they used to with offer sheets — this story on the drama between the Seahawks and Vikings over the poison-pilled offer to G Steve Hutchinson explains why if you’re curious — but the Ravens would be yielding control over the terms of the deal and lose any ability to structure it in a way that suits them.

It would also hurt the Ravens’ leverage in trade talks by setting the market for Jackson at only two first-round picks. Star quarterbacks have gone for much more than that recently, even accounting for the contract. While not likely, it’s also possible a team could wait until after the draft to sign Jackson to an offer sheet, meaning those picks would come in 2024 and 2025 and not be of nearly as much help to addressing what would become a gaping hole at quarterback in 2023. 

However, if the Ravens are at their wit’s end in talks with Jackson, letting another team negotiate could be the spark that gets a deal done. If another team is willing to fully guarantee a contract, matching the offer could give the Ravens a backdoor to break precedent without really breaking it. And if Jackson doesn’t get full guarantees from another team, he could become more amenable to the offers the Ravens have on the table. Players are entitled to ask for what they feel they’re worth but sometimes the market is what it is. 

If the exclusive tag lands at $45 million, it would eat up 20 percent of the Ravens’ cap space in 2023 and would rank as the fourth-highest single cap hit in the entire league, perhaps even higher if other teams restructure those deals. It’s a steep price but it ensures the Ravens remain in control of the process, whether it’s a trade or extension. It’s what the Cowboys did with QB Dak Prescott, as he played on the tag in 2020 before being injured and signing an extension the following offseason. 

A trade would still be possible under the exclusive tag but it would be easier to do it before the start of the league year so a new team could have an easier time adjusting Jackson’s cap hit. Baltimore can also better maximize their leverage this way and get closer to the blockbuster package we’ve seen in other quarterback deals. They could also let Jackson play out the 2023 season on the tag, like Dallas did with Prescott. 

The challenge there is the Ravens have a lot of other holes that will be hard to address with Jackson’s contract sucking up so much of their budget. And if both sides remain resolute, they’ll be back in a similar spot next offseason, only with a tag that’s even more expensive at 120 percent of whatever number they decide. If it’s the exclusive tag, Jackson could be making $54 million in 2024. A third tag is 144 percent of that number, and that’s too cost-prohibitive to realistically consider as an option. In that scenario, Jackson would have a clear path to unrestricted free agency and the Ravens would get nothing except for a third-round compensatory pick. 

We’ve seen teams decide to maximize the trade return for players when they’ve established they won’t meet their contract demands. Think the Titans and WR A.J. Brown last year, or the Chiefs and WR Tyreek Hill. You can even go back to the 49ers and DT DeForest Buckner. There are plenty of examples. And if the Ravens are seriously considering dropping 20 percent of their budget on Jackson in 2023, they might as well make the decision this offseason. 

Pay Jackson or trade him.

While a trade would leave the Ravens with an enormous hole at quarterback, if they don’t see a way to bridge the gap in contract talks, it’s better to do this sooner rather than later. Their leverage will not improve with time as Jackson continues to shoulder the risk of playing without a long-term deal and moves closer to possible free agency in 2025. 

Trade Destinations

While Jackson doesn’t have a no-trade clause, the necessity for him to either sign the tag or negotiate a deal with a new team functionally works the same. So he’d have a major say in where he ends up. The contract offer from a new team would be important, as would the trade package coming back to the Ravens. Three first-round picks is not unrealistic based on what Watson fetched for the Texans, though teams might be able to talk the Ravens into accepting a starting-caliber player or a package of Day 2 picks in lieu of a third first. In a dream situation, the Ravens would get him out of the AFC but that’s probably more of a tiebreaker than a prime consideration. 

Given Jackson is a top-10 quarterback, there are 20 or so teams who should have interest. Not all of them will be serious contenders, however. Here are the possibilities worth mentioning, grouped into buckets and sorted alphabetically: 

The Long Shots

49ers: Their quarterback position is still not stable despite the investments. However, the price for Jackson will be prohibitive. 

