Vikings rival would be a perfect fit for Lamar Jackson

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Lamar Jackson
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) Lamar Jackson /

He’s probably not landing with the Minnesota Vikings, but the Detroit Lions have the resources in place to acquire quarterback Lamar Jackson.

It’s fun to think about the possibility of Lamar Jackson in a Minnesota Vikings uniform. But given their lack of draft picks and cap space, Jackson ending up with the Vikings this year isn’t very realistic. However, an NFC North rival of Minnesota’s, the Detroit Lions, would be a very good fit for the talented young quarterback.

The Lions have been attempting to rebuild their franchise since the arrival of head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes in 2021. After finishing just short of the playoffs with a 9-8 record last season, many believe that Detroit is the favorite to win the NFC North in 2023.

If the Lions want to do more than just win their division next season, then making a trade for Jackson is something that they should seriously consider.

Detroit Lions are better set up than Minnesota Vikings to trade for Lamar Jackson

Currently, Detroit has eight selections in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft, including two picks in the first round and two picks in the second round. The Lions also have the third-most cap space in the NFL currently, with a little more than $23 million, and for 2024, they’re projected to have more than $85 million in cap space.

Compare this to the Vikings, who currently only have five selections in this year’s NFL Draft, including none in the second round, and less than $1.5 million in cap space.

In addition to their draft picks and cap space, Detroit can also offer a temporary replacement at quarterback in return to the Baltimore Ravens if a sign-and-trade for Jackson ends up being worked out between the two teams.

Along with draft picks, the Lions can also send quarterback Jared Goff to the Ravens in a trade package for Jackson. Goff isn’t an elite quarterback in the NFL, but he would only take up around $15 million of Baltimore’s salary cap in 2023, and they could use one of the draft selections from Detroit to select their quarterback of the future in this year’s NFL Draft.

When it comes to how Jackson would fit in the Lions’ actual offense in 2023, some adjustments would obviously have to be made to take advantage of the quarterback’s elite running ability compared to how things were run with Goff under center.

But Jackson getting to play indoors for more than half of the season would be absolutely terrifying for the rest of the league. During his five-year career, he’s averaged 63.4 rushing yards per game. When Jackson has been able to play indoors, however, his rushing yards per game average jumps to 75.3.

That’s a gigantic increase, not to mention he’ll get to throw to a number of speedy playmakers like Amon-Ra St. Brown, Jameson Williams, and D’Andre Swift while also getting to snap the ball behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL.

Vikings fans would hate it because Jackson would be landing with a team in the NFC North, but the Lions really seem like the perfect fit for the former NFL MVP.

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