The Baltimore Ravens and Miami Dolphins continue to be associated with two of the most fascinating stories of the NFL offseason.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio has suggested the Ravens could use the non-exclusive franchise tag to retain the rights to quarterback Lamar Jackson before Jackson signs an offer sheet with the Dolphins.
"Some believe that Jackson would like to return to his hometown of Miami and play for the Dolphins," Florio reported. "Jackson, given the ability of coach Mike McDaniel to draw up game plans that get the most out of the talents of his players, could work very well as a runner and a passer in Miami’s attack."
Florio added that the Dolphins forfeiting a pair of draft picks for violating tampering rules regarding Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Tom Brady and former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton isn't a deal-breaker as it pertains to this potential move.
"If Jackson doesn’t sign an offer sheet with another team before the draft, the Dolphins could sign Jackson to an offer sheet after the draft," Florio noted. "Then, if the Ravens don’t match, Baltimore would get Miami’s first-round picks in 2024 and 2025."
Earlier this week, McDaniel and Dolphins general manager Chris Grier both insisted Tua Tagovailoa will remain the club's starting quarterback through the offseason. Their words did little to silence concerns hovering over Tagovailoa's status considering it's thought he suffered at least two concussions during the 2022 season.
Jackson, meanwhile, is in the final months of his rookie contract and seemingly isn't close to signing the type of fully-guaranteed long-term deal with the Ravens he allegedly wants.
On Wednesday, Jason La Canfora of The Washington Post linked the Most Valuable Player for the 2019 NFL season with the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers. La Canfora also reported that "plugged-in executives" told him the Ravens want to get Jackson "out of the AFC."
It's worth noting that the Dolphins theoretically could pass on Jackson and instead pursue Brady for the second consecutive winter. Miami wanted to pair Brady with Payton for the 2022 season, but it's possible the seven-time Super Bowl champion could be convinced to spend a campaign playing under McDaniel if the Dolphins fear it's only a matter of time before Tagovailoa is sidelined again and, perhaps, for good.
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