Multiple reports have indicated that the Ravens have applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens have announced that the tag has indeed been applied.
But they haven’t announced which franchise tag was used.
“Having not yet reached a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson, we will use the franchise tag,” G.M. Eric DeCosta said in a statement issued by the team. “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. 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.”
The non-exclusive tag gives Jackson the ability to negotiate with other teams, as long as those teams have their original first-round pick in the upcoming draft and in 2024. After the 2023 draft, Jackson can talk to teams that have their original first-round picks in 2024 and 2025.
If a team signs Jackson to an offer sheet, the Ravens will have five days to match. If they don’t match, they get two first-round picks as compensation. A trade also could be negotiated in lieu of an offer sheet.
Will the Ravens match? If it’s not a five-year, fully-guaranteed Deshaun Watson-style contract, maybe they will.
Teams that could make a run at Jackson include the Falcons, the Jets (if they don’t get Aaron Rodgers), and the Commanders. The Dolphins could get involved after the draft; their first-round pick was lost to the Tom Brady/Sean Payton tampering situation from 2022.
It would be much more clear that the Ravens intend to keep Lamar if they’d used the exclusive version of the tag. It would have prevented him from talking to other teams, and it would have put him in line for a one-year deal worth $45 million. As it stands, he’ll make $32.4 million in 2023, if he doesn’t sign a long-term deal with another team.