Lamar Jackson Poison pill

If we want Lamar Jackson we can put in a poison pill. What would that look like?

[edit: there is some discussion in the comments that the poison pill clause for the TRANSITION TAG may have been done away with. It isn’t clear to me if that applies to non exclusive franchise tag. It appears in 2011 there was language that prohibits a "poison pill" but even so I think there is still away around that. I think if the same language exists and it applies to the non exclusive franchise tag, I think there is still a way around that, and I don’t think the same language does apply to non-exclusive tag]

one idea would be requiring the team that signs Lamar to have a WR getting paid equal to a franchise tag WR by the 2nd or 3rd year of the contract or else Lamar’s contract becomes void and he becomes a free agent before the 2nd year starts (and if we really want to "poison" the deal, the remainder of Lamar’s 5 year deal is paid out all in 2024 or 2025 or something.). Jefferson would have to be extended early with a big payments due 2023 or 2024 instead of keeping him through 2024 or 5th year option 2025. That’s a smart idea anyways. And for the Ravens to match they’d have to pull off a blockbuster trade. They may want to do that anyways if they keep Lamar long term but it severely limits their options, loses any trade leverage they may have because of the conditions and might be a risk they’re unwilling to take.

[note: my initial post suggested signing Jefferson before this deal but that may be considered an illegal poison pill… the LEGAL poison pill only requires that the offer applies to both teams the same at the time of the signing. I would imagine this deal would be in dispute and Ravens would fight it but I think they wouldn’t win. They could have given him $8M more in the exclusive franchise tag and didn’t, that’s on them. AND unlike transition tag, they’re compensated 2 1st rounders.]

exact details would have to be more than Jefferson is making now with the assumption we would give him a raise AFTER extending Lamar. This way the deal would not apply unequally to either team and not be a "poison pill" according to the terms. Neither is nor the Ravens have a WR making an amount say equal to or greater than the franchise tag in 2024, but if the two teams, we have a much easier path as we could just extend Jefferson early OR find a franchise tag caliber WR. The Ravens would have to either overpay someone or acquire one in trade or free agency. This isn’t impossible it seems every year or two one or more blockbuster trade for a WR (Adams, Hill, AJ Brown, Antonio Brown) happens so I don’t think it’s guarenteed we’d get Lamar and I also don’t think it’s guarenteed we’d avoid poison pilling ourselves. JJ could play hardball and wait it out even if we agreed in principal to an agreement ahead of time.]

it’d only cost us 2 late first rounders which is equal to a late first and late 2nd this year. After this point we could consider trading Cousins and while we wouldn’t have much trade leverage having 2QBs on a roster the Jets could leverage us to pressure the Packers to take significantly less. At which point there’s still teams out there that need a QB that thought they could get Lamar.

As a playoff team the price of 2 1sts is more viable since we aren’t picking too 10 at which point it’d be a bad idea.

[Another loophole exists, we could try to trade Kirk before the draft and try to postpone this deal until after the draft. As a result we’d add 2023 and 2024 assets from Kirk, and we’d only give up 2024 and 2025 1sts to acquire Lamar. That would be a risky way to do it but so would rostering 2 QBs. The most prudent decision would be to hold firm with Kirk but let Lamar know we want him and if Lamar’s situation remains unresolved after the draft we go get him and if we can’t trade Kirk and end up with both QBs there are worse things. And if an injury occurs in the NFL before the trade deadline, or a QB struggles but a team is winning in spite of the QB, we still might collect some compensation back.]

If we’re clever we take the ball away from the packers and find a way to just trade Cousins to the jets now contingent upon us pulling off this deal and the Packers are left holding Rodgers and Love with no compensation. If we do it right we may get a mid first and move up in this years draft, and we may be able to move back down far enough to get a 1st next year and still upgrade to Jackson… but that would be difficult to do and the compensation would likely have to be less than Jackson AND most likely we would just end up allowing Jets to negotiate a better price for Rodgers. Still good for us to leach some value from the Packers.


for those of you who are likely to say something like "if you thought Kirk was expensive wait until you see Jackson’s price tag"

don’t compare apples to oranges and tell me it’s pears.

-Lamar is a huge upgrade. Even if you doubt that is true after Kirk’s great year is it true in 2028 at the tail end of Lamar Jackson’s contract when Kirk will be 40 years old? Of course. You have to compare the right things. Kirk is about to leave next year for nothing anyways so why not try to get something for him as we pull off this deal while C-blocking the packers.

different situation. When we signed Kirk we were a team with a great defense desperate for a Super Bowl with little csp and a lot of big names coming due for contracts and rather than continue growing until the cap got underneath us a bit better after the Bradford trade put us behind the 8ball in terms of cap room, we doubled down. Kirk had a fairly team friendly deal last year and his recent deal spread out the cap hit and even still we have tons of room in 2024 and 2025. Additionally, Lamar doesn’t have to have pressure on him Year 1 like Kirk did but merely has to be our face of the franchise as we build some youth around him on defense. Where 2017 we were trying to extend a run with a lot of players mid age and older, we now are cleaning up some older players and trying to get younger. We mostly have the OL and will have the tools to support the QB by building a defense in the coming few years with a new DC who can mold the team his way and a new head coach, and we even brought in his former teammate.

-the cap is more of a myth than it was. Void years are a game changer because the player gets guarenteed money up front but it doesn’t count against the cap until later. With the cap rising 12% per year this allows inflation to allow kicking the can to be a net bennefit vs the alternative. Combine it with wisely trading players for cap space to push the value on our roster forward and fit more names, trading those names or those they replace (or names traded a year before they were going to be replaced) and trade FOR players in season or before the season if the player is premium and young enough. Deferring cap room on its own doesn’t solve things as you also need a way to add more talent than you lose or get enough talent together at the same time to win a Super Bowl, but it can provide you more cap room to fit more people now and the money you defer will cost less inflation adjusted (be easier to pay) than if you took the cap hit today. We have enough talent on our team that having too much cap room would become a problem and make it difficult to add talent but so would too little if we couldn’t trade a player away. Value still matters but cap deferral is a good strategy for anyone who understands economics.

-Kirk was signed when we were a "QB a way" not to be Brady or have improvisational skills of Mahomes or triple threat like Lamar or even go out and win games just to be an upgrade from Keenum and if the defense was as good as it was in 2017 we had a chance. It became clear soon after that the defense wasn’t going to be as good and that Kirk also needed more help on OL as he wasn’t good off script and evasive like Keenum despite being far superior as a passer with a clean pocket. Rather than say "okay we were a QB away we aren’t now, we let Kirk’s contract prevent us from getting all of the tools at the same time to win a superbowl. Then covid hit and we traded Diggs to try to recover. Riverboat gambler Speilman didn’t hit his inside straight with either Bradford staying healthy in 2017 or Zimmer working his magic without the same tools he’d been given in the past. So he began to bluff ownership. Kirk is the guy we just need to get the tools around him. We have the tools now we just need the defense. And he damn near kept bluffing until we had the tools to build around Kirk after acquiring Jefferson. Kirk is a reason behind Jefferson and Osborne and if we go on to succeed without him he will forever be part of our story

I’m thinking 5 year deal 2 void years and that will make his deal team friendly relatively speaking as the cap hit can escalate as the cap numbers increase and the 2 void years gives Lamar more up front without hitting the cap until 2029 and 2030.

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