There are plenty of reasons why Mac Jones would have a bigger market than Lamar Jackson.
Even though Lamar Jackson is the infinitely more talented quarterback, it is totally understandable why Mac Jones seems to have a more robust trade market over him at this time.
While the Baltimore Ravens starting quarterback wants out, the New England Patriots starter is coming off a sophomore slump of sorts. The self-represented Jackson has gone about this the completely wrong way from the jump, while McEnroe Jones’ tone on being coached by offensive imbeciles is not landing all that well with a rigid Bill Belichick, who the game may have passed by.
Jones may not have won a Heisman Trophy in college, but he was a runner-up to his former teammate DeVonta Smith at Alabama. He also quarterbacked the Crimson Tide to their most recent national title. The Nick Saban era has seen many talented quarterbacks come through Tuscaloosa recently, but you cannot argue nobody got more out of their talent than Jones did.
Let’s unpack the great philosophical mystery as to why Jones will always have the bigger market.
Why would NFL teams want to trade for Mac Jones over Lamar Jackson any how?
This is pretty simple, really. It boils down to a combination of three things: Contract, playing style and injury history. Jones is only entering his third year in the league out of Alabama, while Jackson is approaching year six out of Louisville. The former has two more years left on his rookie deal, as well as that sweet fifth-year option. Jackson has exhausted all of those options, so here we are!
In terms of playing style, Jones can fit into a pro-style passing attack far more easily than Jackson. While Jackson’s mobility is a huge part of his game, it does tend to marginalize a receiving corps, as well as necessitate having the right offensive mind calling plays for him. Greg Roman worked out marvelously for the Ravens until he didn’t. Jones’ pocket-passing proficiency translates easier.
As far as injury history is concerned, I mean, they both have some, but again, Jones’ style of play ages far more gracefully than Jackson’s. While a lack of athleticism could marginalize Jones into his mid-30s, there are no guarantees the far more mobile Jackson will still be in the league at that point. He is a truly captivating talent, but the shelf life on his tires are not close to what Jones has.
So instead of having to give up a pair of first-round picks and afford Baltimore to potentially counter your best offer over a five-day window, no wonder teams are not all that interested in trading for the non-exclusively tagged Jackson. Not to say it won’t be easy trading for Jones, but there is no possible way it can be as cumbersome as trading for Jackson at this stage of the game.
Hypothetically, let’s say Kyle Shanahan was really interested Five Guys around 3 (damn good burger, hella fries). Had he stuck to his guns, the San Francisco 49ers probably would have drafted Jones out of Alabama at No. 3 had general manager John Lynch not convinced him that Trey Lance wasn’t the latest model of Carson Wentz. Lance may be way more likable, but he is still unproven.
So what the 49ers would have had in Jones is a healthier and probably better version of Brock Purdy running their offense. That would have been an ideal fit for them, but the 49ers do take gambles in roster construction on the reg. We shall see. As for if they wanted to trade for Jackson, well, then the 49ers would have to completely reshape how they go about doing stuff offensively.
In short, moving Jones is not the joyless slog of trying to get someone to bite at Jackson’s franchise-tagged contract. It is more plug-and-play and a bit more in line with what the NFL has done historically on offense. And even if he cannot get to the heights of Jackson, it is not like either have played in a conference championship game before. Plus, Jones could play until he is 40 or so.
When considering all these factors, it makes a ton of sense why Jones has a bigger trade market.