After over a year of contract negotiations between the Baltimore Ravens and Lamar Jackson, the outcome of their current contract impasse was decided by a franchise tag.
That franchise tag is a non-exclusive one which means that Jackson can speak with other teams.
A team can make an offer, and the Ravens will have an opportunity to match it.
If the Ravens choose not to match it, Jackson leaves Baltimore, and the Ravens end up with two first-round draft picks in the process.
The #Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on QB Lamar Jackson.
The tag is worth $32.416 million for Jackson, who is permitted to sign an offer sheet with another team. Baltimore can then match and decide whether to keep or trade him. pic.twitter.com/FTxzlhM5Ny
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 7, 2023
What The Ravens Are Saying About The Tag
The Ravens are saying all of the right things about keeping Jackson in Baltimore.
Ravens GM Eric DeCosta released a statement that says in part:
“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.”
Statement from GM Eric DeCosta: pic.twitter.com/LOnW8XpPL5
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 7, 2023
From the moment the ink was dry on Deshaun Watson’s contract, Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti expressed his displeasure with it.
At the March 2022 NFL owners’ meetings, Bisciotti said:
“I wish they hadn’t guaranteed the whole contract. I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract. To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others…”But it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to play that game, you know? We shall see.”
Like it or not, Deshaun Watson’s contract has changed the landscape of NFL contracts.
Watson’s contract provides for $230 million of fully guaranteed money though a restructuring of this contract may be in the works.
#Browns QB Deshaun Watson is "open to restructuring his contract" to help the team sign quality veterans, per @MaryKayCabot
Watson is currently set to make a very high $54,993,000 every year for the next four seasons. pic.twitter.com/uY9ZHtMwPw
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 6, 2023
What We Know
It is already reported that the Atlanta Falcons are not going to pursue discussions with Jackson.
The Atlanta Falcons will not be pursuing QB Lamar Jackson, per sources.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 7, 2023
The Ravens chose not to use the non-exclusive tag valued at $45 million which would have prohibited discussions with other teams.
The non-exclusive tag is valued at $32.4 million.
The Ravens are essentially playing chess and trying to save $13 million in the process.
By giving Lamar Jackson the Non-Exclusive Franchise tag and allowing other teams to negotiate with him, the Ravens must believe that no team will give Lamar a deal they aren’t willing to match. They don’t believe a team will give him a fully guaranteed deal like Deshaun Watson’s.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) March 7, 2023
As Robert Griffin III says, the Ravens must believe no team is going to offer Jackson a Deshaun Watson-like deal.
The Ravens think if Jackson is offered a contract, it will be one that the Ravens are willing to match.
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