Bears: Picks, cap space and an intriguing QB alternative to offer Baltimore. I suspect Jackson wouldn’t be enthused about this landing spot compared to other options he’ll have, however. 

Broncos: Jackson is an upgrade over Russell Wilson long-term but Denver has shot their shot here and doesn’t have the picks or money to make this work. 

Cardinals: Other league execs might take Jackson over Kyler Murray because there are fewer makeup questions about him right now. From Baltimore’s perspective, Murray’s deal is already negotiated and he offers a similar, albeit notably different, skillset. This is too much of a Madden trade, though, even for as wild as the NFL has gotten. The current Cardinals regime is clearly behind Murray. 

Giants: Jackson would represent an upgrade over incumbent Daniel Jones as a bonafide franchise quarterback with zero questions left to answer (outside of the talkshow fodder). It would cost a lot, however, and the rebuilding Giants might not be in a position to give up what it would take. Jones is an interesting chip to dangle given his rushing ability but why would the Ravens give up one contract headache for another? 

Packers: Is Jackson better than Jordan Love? Yes. Would the Packers think the difference is big enough to sort out all the implications paying Aaron Rodgers and then Jackson in back-to-back offseasons would cause? Probably not. 

Patriots: The upgrade potential is undeniable but big blockbusters have never been HC Bill Belichick’s style. 

Rams: They need a long-term successor to Matthew Stafford but I doubt they have the cap flexibility to pull it off. And they don’t have any 2023 picks to tempt the Ravens with. 

Seahawks: Even if the Seahawks have to give Geno Smith a huge raise, he’ll still be far cheaper than Jackson. And Seattle is a team that values getting surplus value out of a QB contract. So while they have the picks and Jackson would be an upgrade, it’s probably not happening. 

Vikings: For the Vikings to make this work, it would have to involve a swap involving QB Kirk Cousins. It would help them make the puzzle work with draft compensation and financials. How interested are the Ravens in Cousins? That would likely dictate the chances of any deal getting done here. 

The Dark Horses


Jackson will likely be as circumspect about what he wants in a new team as he has been about providing details regarding negotiations. But given he has roots in Miami and spends a decent amount of time there in the offseason, it’s probably fair to guess the Dolphins would be high on Jackson’s list if they involved themselves in talks. It doesn’t hurt that they have a strong group of skill players on offense and a highly-regarded coach in HC Mike McDaniel

There would be more challenges on Miami’s end. After accumulating a significant number of first round draft picks, the Dolphins have relinquished all of those in one form or another, whether it was a midseason trade for OLB Bradley Chubb or being docked by the league for tampering with Tom Brady. They don’t have a first-round pick in 2023 as things stand now. 

The reason for that — and the other major part of the puzzle — is that the Dolphins seemed to finally be on board with QB Tua Tagovailoa. He had an incendiary start to the season and looked like a slam dunk to be extended. Repeated concussions have injected uncertainty into Tagovailoa’s outlook yet again, however. 

All indications so far have been that the Dolphins are comfortable going into this season with Tagovailoa as the starter. Would they rethink that if Jackson became available and expressed interest in coming to Miami? Could the Dolphins put together a compelling enough package for the Ravens to trade Jackson inside the AFC, and would that involve Tagovailoa? That’s a lot of moving parts but it’s not impossible to see something coming together here. 


The ingredients are there for Detroit to be major players in the market for Jackson. They’re flush with picks, with two firsts and two seconds this year. They look like a team on the rise with a great offensive line, young talent at the skill positions and a coaching staff that has the trust and buy-in of the players. And while current starting QB Jared Goff improved greatly in 2022, Jackson is just a cut above. 

What stops me from putting the Lions in the next category is uncertainty about how interested Jackson would be in going to Detroit, even with all the reasons laid out above. It’s a cold-weather city even though the team plays in a dome, and there might be more pull to the East Coast for Jackson. Though the Lions are still seen as a team on the rise, there’s a gap in how their organization is seen compared to others. 

