As it turns out, the Atlanta Falcons had discussions about possibly trading for Lamar Jackson.
Although the Atlanta Falcons were long thought to be out of the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes, apparently, they did have some internal discussions about trading for the Baltimore Ravens franchise quarterback.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith appeared on The Rich Eisen Show on Friday. He talked about the Dirty Birds’ offseason plans, as well as addressing the very pressing issue as to why Atlanta did not seem that interested in dealing for the 2019 NFL MVP. Smith answered Eisen’s hard-hitting question on this matter rather matter of factly, citing that of course, the Falcons had discussions!
What you can tell from Smith’s tone is that he and general manager Terry Fontenot are in lockstep as to how to rebuild this struggling NFC South franchise. They are excited about who they could be adding in the 2023 NFL Draft, but more importantly, seem to be over the moon about who they added to the team in NFL free agency. The Falcons were in salary cap hell over the last two years.
Check out this clip of Smith appearing on The Rich Eisen Show and draw your own conclusions.
For Smith to flip it around on Eisen and ask why he will not go on Bussin’ With the Boys with his former Tennessee Titans players Taylor Lewan and Will Compton is absolutely hysterical.
Let’s discuss if Smith and the rest of the people up in Flowery Branch made the right call in this.
NFL rumors: Atlanta Falcons did discuss trading for Lamar Jackson previously
I’m going to be totally honest with you here. This is an incredibly divisive issue within Dirty Bird Nation. You are either Team Desmond Ridder or you are screaming at a wall over why the Falcons didn’t trade for Jackson. I know where I stand on the issue, but I can understand the other side of the argument. What this all comes down to is how Smith and Fontenot want to build an NFL team.
They took over a complete mess from the previous regime. This team didn’t know how to win, especially in crunch time. The cap situation could not have been any worse. For the better part of two years, Smith and Fontenot took it on the chin while going a combined 14-20 at the helm of this long-suffering team. Now that they had some money to play with, they chose to go do that.
Adding Jackson would have been so exciting, but it would have been cutting corners and we so would have been back in the same spot in five years. Jackson is a phenomenal talent, but have my doubts that he will age gracefully in this league and be much of anything in his early-to-mid-30s. Ridder could be a guy, or he could stink, but I want to find out first before we sell the family farm.
The Falcons added key pieces in free agency, most notably on defense with safety Jessie Bates III, defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle David Onyemata. They also extended guard Chris Lindstrom, brought back tackle Kaleb McGary on a long-term deal, and traded for Jonnu Smith at tight end with the New England Patriots. They also signed wide receiver Scotty Miller.
So with all these savvy moves they made in free agency, the Falcons have a great shot at going worst-to-first in their division if they nail their draft. Of course, Ridder needs to play up to his lofty Cincinnati Bearcats standard, but his Falcons teammates do like him. He is a leader of men. More importantly, he does have one of the best backups in the NFL right behind him in Taylor Heinicke.
In short, Atlanta is going to find out if Ridder is a guy this season. If he is, then this team has its Dak Prescott under center and can continue to allocate financial resources elsewhere outside of at quarterback. Should he play terribly, then we’ll know. At that point, the Falcons could be in position to draft Caleb Williams out of USC or Drake Maye out of North Carolina. They are blue chippers.
So instead of trading for Jackson, the Falcons either have the next Prescott already on their roster or will draft the next Patrick Mahomes in Williams or the next Aaron Rodgers in Maye. Good times!