Ravens could be facing a Lamar Jackson franchise-tag dilemma in 2023

Baltimore Ravens v Pittsburgh Steelers
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Ten year after giving quarterback Joe Flacco a record-setting deal in lieu of making the difficult decision between applying the exclusive and non-exclusive version of the franchise tag, the Ravens may not get a chance to give quarterback Lamar Jackson a record-setting deal before picking a tag level. If Jackson isn’t going to sign a long-term deal, the Ravens will have to apply the franchise tag in 2023.

So here’s the next question. Which version of the franchise tag will the Ravens apply?

The non-exclusive version was $29.7 million in 2022. If the salary cap increases by 15 percent for 2023, the non-exclusive tender will land in the range of $34 million. The exclusive version will be driven by the average of the five highest cap numbers at the position in 2023. Based on current 2023 cap numbers, that would be $45.4 million.

The difference is significant. In 2024, it would become even sharper. With a 20-percent raise, the non-exclusive franchise tender would become $40.8 million. The exclusive tender would be $54.54 million. Over two years of the tag, that’s $74.8 million under the non-exclusive tag and nearly $100 million under the exclusive tag.

The practical difference is significant, too. The exclusive tender would keep Jackson off limits to other suitors. If the Ravens use the non-exclusive franchise tender, other teams would be able to set up visits with him. They can make him offers. They can sign him to an offer sheet. The Ravens can match it, or they can accept two first-round draft picks.

In early 2013, there were concerns that the Browns or Chiefs would have signed Flacco to an offer sheet that the Ravens couldn’t or wouldn’t match. In 2023, the Ravens may welcome the opportunity to have someone else do the negotiating for them, assuming that the offer sheet isn’t constructed to keep them from matching. They also may be happy to take a pair of first-round picks and be done with it, if they can’t get Jackson to engage them.

14 responses to “Ravens could be facing a Lamar Jackson franchise-tag dilemma in 2023

  1. There more this guys plays the more people will see he can’t pass. The drop off this team had with Huntley is not worth paying him. Get your 1sts in return and build the roster.

  2. I’d use the non-exclusive one. Their problem is he won’t even negotiate. Maybe hell negotiate with someone else and they can match it or they can trade him or they know he wants out and can get two 1s at least.

  3. I can’t imagine any other team giving him anywhere near $30M so they should use the non-exclusive one. Nobody is giving up two firsts for him and a ~$30M/year contract.

    Quite frankly, Lamar is only hurting himself. Teams know how to play him now and a good team will have the players to stop him. He’d be better off signing a deal now that the Ravens will regret later. The more he waits, the more money it costs him. I don’t understand what he’s thinking.

  4. Use the non-exclusive, let him walk and get the two first round picks. As a Cowboys fan, wish Dallas had done that.

  5. He knows the longer he waits to make a deal the more money the deal will be worth. Unfortunately he’s not taking into account the risk of injury or the possibility that his level of play declines. He’s young and full of bravado. In his mind he’s invincible and there is NO way his level of play could ever decline.

    If he’s right he’ll make a fortune. If he’s wrong and is seriously injured the worst case scenario could have him out of the league in a few years. More likely the outcome will be somewhere in between.

  6. What this really reveals is how much the owners have to toss around on player salaries. And people will vilify the players for making too much money. There’s no artificial cap on salaries for CEO’s…anywhere. People don’t watch games or buy products because of the awesome compensation CEO’s make. Its the players and the product itself that they lay down their hard earned money for. Here’s an oldy but a goody. Don’t hate the player, hate the game…

  7. BuckyBadger says:
    April 12, 2022 at 8:20 pm
    There more this guys plays the more people will see he can’t pass. The drop off this team had with Huntley is not worth paying him. Get your 1sts in return and build the roster


    Lamar 7-5 16 td 13 int 2882 yards
    Huntley 1-3 3 td 4 int 1081 yards

    The only reason Huntley won a game last year was because the bears found a way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The only reason the Ravens were 7-5 was because of LJ. He’s a proven winner in the NFL.

  8. I dont see the issue here. Based on his style of play, I dont see him lasting long in the league, so the Ravens are better off not signing a long term deal with him. (Unless of course he learns how to throw more effectively).

    In addition, I dont see a lot of team lining up to sign up if he were a free agent, so the non exclusive one is the better option.

  9. I’d deal him now. He obviously only cares about how much money he can make and that is totally fine, he has earned the right. However, if it gets in the way of building a championship team he’s not worth the headache. The ravens have done an Amazing job building the offense taylored to his style. If another team signed him they’d have to make big time changes too since he cannot run a conventional nfl offense.

  10. He would have to be tagged as a running back since that is all he is. Positional integrity is important. This is as bad as a tight end thinking he is a wide receiver. Lame is not and never will be an NFL QB other than he wears the costume. He is a running back and should be tagged as such.

  11. This is a tough one, and as much a many like to dismiss Jackson as “just a RB”, without him the Ravens wouldn’t have had the success they’ve had in recent years. He was the MVP in 2019, and for good reason.

    Many teams would gladly trade for him, and the Ravens might be smart to follow that route while they can get something for him.

    If they tag him next year then all they’re doing is driving up the price for his long-term deal, because the amount of that tag will be the starting point for negotiations and will only go up from there.

  12. Amazing how many times Ravens fans refer to 2019 when talking about Lamar. 3 years ago. He must have improved a lot since then, right? You always told us to look out once he got more experience. How have the playoffs gone since 2019? Has he taken those great leaps forward you assured us he would?

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