NFL rumors: Ravens playing dangerous game with Lamar Jackson plan

The Baltimore Ravens put the non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, but their reported reasoning puts them in danger of losing their QB.

There seem to be more questions than answers when it comes to what’s going on with Lamar Jackson. The 2019 NFL MVP had the non-exclusive franchise tag placed on him by the Baltimore Ravens the Tuesday before the afternoon deadline for using the tag, which allows the quarterback to negotiate with other teams. The Ravens could match any offer Jackson would accept, but if they chose not to, they would receive two first-round picks from the team Jackson would land.

Despite early reports that the market was tepid at best for Jackson, the question arose as to why the Crows would open themselves up to the possibility of losing Lamar Jackson in this way, even if he managed to score two goals in the first round. They risk an aggressive (or desperate) franchise offering a godfather deal they have no interest in matching.

The former Ravens quarterback may have the answer.

Robert Griffin III reports from a Baltimore source that the organization is using the non-exclusive label so that the Ravens and Jackson can see the market for the quarterback from the “unbiased” periphery, indicating that they are willing to pay big money to keep him.

Team source: The Crows hope negotiating with other teams and Lamar will give them an unbiased view of the market for him. The Ravens aren’t reluctant to offer Lamar the best deal in the QB market, but they’re hoping the non-exclusive franchise label will expedite their stalled negotiations with him.

— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) March 8, 2023

However, this is a slippery slope to live on.

NFL rumours: Ravens testing the market with Lamar Jackson’s brand is dangerous

There is some sense to what Baltimore is trying to do. They are clearly a long way from Jackson in their negotiation, and so they got to the point where they felt they had to use any sign on the signal caller. So being able to measure the market for fair value carries some importance as a plan.

At the same time, though, Jackson’s test of the market could be dangerous for the organization. As mentioned, if a team like the Raiders or any other team with a need in position becomes desperate for a long-term plan at quarterback, they can put a fully secured contract in the ballpark for Deshaun Watson’s $230 million deal with the Browns. It would be hard for Baltimore to match him.

In this scenario, they either pay Jeff Bezos-esque money to keep Jackson or get two first-round picks to reset the roster. Neither is particularly ideal in this case.

We’ll see how this plan works. For all we know, he might end up being the one for crows. However, under the current situation, it is impossible not to see the risks of the strategy deployed by the team.

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