Baltimore Ravens is reportedly considering using the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson. This would mean that any team interested in Jackson would have to pay the Ravens two first-round picks as compensation, but it would also mean that the Ravens could lose Jackson for less than his market value.
Sources close to the situation say that the Ravens and Jackson are still far apart in terms of guaranteed money and that the two sides are at an impasse. Jackson is seeking a deal that would put him on par with the likes of Deshaun Watson and Kyler Murray, but the Ravens have been hesitant to commit that kind of money.
The Ravens’ decision to use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson would be a drastic one, but it could also be a sign that the team is ready to move on from him. If another team is willing to pay the price for Jackson, the Ravens could lose their star quarterback for less than he is worth on the open market.
Understanding Non-Exclusive Franchise Tag in NFL
The non-exclusive franchise tag is a designation given to a player by an NFL team that allows them to retain the player’s rights for at least one more year. The tag is essentially a one-year contract offer that the player can accept or reject.
Under the non-exclusive tag, the player is offered a salary that is equal to the average of the top five salaries at their position in the league. For quarterbacks in 2023, that amount is $32.4 million. The player can negotiate with other teams during the offseason, but if they sign an offer sheet with a new team, their current team has the right to match that offer.
If the player’s current team chooses not to match the offer, they will receive two first-round draft picks as compensation from the new team. This compensation is intended to discourage other teams from poaching top talent from other organizations.
It’s worth noting that while the non-exclusive tag allows the player to negotiate with other teams, their current team has the right of first refusal. This means that even if another team offers the player a better contract, the player’s current team has the opportunity to match it and retain their services for at least another year.
A Huge Gamble for the Ravens
This news has sent shockwaves through the NFL, with many experts questioning the Ravens’ decision-making process. “This is a huge gamble for the Ravens,” said ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “If they use the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, they could lose him for less than he’s worth. But if they don’t use it, they could lose him for nothing.”
The Ravens have not commented on the situation, but sources say that the team is deeply divided on the issue. Some members of the front office believe that Jackson is worth the money, while others think that the team should move on and look for a new franchise quarterback.
Whatever the Ravens’ decision may be, it is sure to have a major impact on the team’s future. If they keep Jackson, they will have one of the most dynamic quarterbacks in the league on their roster for years to come. But if they let him go, they will have to start over at the most important position on the field.