Potential Lamar Jackson trade could affect Arizona Cardinals during draft
By Jim Koch
The Arizona Cardinals could lose a potential opening-round trade partner if Lamar Jackson is dealt to a quarterback-needy team.
The NFL Draft is roughly one month away, and there's been a ton of talk about what the Arizona Cardinals are going to do with their first-round pick. Armed with the third-overall selection, Redbirds general manager Monti Ossenfort should be fielding a significant number of offers from teams who need to acquire a franchise quarterback.
On Monday, a bit of news broke that could ultimately affect what the Cards do with their top choice. Lamar Jackson, the star signal-caller from the Baltimore Ravens, wants to play for another team. What in the world, you may ask, does that possible scenario have to do with Arizona?
According to projections, there are three prospects turning professional this year who fit the profile of a blue-chip passer. Moving up to #3-overall following an agreement with the Cardinals would guarantee a club of landing one of the highly-touted trio. Unfortunately, Jackson being dealt to one of those organizations would take a potential trade-partner out of the mix for Ossenfort and company.
The Indianapolis Colts, current owners of the fourth-overall selection, reportedly have some interest in Jackson. That's not a good thing for Cards fans who would love Ossenfort to orchestrate a trade with Indy. A deal with the Colts would allow Arizona to obtain additional draft capital, while also walking away from the opening round with stud edge-rusher Will Anderson Jr.
Several NFL clubs would love to obtain the NFL Draft's third-overall selection from the Arizona Cardinals
Other clubs that could be interested in moving up include the Detroit Lions, Las Vegas Raiders, Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans, Washington Commanders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Striking deals with either the Lions, Raiders or Falcons would allow the Cardinals to remain in the top-eight. The Titans, Commanders and Bucs hold the less-attractive 11th,16th and 19th picks, respectively.
Working in the Cards' favor is the fact that Jackson and his agent are seeking a fully-guaranteed contract. The Cleveland Browns set a bad precedent by handing Deshaun Watson that type of deal, but it doesn't appear that other players are going to be as lucky. Jackson may have to back off of that demand if he hopes to continue his professional career.
Two squads, the Commanders and the Lions, have already taken themselves out of the Jackson sweepstakes. With a little luck, the other prospective suitors will bow out as well. Any hopes that Arizona will cash in by trading back on the opening night of the draft could depend on it.