The Baltimore Ravens applied the franchise tag to quarterback Lamar Jackson, the team announced Tuesday.
The tender is the non-exclusive franchise tag, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The non-exclusive quarterback tag is worth $32.4 million.
The non-exclusive tag allows other clubs to negotiate with Jackson, but Baltimore can match another team’s offer in order to retain his services. If the Ravens decide not to match, they’ll receive two first-round picks from the club Jackson joins. Teams will be able to make offers beginning March 15 at 4 p.m. ET, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
Jackson and the Ravens have been negotiating a long-term contract for months but couldn’t come to an agreement ahead of Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET franchise-tag deadline.
“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,” Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. “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 is reportedly seeking a deal akin to the five-year, fully guaranteed $230-million contract Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns last offseason.
The deadline for a long-term extension is July 17. Jackson will have to play on the tag or sit out the season if he doesn’t sign a deal before then or isn’t traded.
Jackson has been one of the NFL’s most exciting playmakers since entering the league in 2018 as the 32nd overall pick. He’s led Baltimore to a 45-16 record as a starter while producing excellent numbers. The 26-year-old has posted 12,209 passing yards for 101 touchdowns against 38 interceptions over his career.
But it’s the former MVP’s elite rushing production that makes him such an effective weapon. Jackson has recorded 4,437 yards and 24 touchdowns on the ground across five seasons. His 1,206 rushing yards in 2019 are the most ever by a quarterback in a single campaign.
Jackson’s durability is an area of concern, as he’s missed multiple games over the last two seasons due to injuries. However, Baltimore hired Todd Monken to replace Greg Roman as the offensive coordinator, and he could implement a new system to protect the quarterback.
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