It was not the most shocking news but the Baltimore Ravens officially placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. This move has pros and cons, and the obvious risk of losing Lamar Jackson in free agency. However, it also could end up playing to the Ravens’ benefit
Will the Baltimore Ravens lose Lamar Jackson in free agency?
So far, no teams have stepped up to the plate. The reality is that teams will not only have to pay Lamar Jackson a lucrative deal, but they also have to trade two first-round picks to do so. This is where things such as his injury history over the past two seasons start to come into play.
That is asking a lot for someone who has to change teams and pick things up on the fly. If the market remains this dry on Lamar Jackson it is an obvious win.
First, they saved about $13M by not placing the exclusive tag on him. Second, he comes back much more willing to sign an extension. Lamar Jackson will not want to play on a $32M tag when he sees that Daniel Jones has a salary of $40M.
He is either going to debate sitting out or signing an extension. He tested the market, teams were not jumping all over themselves to trade for him, and now he may come back ready to negotiate a deal.
The Baltimore Ravens took the risk, but the risk appears to be coming with a big payoff. They do not appear to be in danger of losing him, and any contract that gets offered to him does not appear that it will be lucrative to the point where the Ravens cannot match.
It almost is coming down to three options. First, the Ravens could match any offer that comes and get him signed to a long-term deal. Next, he could come back and play for $32M which is not bad for someone as valuable as him. Finally, he could come back willing to work out a longer-term deal that may now lean team-friendly.
Everything that happened yesterday went the way the Baltimore Ravens hoped it would. That is a great start.