What a Lamar Jackson-49ers trade would look like, according to ESPN

What a Lamar Jackson-49ers trade would look like, according to ESPN
What a Lamar Jackson-49ers trade would look like, according to ESPN

The 49ers are unlikely to make a choice for a superstar quarterback this offseason, but certainly not impossible.

If they were to take a step, who would they pursue? Tom Brady seems set on retiring and Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is reportedly meeting the New York Jets. Would Baltimore Ravens dual-threat quarterback Lamar Jackson make sense?

Jackson officially received the non-exclusive franchise tag from the Ravens on Monday. That means any team can sign Jackson on an offer sheet, which then gives Baltimore five days to match the offer. If the Ravens were to decline, then the team that signs Jackson would have to relinquish the 2023 and 2024 first-round picks to Baltimore. This is where it gets tough for the 49ers, who don’t have a first-round pick in 2023 after trading to select Trey Lance with the No. 3 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

However, Baltimore is in a position to forego both first-round compensation and negotiate a different package for Jackson if they wish, which would give the 49ers a fighting chance.

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has ranked the teams he thinks are the best fit for Jackson, with the 49ers at No. 15 on the list. Jackson would certainly provide the 49ers with an upgrade at the position and San Francisco’s plethora of offensive weaponry would give the former league MVP an elite arsenal.

“When Coach Kyle Shanahan traded for Trey Lance’s 2021 first-round draft, he was choosing a player who could fit into the most diverse set of playmakers in the league,” Barnwell writes. “Every fullback and receiver the 49ers regularly use on offense is capable of lining up anywhere before the snap and touching the ball as a rusher or pass catcher afterwards. It is a hybrid offence.”

“The 49ers are a dream for any quarterback, given Shanahan’s playing ability and the variety of point guards available,” Barnwell adds. “Jackson would slide right into the offense that Lance was running before his injury. That would be an easy yes.”

The storyline is fun to think about, but how realistic is it? Barnwell explained what a potential package could look like.

“Lance should return to the Ravens, but would Baltimore feel the same about him as Shanahan & Co. did two years ago? Both of these teams should get creative,” says Barnwell. “What about Lance, Aiyuk and a 2024 first-round pick for the Ravens for Jackson and a 2024 fourth-round pick? I think the 49ers are more likely to stay at quarterback outside of adding a veteran backup like Matt Ryan.”

RELATED: Seven veteran QBs the 49ers could target this offseason

Would this trade happen? If not, who says no? And how could the 49ers afford Jackson’s potentially record-breaking contract in an offseason when they’re trying to sign Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa for an extension?

The 49ers appear to be gearing up for a quarterback battle between Lance and Brock Purdy and will likely decide between the two once both are healthy and ready for the start of the 2023 season. Until then, let the speculation begin .

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