Report: Ravens might take surprising approach with Lamar Jackson
The Baltimore Ravens will almost certainly apply the franchise tag to Lamar Jackson prior to Tuesday’s deadline, but they may take a surprising approach with the star quarterback.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports that there is a belief around the NFL that the Ravens have “strongly considered” using the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson. Unlike the exclusive tag, that would give Jackson the freedom to enter into long-term contract negotiations with other teams.
The exclusive tag would guarantee Jackson a salary of around $45 million in 2023, assuming he signed the tender. The non-exclusive tag comes with a roughly $32 million salary, but the Ravens would have to match any potential offer sheet Jackson signed with another team. If they chose not to, the new team would have to send two first-round draft picks to Baltimore in addition to signing Jackson to a massive contract.
As Fowler noted, Jackson probably would not be happy about the lower salary associated with the non-exclusive tag. Going that route would also lock the Ravens into a maximum trade return of two-first round picks if they chose not to match a potential offer sheet. For those reasons, the exclusive tag might make more sense.
A recent report revealed how much guaranteed money the Ravens offered Jackson, and it is nowhere close to what he is seeking. It is unclear if they will be willing to go higher following a season in which the former MVP missed much longer than expected with a knee injury.