NFL, Lamar Jackson (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport provided an update regarding the contract situation between the Baltimore Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson.
The Baltimore Ravens are in offseason mode after their narrow loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in the Wild Card Round. With that, the focus around the NFL world landed on the Ravens and quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent. Despite unrestricted free agency looming, head coach John Harbaugh confidently proclaimed that Jackson would be their quarterback. But, contract negotiations are going to be interesting, to say the least.
During an appearance on “The Pat McAfee Show” on Tuesday, NFL Network national insider Ian Rapoport was asked about what franchise tags would be placed on specific players, with Jackson being one mentioned. Rapoport said his sense is that the Ravens will place the exclusive franchise tag on Jackson.
NFL insider updates on potential Ravens, Lamar Jackson franchise tag“My sense is that Lamar Jackson will get the exclusive franchise tag from the Baltimore Ravens,” said Rapoport. “Because here’s why. If you give him the nonexclusive tag, then someone can sign Lamar Jackson to an offer sheet and get him with the price of two first-rounders. If it’s the exclusive tag, it costs Baltimore more. However, if at some point, and I don’t think they will, but if at some point they ever want to trade him, they set the price. So it’d be two, maybe more than two first-rounders. So if they get the exclusive tag, it basically raises the price in the event of a trade, which I don’t think is going to happen.”
As Rapoport mentions, the nonexclusive franchise tag would allow free agents to negotiate with other teams, and sign them to an offer sheet. If the free agent’s original team were unable to match it, they would receive two first-round picks from the team that signed the offer sheet. But, with the exclusive franchise tag, a free agent would be unable to speak with other teams. That gives his current team exclusive negotiation rights. So, if both sides are unable to reach an agreement, the organization can pursue a trade at their asking price.
On Monday, the NFL officially revealed the nonexclusive franchise tag numbers for each position. For quarterbacks, the price is set at $32.4 million. But, the specific figure for the exclusive franchise tag has yet to be announced, but it will be higher.
Last offseason, the Ravens and Jackson negotiated a long-term contract extension. According to an ESPN report, Jackson turned down a five-year, $250 million contract extension with $133 million being guaranteed. That same report noted that Jackson was looking for a fully guaranteed contract, similar to what the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson (five years, $230 million).
This season, Jackson played in 12 games before being sidelined for the rest of the season and the team’s lone playoff contest due to a PCL sprain. In that span, he threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns, and seven interceptions while completing 62.3 percent of his passes. Jackson also ran for 764 yards and three touchdowns on 111 carries.
When it comes to Jackson and his contract situation, expect the Ravens to use the franchise tag on him as they try to negotiate a new deal.