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Ravens have specific strategy with Lamar Jackson situation?

Lamar Jackson throws a pass in warmups

Oct 6, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) warms up before playing the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens surprised a lot of people when they placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, but they may have done so with a specific strategy in mind.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter spoke on “Get Up” Wednesday morning about the Ravens’ decision to use the non-exclusive tag on Jackson rather than the exclusive tag. The former MVP is now free to negotiate with other teams, but the Ravens reserve the right to match any offer sheet Jackson signs.

“The Baltimore Ravens basically said go out and see what the market will pay you,” Schefter said. “Let the market mediate our little disagreement here, because we’d like you back and we’ve made you multiple offers. But you’re not taking any of the offers, and you’re proposing a different kind of deal. He’s wanted a fully guaranteed contract all along.”

There may not be many offers, however. Schefter noted that the Cleveland Browns, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers all would have “done anything” to land Jackson a year ago. The Browns have since acquired Deshaun Watson, the Saints signed Derek Carr, and reports have claimed the Falcons and Panthers may prefer to address the quarterback position in the draft.

Schefter says it is possible that other teams know the Ravens are prepared to match any offer and do not want to do their negotiating work for them.

“It doesn’t seem, right now, like there are going to be many suitors for his services,” Schefter added. “All it takes is just one. I think part of it is teams feel like they would just be drawing the offer sheet for the Baltimore Ravens. … There have been many (situations) in the past where other teams have balked at signing that player to an offer sheet because they don’t want to do the work for another team. There have been many free agents that other teams have shied away from because they had to sign him to an offer sheet. That’s part of this, too.”

You can hear more from Schefter below:

Using the non-exclusive tag on Jackson will give the Ravens much more flexibility. If Jackson does not sign an offer sheet, Baltimore gets him for $32.4 million in 2023 as opposed to the $45 million Jackson would have gotten for the exclusive tag. If the Ravens don’t want to match an offer, the team that signs Jackson would have to give them two first-round picks. There’s also a possibility the Ravens could match an offer sheet then trade Jackson anyway.

There seems to be some conflicting reporting going on about what Jackson’s market will look like.


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