4 biggest surprises of Commanders free agency so far in 2023

(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Terry McLaurin and Eric Bieniemy
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Terry McLaurin and Eric Bieniemy /
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(Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports) Lamar Jackson /

Commanders didn’t speak with Lamar Jackson

Aside from the Aaron Rodgers saga, Lamar Jackson has hogged the headlines this offseason. The quarterback remains in a contract stalemate with the Baltimore Ravens and despite getting the non-exclusive franchise tag, it’s been radio silence from others around the league looking to potentially secure his services.

The Washington Commanders were among those linked with Jackson. Instead, they appear happy to move forward with second-year-pro Sam Howell and Jacoby Brissett, who signed a one-year deal that could be worth $8 million in free agency.

Jackson would be far more expensive than that. But for the Commanders to completely ignore the opportunity to speak with the former NFL MVP does seem surprising when one factors everything into the equation.

There is an obvious sense of collusion among owners, who don’t want the dangerous precedent set by the Cleveland Browns to acquire Deshaun Watson to become commonplace. This centers around the guaranteed money that Jackson also wants on his next deal.

Many around the league also sense this would be a complete waste of time and the Ravens will match any contract Jackson gets offered. Even if the signal-caller is said to be ready for a change and the cost for an elite-caliber performer in his prime stands at just two first-round selections.

What the future holds for Jackson is unclear. But it doesn’t appear as if the Commanders will throw their hat in the ring unless something drastic occurs.