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Falcons coach Arthur Smith admits team discussed the possibility of signing Lamar Jackson

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Free agent quarterback Lamar Jackson continues looking for a place to play, and the Atlanta Falcons have been linked to the quarterback for weeks.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank said publicly the team planned on sticking with QB Desmond Ridder for 2023 and would not pursue 2019 NFL MVP Jackson.

But during an appearance on “The Rich Eisen Show” Friday, head coach Arthur Smith suggested the organization did have discussions about adding Jackson to the roster.

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Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs the ball during the first half of a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 27, 2022, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

“Everything that becomes available around the league, if it can improve your roster, we discuss. That’s at every position, whether that’s the fifth corner or the backup gunner on a punt. We’re always going to look to add at every position,” Smith said when asked if the Falcons had discussed Jackson. 

“Those discussions happen all day, every day. I understand some players get more attention than others, but absolutely we did.”

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After the discussions, the team ruled out trading for Jackson, according to Blank and Smith.

Ridder, a 2022 third-round draft pick, completed 63.4% of his passes for 708 yards and two touchdowns in four games last season. Those numbers were apparently enough for the Falcons to name him the starting quarterback for 2023.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, right, looks on as players are asked to vacate the field as part of a security timeout during the second half of a game against the Seattle Seahawks Sept. 25, 2022, in Seattle. 

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith, right, looks on as players are asked to vacate the field as part of a security timeout during the second half of a game against the Seattle Seahawks Sept. 25, 2022, in Seattle.  (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

Earlier this week, Jackson revealed he requested a trade from the Ravens just days before the team placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.

The Ravens selected Jackson in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He is one of the most uniquely talented athletes in the league, rushing for 4,437 yards during his five-year career.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 27, 2022, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson during a game against the Jacksonville Jaguars Nov. 27, 2022, at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fla. (David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

He has the second-best winning percentage among active quarterbacks, behind only Patrick Mahomes.

Prior to entering the NFL, Jackson was a unanimous All-American at Louisville and won the Heisman Trophy in 2016.

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Longtime Patriots owner Robert Kraft recently revealed that rapper Meek Mill sent him a text message urging him to sign Jackson.

The main sticking point for any of the teams interested in Jackson seems to revolve around the amount of guaranteed money the quarterback is seeking. Jackson has not hired an agent and is representing himself in negotiations. 



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