Before Tuesday's deadline, the Baltimore Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on star quarterback Lamar Jackson.after failing to reach a long-term deal, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones confirmed. The Ravens now have until July 17 to work out a long-term extension with Jackson.
The non-exclusive tag is different form the exclusive tag. This offseason, Jackson is free to negotiate with other teams, but the Ravens have the right to match any offer. If Jackson were to agree to sign with another team and Baltimore declined to match the offer, Jackson's new team would send two first-round picks to the Ravens. The non-exclusive tag is nearly $13 million less than the exclusive designation, coming in at $32.4 million.
Following this development, Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta released a statement saying Baltimore will continue to negotiate with its star quarterback:
"Having not reached a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson, we will use the franchise tag. There have been many instances across the league and in Baltimore when a player has been designated with the franchise tag and signed a long-term deal that same year. 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. Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come."
Jackson went 8-4 as the starter in 2022, and threw for 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He injured his knee in Week 13, and missed the remainder of the season while Tyler Huntley took over. It marked the second straight season for Jackson that was ended by injury, as he suffered an ankle injury in 2021 that sidelined him for the final four games.
Jackson was selected by the Ravens with the final pick of the first round back in 2018 out of Louisville. The Ravens are 45-16 with Jackson as the starter since 2018, and 8-13 without him. Those 45 wins are tied for the sixth-most through 61 career regular-season starts by any quarterback since 1950.
In 2019, his first full season as the Ravens' starter, Jackson became the second-youngest MVP in NFL history after throwing for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions, while adding 1,206 more yards and seven touchdowns on the ground. Jackson already has the fifth-most rushing yards by a quarterback in NFL history with 4,437 yards. He owns two of the four 1,000-yard rushing campaigns by quarterbacks all-time.
The Ravens and Jackson have been negotiating a deal for well over a year now, and the main issue has been guaranteed money. Last offseason, the rival Cleveland Browns handed Deshaun Watson a five-year fully-guaranteed $230 million. In negotiations, Jackson reportedly has tried to surpass it, per ESPN.
While Jackson has received this franchise-tag designation, it goes without saying that his offseason is far from over. The NFL world eagerly awaits what happens next.