Vikings emerge as darkhorse candidates to sign Lamar Jackson
Though the Minnesota Vikings seemed to have committed to quarterback Kirk Cousins for the 2023 season when they restructured his contract earlier in the offseason, new reports are indicating that the team may be in the running to sign Lamar Jackson if they can make the finances work.
Cousins has served the Vikings well in his five years with the team but hasn’t found much success in the postseason, leaving some to question if they should stick with him for another year. Though he is functionally un-cuttable after his most recent restructure, Cousins’ job certainly wouldn’t be considered safe if Minnesota were to pursue Jackson, who has arguably accomplished more in his five years as a professional than the older Cousins has in 11.
Jackson would give the Vikings’ offense a league-altering advantage on the ground if he were to be paired with Dalvin Cook and would have the benefit of Justin Jefferson to throw to on passing plays. Minnesota’s offense certainly has more talent on paper than the Baltimore Ravens, who hold the right of first refusal to any offer sheet Jackson may receive. Still, it remains unlikely that the former MVP signal caller will land anywhere outside of the Charm City in 2023.
The most realistic scenario where either of these quarterbacks would change teams would be in a sign-and-trade agreement where Minnesota would ship Cousins and an immense number of other assets to Baltimore in exchange for Jackson after he signed the Vikings’ offer sheet with the Ravens. Surely, Baltimore won’t be willing to let Jackson walk without significant compensation, even if he has effectively made it known that he no longer wishes to play for the Ravens on anything but a market-setting contract.
For now, though, Jackson is stuck in limbo and Minnesota’s chances of signing him remain razor-thin. All of the hypothetical “what ifs” that analysts and pundits can create surrounding Jackson’s potential future outside of Baltimore don’t ultimately mean much if his suitors don’t have the cap room or assets to make a move on his services in the first place.