It’s also possible the Lions will prefer to be more measured with their assets rather than taking a big swing on Jackson. As we saw this past season, those moves aren’t guaranteed to work out. Dropping a bushel of picks and money on Jackson would hurt the Lions’ ability to rebuild their defense. Even if they don’t want to build around Goff, if they hit on a rookie quarterback, there’s a lot of upside in building around the window afforded by a cheap rookie deal as opposed to what it will take to bring in Jackson. 


Las Vegas has a need at quarterback and a top-ten selection, so they have to be in the discussion. Like the Lions, they also have a lot of talent on offense to build around, so Jackson wouldn’t be walking into an empty cupboard. 

However, like the Lions the Raiders are also in the middle of a rebuilding project that’s still in progress, especially on the defensive end. They’re not as flush with picks as Detroit, either. While the idea of adding a star like Jackson has to be compelling, there’s also an argument to be more disciplined and to build sustainably. 

But if the team is really going to look into trading for Rodgers as some reports suggest, Jackson makes far more sense as a target even if he’ll be more expensive. 


New Orleans was in the Watson sweepstakes last year so I would expect them to be in the mix for Jackson too if he were to come available. They will have challenges to overcome, however. Their salary cap situation gets a lot of coverage, and while they don’t have a ton of flexibility I think they’d be highly motivated to work something out to bring Jackson into the fold. 

The bigger issue is their pick situation. The Saints’ own first-round pick, No. 10 overall, belongs to the Eagles and the Saints own the 49ers’ pick at No. 29 via a trade with the Broncos. They’ll be working at a disadvantage compared to what some other teams will be able to offer. 

From Jackson’s perspective, it’s not clear how attractive the Saints will be. They’re not devoid of talent on offense but there are definitely some holes. Payton’s not coaching the squad anymore and HC Dennis Allen might be on the hot seat with another losing season. A team as aggressive as the Saints can never be ruled out but it just feels like they’d have an uphill battle to close a deal. 

The Contenders


Spoiler: the entire NFC South will be highly interested in acquiring Jackson if the Ravens decide to trade him. What sets Tampa Bay apart is they’re the only team in Florida that will be interested, barring a change of heart from the Dolphins as discussed earlier. 

The Bucs can also offer Jackson an excellent receiving corps with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and an offensive line that has some holes to patch but is still closer to being a strength than a weakness. Though last year was a disappointment, Tampa Bay has still made the playoffs three straight seasons and the addition of Jackson would make them the heavy favorites in the NFC South again. 

One challenge will be sorting out the financial side. Brady is still on the books for the Buccaneers at $35 million in dead money for the 2023 season. Adding a record deal for Jackson on top of that would take some creative bookkeeping, and also mean breaking a significant contractual precedent for the Buccaneers when it comes to guarantees. That’s notable, although the organization’s willingness to be aggressive for Brady makes me think they’d make an exception for Jackson. 

Draft compensation is sort of a two-edged sword here. Tampa Bay owns all their premium picks but this year they fall lower in the round at No. 19 overall. That’s not as high as the Ravens would probably like to secure a successor for Jackson. From the Bucs’ side, they got old and expensive while trying to maximize the window with Brady over the past few seasons and were looking at hitting the reset button. Trading a massive package of picks for Jackson will impact their ability to retool other areas of the roster like the secondary and offensive line. 

At the end of the day, I see Tampa Bay being willing to risk it to lock up a talent like Jackson. 


Washington has downplayed its need for a quarterback this offseason and talked up last year’s fifth-round pick, QB Sam Howell. My hunch is the best available alternatives being Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo has something to do with that. But you have to think if someone like Jackson became available, that would change the equation. 

Washington’s first-round pick is at No. 16 overall but they have their full complement of premium picks more or less and have shown an interest in making a blockbuster move in the past. This is a critical year for HC Ron Rivera and new OC Eric Bieniemy. They have a lot to prove and new ownership could be in place by 2024, which jeopardizes their job security even more. If they have a chance at Jackson, it’s a no-brainer to go after him. 

