UPDATE: Jackson received the non-exclusive franchise tag, which allows the Ravens quarterback to negotiate with other teams. He is guaranteed a salary of $32.4 million and the Ravens will be able to match any offer that Jackson gets or receive two first-round picks if they choose not to match.
The Baltimore Ravens have a huge decision ahead of them as they enter the NFL season. What are they going to do with quarterback Lamar Jackson? He won the MVP Award in 2019 but hasn’t reached the same caliber of play since. Jackson has only played in 12 games each of the last two seasons, causing the franchise hesitation on re-signing him, especially with the guaranteed money he is reported to wanting.
That leaves the team with limited options. They could let him walk in free agency, but getting nothing for the former MVP seems silly. Baltimore could look into trade partners, but they don’t have any leverage as he is set to be a free agent. The only way to create trade leverage would be to franchise tag him and then trade him. The Ravens could also tag Jackson and keep him, literally buying themselves extra time to negotiate an extension.
NFL teams were able to start tagging players starting on Tuesday, February 21st, with a deadline of March 7th.
Will Lamar Jackson receive the franchise tag in 2023?
The last time we heard about discussions between Jackson and Baltimore, the two sides were way off, especially when it came to the guaranteed money. Jackson seems destined to be tagged in some form. The Ravens are likely to use an exclusive franchise tag on him, which would mean that he wouldn't be able to agree to terms with other teams. This would leave Jackson with the option to play under the tag for 2023, to sit out a year, or for Baltimore to tag and then trade him. The Ravens could also go the non-exclusive tag route to see if Jackson can strike a deal with another team, cheaper than what they offered him and then if the offer is more than they want to pay, they would at least get two first-round picks back as compensation. With either of these franchise tags, Jackson’s salary for the 2023 season would be $32,416,000.