Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finds himself in a precarious position after the team opted to use a non-exclusive franchise tag on him yesterday afternoon. The tag means that Jackson is guaranteed to earn $32.4 million next season, but it also opens the door for him to negotiate with other teams. If another team offers Jackson a long-term contract, the Ravens can either match it or receive two first-round picks as compensation.
With the non-exclusive tag in place, Jackson has the opportunity to explore other options outside of Baltimore, but it remains to be seen if any teams will be willing to take a chance on him without an agent in place. The Ravens have been negotiating with Jackson for two years but have yet to come to a long-term agreement. While the non-exclusive tag provides some flexibility for Jackson, it also underscores the difficulty the team has had in locking down their franchise quarterback. For his part, Jackson has expressed a desire to stay in Baltimore, but it remains to be seen if the two sides can come to terms on a contract that satisfies both parties.
Jackson, who was the unanimous MVP in 2019, has never had an agent since being drafted by the Ravens in 2018. The lack of representation could be a major stumbling block in negotiations, as teams may be hesitant to do business with a player who doesn’t have a seasoned professional advocating on his behalf.
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio spoke about the situation on “PFT Live” Wednesday and suggested that other teams might be hesitant to pursue Jackson because of his lack of representation. “Lamar, you need to hire an agent. Now,” Florio said. “Hire an agent now to shepherd you through this process, to aggressively contact all the teams, to try to get someone to come up with an offer sheet that maybe the Ravens couldn’t or wouldn’t match.”
As the offseason progresses, all eyes will be on Jackson and the Ravens as they navigate a delicate dance of negotiations and potential suitors. With the quarterback position being one of the most important in the league, the stakes are high, and the outcome will have far-reaching implications for both Jackson and the Ravens.