NFL rumors: Lamar Jackson trade explored by 49ers

Report: 49ers explored trade for Ravens’ Jackson originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers have made it known they like to consider any opportunity to improve their roster — and that reportedly includes MVP quarterbacks.

During Tuesday’s episode of “The Dan Patrick Show,” the veteran sportscaster stated San Francisco has looked into a potential trade for Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

“I was told this yesterday — the Niners have monitored everything, including Lamar Jackson,” Patrick said (h/t Dov Kleiman). “They’ve explored that, or at least looked at it. They kicked the tires on that. And of course you should do that. Always try to improve.”

Jackson, a two-time Pro Bowler and the 2019 NFL MVP, remains unsigned after the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on him in early March. The All-Pro is still free to negotiate with other teams in free agency, and should another organization come up with an offer sheet Jackson likes, Baltimore could match it — or decline and receive two first-round picks from the team that signs him.

Alternatively, a team could acquire Jackson this offseason via a straight-up trade. Trade rumors have swirled around the 49ers and their young quarterback Trey Lance in recent weeks, though the team has made it clear they’re happy with their quarterbacks room of Lance, Brock Purdy and Sam Darnold.

During his pre-2023 NFL Draft media availability on Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch addressed the Jackson-to-San Francisco rumors and seemingly confirmed the club at least had looked into the possibility — but nothing more.

“You look into everything, and we seem to be linked to everything,” Lynch told reporters (h/t Niners Wire). “I can tell you, I think it’s how convicted we are on Brock, on this current group of guys. You’re not doing your job if you don’t look into things. A lot of those things I think you’re limited by the way our roster is set up and the other thing is, what’s your motivation?

“And there’s more than just Lamar, there’s tremendous players, MVP-type players. We really like our guys and we like where we’re at. We like our complete roster and how they fit for multiple reasons and we’re excited about that group. So, I’ll just leave it at that.”

Where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire. But, sometimes, it’s just smoke. Lynch on Monday said as much about the rumors surrounding Lance, too, but with the draft only one day away, anything could happen. What the 49ers would need to give up in return for Jackson, however, makes a trade highly unlikely.

RELATED: How 49ers will balance best player vs. positions of need in draft

The 49ers appear poised to roll into the 2023 NFL season with Lance, Purdy and Darnold. The team is encouraged by Purdy’s progress after UCL surgery in March, and the QB who helped lead the 49ers to last season’s NFC Championship Game remains on schedule in his rehab.

And while there’s no denying a signal-caller of Jackson’s caliber would be a huge addition, it doesn’t look like he’ll land in San Francisco any time soon.

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