The 2023 NFL Draft is upon us, and finally, the last of the teams in search of quarterback help are set to address the position -- or at least attempt to do so. And yet there remains a looming domino here, in the form of Ravens star Lamar Jackson. While Aaron Rodgers' anticipated trade from the Packers to the Jets has yet to occur, no one expects that transition to go awry; it's a matter of when, not if, Rodgers will be moved. Jackson, on the other hand, is a total unknown in terms of his 2023 destination.

Basically every remaining QB-needy team has shied away from pursuing the former MVP under the non-exclusive franchise tag, seemingly wary of Jackson's price tag coming off two injury-riddled seasons. That would seem to make Baltimore the favorite to retain the QB for 2023. Jackson reportedly had a direct hand in the Ravens' recent signing of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., signaling a potential reconciliation. But he's also just weeks removed from going public with a trade request.

How much will this ongoing situation affect teams poised to take a QB early in the draft? Here are some logical implications:

How Jackson affects the Panthers

He doesn't. The minute Carolina pulled the trigger on a jump from No. 9 to the No. 1 overall pick, the Panthers were set on handpicking a homegrown face of the franchise. What happens with Jackson has no bearing on the very top of the draft, where Alabama's Bryce Young or Ohio State's C.J. Stroud figures to walk the stage first.

How Jackson affects the Texans

Again, he really doesn't. Houston is building from the ground up (again), and new coach DeMeco Ryans wants his first pick to "grow" with the franchise, not come in and be an instant "savior." Even if the Texans inexplicably pass on either Stroud or Young with the No. 2 overall pick, they've got the No. 12 pick in their back pocket for a swing at another QB prospect.

How Jackson affects the Colts

This is the big one. Until recently, the Colts were essentially the only team that hadn't expressly ruled out pursuing Jackson via trade or free agency. Technically, they could still be in play, but now team brass is hinting they'd prefer to rebuild the position organically. That makes them obvious favorites to target a QB after the consensus top two prospects, namely Florida's Anthony Richardson or Kentucky's Will Levis. Thing is, if they're not after Jackson, they might still need to move around to secure their preferred alternative, with the Cardinals likely auctioning the No. 3 pick to other QB-needy clubs.

How Jackson affects teams picking after the Colts

If we're assuming the Colts are out on Jackson (and, frankly, they'll have to decide as much before the draft, or else they might also miss out on landing a top prospect), then the pressure will be ratcheted up on every other candidate to take a QB in the first round, including the Seahawks (Nos. 5, 20), Lions (Nos. 6, 18), Raiders (No. 7), Titans (No. 11), Commanders (No. 16), Buccaneers (No. 19) and Vikings (No. 23). Why? Because if Indy finds a way to secure the next-best thing after Stroud and Young (let's say Richardson, just for the sake of the argument), that means only Levis and Tennessee's Hendon Hooker are left as legitimate Day One possibilities for seven teams, if not more, that could desire a new long-term QB.

How Jackson affects all QB-needy teams

More than anything, Jackson's lingering disconnect with the Ravens should indirectly reiterate the value of teams extending a QB early. Jackson may or may not warrant whatever lucrative deal he's sought, and his lack of official representation may have unwisely delayed negotiations. But the fact of the matter is, you tend to be better off locking up a QB too early rather than too late.

In Jackson's current situation, the Ravens have essentially postponed all major offseason activity, save for an overpriced bet on Beckham, because of the uncertainty at QB. If/when they do retain Jackson, they'll likely either be paying more than they'd like (especially now that inferior talents like Daniel Jones have netted top-eight QB money, or $40-plus million per year), or postponing long-term plans until 2024, when they'd be faced with potentially tagging Jackson or letting him walk for real.

Even if they do kiss and make up with a long-term deal, their internal divide has already gone public. Like the Cardinals with Kyler Murray, there isn't a clear path to a committed, cordial marriage after what's transpired, regardless of whatever deal gets signed.

It's a slight mirror to Washington's infamous handling of Kirk Cousins years ago. That team liked Cousins enough to endorse him as their guy, but not enough to push negotiations over the finish line, and in the end, Washington ended up overpaying Cousins on back-to-back franchise tags before granting him his freedom -- and a major pay raise -- in free agency. The Cowboys nearly followed a similar path with Dak Prescott, inking him to one of the biggest QB deals in history days after tagging him a second time.

That doesn't mean teams should rush to commit top dollar to any old QB. Again, some of the concerns regarding Jackson are fair, just as they were with Cousins. But some would argue Dallas hamstrung its ability to maintain a star supporting cast by waiting to extend Prescott. And we've also seen recent examples of teams securing young QBs at lucrative but reasonable prices, then successfully maneuvering out of those extensions later: the Eagles and Rams notably extended Carson Wentz and Jared Goff, respectively, but traded them relatively quickly in favor of superior replacements, both of which went on to start Super Bowls.

This is a long way of saying that every NFL team eyeing a QB in the 2023 draft can use Jackson as the latest example of what not to shoot for when it comes time to discuss a new deal. And if the QB ends up pushing for more guaranteed money, as Jackson has reportedly done, then meeting in the middle on a shorter deal -- like the Vikings offered Cousins in 2020 free agency -- could be ideal. This is also a reiteration of the importance of the fifth-year option, which only comes with first-round picks; anyone with even a shade of interest in spending an early pick on a QB this year should prioritize having an additional year of contractual control.