Ravens Place Nonexclusive Franchise Tag on Star QB Lamar Jackson

Ravens' Lamar Jackson in 2018
Ravens' Lamar Jackson in 2018. Photo by John Mersits/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9795810bd)

The Baltimore Ravens and their star quarterback Lamar Jackson failed to agree on a new contract before the NFL’s franchise tag deadline on Tuesday. As a result, the Ravens placed a franchise tag on Jackson in order to prevent him from entering free agency.

According to multiple reports, the Ravens opted for a nonexclusive franchise tag. This gives Jackson the ability to negotiate with other teams in the same way as if he was a free agent. If he agrees to a contract, the Ravens will have five days to match the offer or let the player walk while receiving two first-round picks in return.

The Ravens’ general manager Eric DeCosta issued a statement following the move, saying that the franchise intends to continue talks with Jackson on a long-term deal.

“We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Lamar, and we are hopeful that we can strike a long-term deal that is fair to both Lamar and the Ravens,” DeCosta said. “Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come.”

Jackson and the Ravens have been locked in negotiations for the past two seasons but have failed to find common ground. Reportedly, the biggest issue was that Jackson was looking for a fully-guaranteed contract, something that Baltimore’s front office had no intention of giving him.

There is no doubt that Jackson will have many suitors who will be ready to give him a better offer than the Ravens did. Despite struggling with injuries in the past two seasons, he still remains one of the most electric signal-callers in the game and has the ability to change the fortunes of a franchise for years to come.

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