From Jackson’s perspective, there could be a lot about the team that’s appealing. He might not even have to move depending on where he’s living now, and at minimum won’t have to go far. The Commanders have a lot of skill position talent and Bieniemy is a major get for them to call plays. I’m not sure how much Jackson pays attention to news reports about owner Dan Snyder but he’s on the way out anyway. 

The catch is that it does seem like some of Washington’s quarterback plans are being impacted by a desire from Snyder to cut as few checks as possible on the way out. So if that’s the case, handing over the most guaranteed money in NFL history is not something Snyder would be interested in doing. 

If that’s not an obstacle, though, there are a lot of reasons for Washington to be one of the top competitors for Jackson if he comes free. 


If there’s a leader in any hypothetical Jackson trade scenarios, it would probably be the Falcons. They check a lot of boxes when it comes to figuring out a suitable trade partner. Atlanta was deep in the running for Watson last offseason and looked like the favorite before the Browns came back with their fully guaranteed offer. I don’t think the Falcons would have misgivings about giving Jackson those kinds of guarantees in order to ensure they don’t miss out again, and last year showed they’re willing to be aggressive. 

Jackson would be a tremendous fit with the Falcons, who have a lot of young talent on offense to build around and a creative play-caller in HC Arthur Smith. The team is flush with cap space right now, enough to bring in Jackson and still probably continue to add talent, which they need to do on defense. A core of Jackson, TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London is quite promising. 

Getting Jackson into the NFC South might be the best-case scenario for the Ravens in a trade, especially because two of the teams can offer top-10 draft picks. Atlanta’s selection is No. 8 overall and would put the Ravens in striking distance of a successor at quarterback. 


There are a lot of teams that need quarterbacks this offseason. None smell quite as desperate as the Jets, which is why they’d be all over a potential Jackson trade. Right now the team is contemplating options like Rodgers and Carr but Jackson would immediately become the No. 1 quarterback available. It would likely help that Jets GM Joe Douglas worked as a scout for the Ravens for 14 years, though he was on to other opportunities by the time the team was evaluating Jackson. 

Jets owner Woody Johnson has signaled that price won’t be an obstacle to the team landing a quarterback he thinks can get them to a Super Bowl this offseason. So whatever the market for Jackson ends up being in both contract and trade compensation, the Jets figure to be competitive. Their first-round pick is at No. 13 which is close enough for the Ravens to work with, especially if they’re able to squeeze more out of New York to trade Jackson within the AFC. 

A big part of it will come down to what Jackson thinks about playing in New York, which is hard to say. He’s one of the game’s biggest stars but has always been more focused on his work on the field than business opportunities, so far. In terms of the situation he’d be walking into, the Jets have a lot of potential on offense with the young skill position talent they’ve amassed. They just fired OC Mike LaFleur and replaced him with former Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett, however, and the general sense is that the coaching staff could be in trouble if they don’t meet the owner’s expectations this season. 

Last offseason, the Jets came close but ultimately couldn’t quite close the deal on a blockbuster trade for Hill, losing out to the Dolphins who were Hill’s reported preference. I suspect things would play out similarly if they had the chance to make a run at Jackson. 


Carolina’s been in the quarterback market for several seasons now and have taken their share of swings at some of the top names that have come available, including Stafford and Watson. They’ve come up short. Stafford preferred Los Angeles to Carolina and owner Dave Tepper wasn’t willing to fully guarantee the deal for Watson. 

But the Panthers’ involvement in the big-game hunting this offseason shows they’ll be in the mix if Jackson shakes loose. Unlike before, the Panthers look like a far more attractive prospective landing spot for a quarterback like Jackson. They have a respected new head coach in Frank Reich who has assembled a crack team of coaches on his staff so far. There’s talent to work with on offense, including an ascending offensive line and a No. 1 receiver in D.J. Moore. And the defense has been a borderline top-ten unit the past two seasons. 

