Ravens Place Franchise Tag on Quarterback Lamar Jackson
The Baltimore Ravens placed the non-exclusive rights tag on MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson. The Ravens waited just an hour before the tag deadline on Tuesday to make the announcement. It was no surprise that Jackson was placed on the tag, what came as the surprise was the tag that was placed on him. Compared to the exclusive rights tag which would only allow Jackson to negotiate with the Ravens. The non-exclusive tag now makes Jackson eligible to talk with any team across the league and is free to sign any offer sheet from them.
With the non-exclusive rights tag being placed, the Ravens will have the option to match any offer sheet Jackson signs within five days of the signing in order to retain Jackson and bring him back to Baltimore. Alternatively if they let him sign with a new team, the Ravens will get two first-round draft picks in return.
The non-exclusive tag does however come with a $32.4 million dollar cap hit which the Ravens must be weary of as they try to navigate not only a deal with Jackson but also fitting in under the cap and making their own free agent signings.
Jackson is eligible to begin speaking to teams on Monday when the leagues legal tampering window opens, and has until as late as the Tuesday following week 10 to sign an offer sheet. However, if Jackson waits until after July 17th to sign an offer sheet the deal can only be for one-year even if he is retained by the Ravens.
It’s a lot to breakdown for the Ravens front office as they head into free agency and the draft with the possibility that Jackson won’t be under center for the Ravens come next season. Ravens GM Eric DeCosta released a statement saying the team was still committed to signing Jackson to a long term deal. “We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Lamar” DeCosta said, adding “Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come”.
Jackson and the Ravens will now have the opportunity to see what his market value truly is, with many hoping number 8 is back in Baltimore come September.