The Ravens have used the franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag.
The non-exclusive tag comes with a 2023 salary of $32.4 million, which is about 13 million less than the exclusive tag would have cost. That means the Ravens will not have to clear as much cap space before free agency opens on March 15.
However, it means that Jackson can negotiate with other teams. Beginning March 13, Jackson is free to test his value on the open market. He can agree to a deal with another team starting March 15. If he agrees to an offer sheet with another club, the Ravens would have the opportunity to match. If they choose not to, the Ravens would get that team's next two first-round picks.
If Jackson is unable to strike a deal with another team, he would remain with the Ravens for another year upon signing the tag.
The other possibility is Jackson could be traded. He could sign the tag and be traded or the Ravens could match another team's offer sheet and trade Jackson. However, Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta has said a trade has not been a factor for him.
Even though Jackson will be free to test the market, the Ravens' hope is that he returns to Baltimore.
"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," DeCosta stated Tuesday. "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."
The Ravens and Jackson still have until July 17 to negotiate and complete a deal before Jackson would have to be on the tag for 2023, once signed. He would then be set for free agency again next season, though the Ravens could apply the franchise tag again.
The Ravens have a long history of tagging players and getting a deal done at a later date. They have done so with five of their previous seven franchise tagged players.
Baltimore and Jackson have been working to hammer out a deal for the past two years. The NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning that Jackson and DeCosta met recently in Jackson’s hometown Miami area.