Currently slated to pick No. 9 in April, there’s a good chance the Panthers would need to trade up if they elect to look for a quarterback solution in the draft. So if they’re going to invest multiple picks in a quarterback anyway, it makes sense to do it for a proven commodity. It helps that they picked up a little bit of extra capital in the Christian McCaffrey trade. 

As for the salary, Tepper has a reputation as an owner who’s willing to pay big to get what he wants, as Carolina’s coaching hires have shown. It’s a little more complicated than that, however, as he’s also been value-conscious at other times, aware of his reputation and determined not to let it be leveraged against him. Would he be on board with guaranteeing Jackson’s deal with his injury history? To land a surefire franchise quarterback, I think he would. 

This Week In Football

  • This week was oddly quiet as we seemed to hit a lull between the Super Bowl and the start of the Scouting Combine next week. The big news was the resolution of the coaching cycle as teams put the finishing touches on their staff before the offseason really kicks into gear. 
    • The Cardinals landed on both coordinators for new HC Jonathan Gannon — former Browns QB coach Drew Petzing on offense and former Eagles LB coach Nick Rallis on defense. The two are young, 35 for Petzing and 29 for Rallis. That’s a big theme so far as Gannon has filled out his staff. There’s a lot of youth and not a lot of NFL coaching experience. We’ll see how it plays out. 
    • Arizona’s decision to let DC Vance Joseph out of his contract enabled him to land with the Broncos as their new defensive coordinator, which is a terrific hire. Joseph runs a similar attacking defense that ESPN analyst and former NFL coach Rex Ryan would have employed if he had been hired, and there were reports that tabbed him as the guy to beat. But Joseph has actually, yanno, coached in the NFL more recently than 2016, so this is a much easier hire to get behind for Denver. 
    • Elsewhere, the Chargers made an interesting move that you don’t see often, allowing DC Renaldo Hill out of his contract to take a position coach job with the Dolphins and replacing him with former secondary coach Derrick Ansley. Hill is reuniting with former boss and Dolphins DC Vic Fangio, so there is a connection, but you don’t see teams let coaches out of their contract that they want to keep. This means Chargers HC Brandon Staley has now replaced both coordinators this offseason. 
    • The Panthers continue to get high marks for their coaching hires this offseason. The latest coup was to snag Rams TE coach Thomas Brown as their new offensive coordinator. Brown is highly regarded and has already drawn a couple of interviews for head coaching gigs. The Panthers staff is loaded with these kinds of guys, including DC Ejiro Evero, QB coach Josh McCown and RB coach Duce Staley. That says nothing of veteran coaches like Jim Caldwell and Dom Capers who have years of head coaching experience already under their belt. New HC Frank Reich already has a low-key coaching tree and he’s in position to add to it in the next few seasons. 
  • This is usually the time of year when teams start making salary-related moves and we’ve already seen a few. The Rams will be releasing veteran LB Bobby Wagner in what ESPN’s Adam Schefter interestingly characterized a “mutual” decision. Los Angeles will save a few million with the move, and while Wagner was arguably their best defensive player, it makes sense to not commit more to a 33-year-old linebacker. Their motivation is obvious. But Schefter mentioned Wagner wants to win, which implies he might not think the Rams are the best place to do that in 2023. They face an interesting reset this season, even if HC Sean McVay decided not to retire. 
  • The Titans had a reckoning that was going to come due with their roster and it came due this week. They cut a number of notable veteran players, including LT Taylor Lewan, WR Robert Woods, LB Zach Cunningham and K Randy Bullock. None of these were unexpected, as all of them were older veterans with injury histories and/or extensive cap savings. There could be more to come as well. It’s all a part of the inevitable roster reset the Titans are undertaking this offseason. The moves wiped out a significant cap deficit for the Titans, taking them from nearly $30 million in the red to $12 million in current space. 
  • Despite the NFL salary cap making a huge leap forward, more than half the league is in the red or flirting with it as the impacts of the pandemic and the revenue loss are still felt. The Packers are one of the teams with a lot of work to do and they accomplished a feat by creating nearly $12 million in cap space without having to cut a player. They both restructured RB Aaron Jones’ deal, pushing more money into the future, and talked him into taking a not-insignificant pay cut to be able to stay in Green Bay. Free agency is not usually kind to running backs, especially as they get closer to 30, so Jones’ rationale makes a lot of sense. Dallas will likely approach RB Ezekiel Elliott with a similar rationale. The catch is Elliott didn’t play nearly as well as Jones and likely will have to cut his pay by even more to avoid having to look for a new team in March. 
  • The season is over yet the 49ers still can’t seemingly catch a break at quarterback. Originally scheduled for surgery this past week, QB Brock Purdy had his procedure postponed as his doctor wants to wait for the inflammation in his injured elbow to come down. In the long run, this will be better for Purdy. But it complicates the picture even more in 2023, as it slows down his timeline to return further. It’s still even possible his UCL ligament could need the full reconstruction instead of just the repair that has a six month recovery timeline. As it stood, 49ers QB Trey Lance was going to get the entire spring and summer to make his case. It’s looking more and more like he’ll have a major chunk of training camp to try and reclaim the starting job as well.  
  • Former Raiders QB Derek Carr continued his free agent tour, taking in all that the Jets had to offer last weekend. Both sides came out of it with a lot of nice things to say about each, but both sides are also keeping their options open for the time being. The Jets want to see what will happen with Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, and if he requests a trade he seems to be Plan A for New York. Carr meanwhile should still have a number of potential options and can afford to take his time for a couple of weeks. The only real deadline is the start of free agency when there will be a lot more competition in terms of available quarterbacks and things will have to start moving more quickly by necessity. He should have a new home by then, however. 
  • The Jets’ crosstown rivals were making quarterback headlines of their own last week. Giants QB Daniel Jones seemed to answer a lot of questions this past season, and the team has been nothing but positive about his standing as the quarterback of the future in New York. All indications are the Giants wanted Jones back on a long-term deal, albeit at a reasonable price. It seemed like the conflict was over, until Jones changed agents. That’s always a signal that a player is dissatisfied with how talks are going, and it’s not because Jones wants less money to stay. He’s not happy with the numbers on the table. There are conflicting reports and it’s not clear how much exactly Jones wants. Most of the discussion before had been in the $35-$38 million range. One report said Jones might want more than $45 million a year, which would be a huge gap. The end result is probably the franchise tag, which is not ideal for either side. It doesn’t provide long-term security for Jones and it takes up a huge portion of the Giants’ available cap space in 2023. 

