The Baltimore Ravens have made a key decision on quarterback Lamar Jackson ahead of Tuesday’s NFL franchise tag deadline.
The team notified the NFL that it has placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on its star quarterback.
“Having not yet reached a long-term deal with Lamar Jackson, we will use the franchise tag,” Ravens executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “There have been 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 both fair to Lamar and the Ravens. Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come.”
The non-exclusive tag comes in at just over $32 million for 2023 and gives Jackson the power to negotiate a long-term deal with other teams. The Ravens will have the right to match any offer sheet or receive two first-round draft picks as compensation should Jackson depart.
The Ravens could have used the exclusive tag on Jackson. It would have cost $45 million for next season but would have given the organization control over Jackson’s contract rights and trade talks. That $45 million salary would have tied him as the fifth-highest-paid QB in the NFL for 2023.
The Jackson contract saga has been going on for almost two years. The team exercised Jackson’s fifth-year option in April 2021, setting him up for a little more than $23 million in salary for the 2022 NFL season.
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The two sides were unable to reach a long-term contract agreement before Week 1 of 2022, with Jackson reportedly turning down a six-year deal worth around $250 million.
Jackson has been with the Ravens since he was selected No. 32 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. He was named NFL MVP in his first full year as the Ravens’ starter in 2019 and has earned two Pro Bowl nods.
The 26-year-old quarterback suffered a PCL injury in Week 13 last season and did not return to the field the rest of the year. He was inactive for the Ravens’ final five regular season games and did not travel with the team for their wild card loss in Cincinnati.
Jackson is the fifth player to be tagged ahead of Tuesday’s deadline, joining Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Pollard, Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs, Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Evan Engram and Washington Commanders defensive tackle Daron Payne.