Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens: An Exit Route for the Former MVP Quarterback

Several sources around the NFL believe the Baltimore Ravens are considering a non-exclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson, as the former MVP Quarterback’s future remains unknown.


Each year, the NFL Scouting Combine becomes a drama-filled source for rumor and speculation, and for 2023 the quarterback headlines are rolling out as expected. The latest and one of the most intriguing rumors surround the future of Lamar Jackson as the Ravens have considered using a non-exclusive franchise tag on the QB, a pending free agent.

The tag would allow other NFL teams to approach Jackson, and they would lose two first-round picks if a deal is offered that Baltimore chose not to match.

However, the Ravens could always match the deal, thus ending any speculation on Jackson’s future.

Non-Exclusive Benefits

The benefits of the non-exclusive tag favor both parties. Most obviously, the price difference could undoubtedly speed up the process as player and team have been in talks for a long time, and how much process has been made is unknown. The non-exclusive tag costs $32.4 million, while the exclusive tag costs $45 million. The non-exclusive approach allows the Ravens to sit back while other teams can negotiate for them, and if Jackson realizes no other team will give him the high-priced contract he’s been seeking, the Ravens can match an offer sheet and keep him in the fold.

In addition, allowing Jackson to negotiate with other teams allows the Ravens to stay neutral when if the two sides part ways. And, if they refuse to match an offer sheet, they’d have two first-round picks and a cleared salary cap which could be utilized on another passer.

Oppositely, Baltimore could claim more than two first-round picks through a Jackson trade. The non-exclusive tag could result in added animosity when the relationship between both parties may not be in the best place. That said, Ravens GM Eric DeCosta must make a decision before the March 7 deadline for the tag.

The Ravens are, however, still trying to keep Jackson on the team. We recently learned they would pay Jackson $50 million annually with an 80% contract guarantee. Furthermore, Jackson’s teammate Calais Campbell claimed the QB wants to stay in Baltimore.

A betting man wouldn’t wager on Jackson’s future at this point, and despite many critics believing he isn’t playing as good as he once was, joining another team aged 26 could reinvigorate his form. And if you’re already looking at NFL future wagers for next season, the Ravens aren’t a favorable betting pick, but you can check the BetMGM Maryland bonus code available to claim up to a $1,000 first bet offer.

New York & Detroit Make the Most Sense for Lamar Jackson

Hypothetically speaking, if the Ravens did trade Jackson, which teams would make the most sense?

The Detroit Lions feel like the perfect trade partner for Baltimore. Lamar could fit right into the great power-running attack with a strong run game but lacking a running QB.

DeAndre Swift and Jamal Williams would evolve as linebackers tense up from Jackson and his skills. To add, the Lions desperately need to upgrade Jared Goff if they want to go further.

Thanks to the Rams, they’ll pick sixth and have the 18th overall pick. With such flexibility, they can match the Ravens’ needs. The time for Detroit to strike could be now; they’ll likely never have the draft capital to repeat this. This team has never been so close to being the next big thing, and they might be willing to go the extra mile to push Baltimore into an agreement.

And then, of course, there’s New York. They only boast the 13th pick, but if any team is willing to go all in for Jackson, it would be the Jets.

You’ve heard about the recent Jets-Aaron Rodgers negotiations. And if the Rodgers deal fizzles, would they accept Carr over the potential of signing Lamar Jackson? Or would they happily send him the same deal they sent to Rodgers?

Picture a world where Carr arrives at the Saints, and Rodgers ends up with the Raiders. Where does this leave the Jets? It leaves them in a position to do whatever it takes to obtain Jackson.

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About the Author: Brian Novak