Nickels & Dimes

Quick-hit thoughts and observations from around the NFL…

In case you missed this gem during the week of the Super Bowl, here’s Wright Thompson, one of the top sportswriters alive right now, writing on former 49ers QB Joe Montana, the former “GOAT” before Brady dethroned him, and how one handles losing the title of the best to ever do it. It’s a fascinating subject and incredible writing…

More great sportswriting: the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue has a piece on McVay and the collapse of the 2022 Rams that is fascinating on a number of levels. There are a lot of nuggets about the Rams packed into the piece, including how the players gravitated to DC Raheem Morris amidst a rough season, Los Angeles’ unfulfilled promises to WR Allen Robinson and the ways in which the team will have to tweak its philosophy going forward…

But the most interesting bits are about McVay, and we get to hear a lot from McVay himself which is highly unusual for this kind of piece. Writers will often have to write around their main subjects not talking to them, it’s actually a famous structure going back to a profile on Frank Sinatra. But McVay is honest and open in a way that I don’t think we’ve ever seen from an NFL coach. Can you imagine Belichick ever giving this kind of window into his psychology? 

I think we need to start bracing for Hardman to get $12 million a year. That speed is going to be valued by teams, and given the way the receiver market has exploded, that’s actually not far off from No. 3 receiver money…

Speaking of which, if Patriots WR Jakobi Meyers gets anything less than $16 million a year in free agency, I will be shocked…

This is an invaluable resource as we get closer to the draft in April. Running back is a position Zierlein has had a ton of success with in the past, too, so that’s worth paying attention to…

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