Baltimore Ravens Use Franchise Tag On Lamar Jackson And Now Things Might Get Crazy

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The Baltimore Ravens will place the franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson but that doesn’t mean he’s staying with the team through the 2023 season.

Jackson, who is representing himself, and Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta talked via phone and even met in South Florida in recent days but their negotiations did not lead to a multi-year contract.

That’s why the Ravens are using the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson. That tag will cost Baltimore $32.4 million guaranteed in 2023 and that full amount goes on the team’s salary cap.

“There have been many instances across the league and in Baltimore when a player has been designated with the franchise tag and signed a long-term deal that same year,” DeCosta said in a statement. “We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Lamar, and we are hopeful that we can strike a long-term deal that is fair to both Lamar and the Ravens.

“Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come.”

So now the intrigue begins.

The non-exclusive tag means Jackson is free to negotiate a deal with any other interested club.

And any club can sign Jackson to a contract with the understanding they must compensate the Ravens two first-round picks in exchange for signing the quarterback.

So it wouldn’t surprise if a quarterback-needy team sees that as an opportunity.

Among the teams that would be candidates are the Commanders, Falcons, Jets, Raiders, Panthers, Colts and perhaps others.

The Falcons are among the NFL’s leaders in salary cap space, boasting nearly $62 million in space. So that team can definitely work a contract that could be difficult for Baltimore to match.

Update: The Falcons say they are not interested in signing Jackson.

The Jets interest obviously would come into play if they cannot land Aaron Rodgers in a trade, which is their priority.

The Ravens can choose to match whatever offer Jackson gets. But that means they’ve allowed another team to negotiate their quarterback’s contract.

That is not the best-case scenario the team wanted.

Follow on Twitter: @ArmandoSalguero

Written by Armando Salguero

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