Colts owner shares 1 big issue with Lamar Jackson trade
The Indianapolis Colts are viewed by many as the most logical suitor for Lamar Jackson should the Baltimore Ravens trade the star quarterback, but Jim Irsay says there is one big obstacle that could stand in the way of a deal.
Irsay was asked at the NFL owners meetings on Monday about the possibility of Indy acquiring Lamar Jackson, who has gone public with a trade request. The Colts owner bluntly stated that the money is “not an issue,” but he said he is strongly opposed to fully guaranteed contracts.
“For me, for the good of the game, boy, I don’t believe fully guaranteed contracts would be good for our game at all, at all,” Irsay said, via Zak Keefer of The Athletic. “I’ve seen what it’s done to other sports leagues and I just don’t think that it’s a positive. … Our game is great and it’s great for a number of reasons, but I don’t think guaranteed contracts make our game greater, I think it makes it worse.”
The Ravens gave Jackson the non-exclusive franchise tag, which means the former MVP is free to negotiate with other teams. If a team signed him to an offer sheet and the Ravens chose not to match, the new team would also have to send two first-round draft picks to Baltimore. Irsay seemed to hint that he is not anxious to do that, either.
“I mean, the issue is, what’s the right thing to do for the franchise, in terms of what helps us win in the long run?” Irsay said. “I mean, you need more than just a quarterback.”
There have been reports that Jackson wants something comparable to the fully guaranteed $230 million contract the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson. It sounds Irsay is not the only team owner who would be unwilling to hand out that kind of deal.