The Baltimore Ravens looked like they were taking a risk when they applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to quarterback Lamar Jackson, but the risk may not be as big as it first appeared.
Not when NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported he’s “yet to find the team” willing to make the Ravens an offer for Jackson:
From Free Agency Frenzy: The Lamar Jackson situation looms over so much this week. But there is no send in sight. pic.twitter.com/FW90e79H78
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 12, 2023
The latter can talk with other teams from Wednesday, March 15, but any offer Jackson accepts and the Ravens don’t match, would require his new club to part with two first-round draft picks.
Rapoport also noted how the five-day period the Ravens get to match any offers harms Jackson’s chances of finding a new home this offseason: “The team that signs him would be in complete limbo. Basically missed out on free agency just for the chance at Lamar? It all seems a little unlikely.”
If the NFL’s most QB-needy teams are following the same logic Rapoport outlined, the Ravens will have guessed right with the non-exclusive tag. General manager Eric DeCosta will then be able to continue trying to encourage Jackson to sign a long-term deal to stay in Baltimore.
Ravens’ Strategy Becoming Clear
Giving Jackson the opportunity to field offers looked like a reckless move, but now the Ravens’ strategy is becoming clear. It’s essentially about DeCosta keeping his team in a win-win situation regarding the quarterback’s future.
If no team makes an offer, amid the concerns Rapoport outlined — not wanting to sit tight during the first wave of free agency when most of the best deals get done — the Ravens can keep the conversation going about Jackson’s next contract.
Alternatively, if teams do get in touch and offer Jackson terms, the Ravens can view those offers to gauge how high they’re willing to value the 26-year-old. Letting the market show Jackson what he can expect may lead to a re-evaluation from the player who is essentially representing himself in negotiations.
Any re-evaluation would be welcomed by the Ravens since Jackson wants his money fully guaranteed. That desire is the main sticking point for both the Ravens and any potential interested parties, according to ESPN’s Jordan Raanan: “It’s all about the amount of guaranteed $$$$$ he reportedly wants …read more