Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson received the non-exclusive franchise tag this offseason after the two sides could not agree to terms on a long-term deal. The non-exclusive designation allows Jackson to negotiate with other teams, but there has been no report of another club approaching the 2019 NFL MVP nearly two weeks into the new league year.
With things seemingly at a standstill, Jackson took to Twitter on Monday to announce that he requested a trade from the Ravens organization in early March. Jackson posted the following statement on his Twitter page:
"A letter to my Fans
"I want to first thank you all for all of the love and support you consistently show towards me. All of you are amazing and I appreciate y'all so much. I want you all to know not to believe everything you read about me. Let me personally answer your questions in regards to my future plans. As of March 2nd I requested a trade from the Ravens organization for which the Ravens has not been interested in meeting my value, any and everyone that's has met me or been around me know I love the game of football and my dream is to help a team win the super bowl. You all are great but I had to make a business decision that was best for my family and I. No matter how far I go or where my career takes me, I'll continue to be close to my fans of Baltimore Flock nation and the entire State of Maryland. You'll See me again."
As Jackson posted this message, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was sitting down with reporters at the NFL owners meetings. The timing of Jackson's Twitter thread was likely more than a coincidence.
"I'm getting ready for Lamar," Harbaugh said, via NFL Media. "When Lamar gets back on this train, it's moving full speed. We love him."
Jackson has spent five seasons with the Ravens, who selected him with the final pick of the first round back in 2018 out of Louisville. The Ravens are 45-16 with Jackson as their starter. Those 45 wins are tied for the sixth-most through 61 career regular-season starts by any quarterback since 1950, per CBS Sports research.
Along with the ability to negotiate with other teams, Jackson's non-exclusive tag means a couple of other things too. The non-exclusive tag pays nearly $13 million less than the exclusive designation, coming in at $32.4 million, and the Ravens have the ability to match any offer sheet presented to Jackson. If the Ravens declined to match an offer, Jackson's new team would send Baltimore two first-round picks. Guaranteed money is reportedly a big reason why the Ravens and Jackson haven't agreed to a new deal yet. We'll see if there is another team willing to step up and pay Jackson what he believes he's worth.
Jackson changing teams would be unprecedented. He won the MVP award in 2019 and is currently 26 years old. Jackson would be the youngest player in NFL history to change teams after having previously won an MVP.