When NFL teams make aggressive moves up to the No. 1 pick in the draft, it is often in the hopes of landing a Lamar Jackson-level quarterback. Of course, right now there is a chance for teams to sign Jackson himself, after the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on him. As a result, other teams can make offers to the former MVP, while the Ravens have the option to match, or receive two first-round picks if Jackson signs elsewhere.
After making a trade with the Bears to secure the top pick in the 2023 draft, the Panthers have been very open about their pursuit of a quarterback in that spot. When asked about the possibility of going in a different direction and making an offer to the 26-year-old Jackson, general manager Scott Fitterer gave a telling answer about the team’s mindset.
According to NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe, Fitterer said that the team is focused on using the No. 1 pick on a quarterback, calling Jackson a “great option” but “a really expensive option.”
Carolina has its choice of quarterbacks in the 2023 draft, with Alabama’s Bryce Young, Ohio State’s CJ Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and Kentucky’s Will Levis widely considered the top options.
Jackson, meanwhile, still seeks a long term deal from a team after around two years of negotiations with Baltimore. He would make $32.4 million on the franchise tag for the Ravens in 2023.