Lamar Jackson’s future is in question as the Ravens and Jackson doesn’t make a deal regarding resigning him. Baltimore decided to tap the non-exclusive tag worth $32.4M.
Lamar Jackson just played on a guaranteed fifth-year option, and now he’s on another franchise tag, but Jackson wants a five-year deal with guaranteed money. However, his last two years in the sport resulted in injuries.
The former MVP has only lost 16 games as a starter. Moreover, Jackson is fourth in the best winning percentage as a starting QB, following Patrick Mahomes 64-16 (.800), Tom Brady 251-82 (.754), and Roger Staubach 85-29 (.746), with a record of 45-16 (.738).
During his MVP season (2019), Jackson set the record for the most rush yards (1,206) by a QB, and he also led the NFL in passing touchdowns (36).
Baltimore wants Lamar to test the market, to weigh out his options from other NFL GMs. However, teams as far as the Falcons, Panthers, Raiders, Dolphins, and the Commanders, many thought would acquire Lamar Jackson, aren’t pursuing him.
Baltimore is taking a risk treating their 2019 unanimous MVP winner incorrectly. The history behind finding a franchise QB is already hard enough, but to treat Lamar as if he has yet to be a player that can lead the Ravens to victory is quite disappointing.
Collusion in the NFL
Collusion is the hot topic surrounding the Lamar Jackson conversation. Many say that it’s not because of his skin color but because of his style of play. However, his style of play isn’t the main issue here.
Just last weekend, the Dolphins reported to “explore all options” at quarterback, and now that an option is here, they are giving Jackson the cold shoulder. Jackson has nothing to prove, and he’s proven it enough in his tenacious style of play. He’s just that good.
Maybe teams are afraid of overpaying Jackson, just like the Browns did Deshaun Watson giving him a guaranteed deal worth $230 million. The Browns messed it up for everyone; Watson is overpaid and overhyped.
Could it be because of injuries? Lamar didn’t finish his last two seasons due to injuries. In 2021, Jackson missed the previous five games because of an ankle injury. This last season, he also missed five games with a knee injury, but before his injury, Jackson was on pace to have another MVP-caliber season.
The Ravens went (8-3) with Jackson and (2-3) without him.
Injuries shouldn’t be the focal point of not giving Lamar a deal, but he’s worth more than $230 million, guaranteed. Someone has to pay him, and I’m unsure if anyone will.
Moments like this screams collusion; not pursuing the former MVP is disrespectful. Stephen A. Smith made a valid point that the non-exclusive tag is a clause “built on collision.” The owners are effectively victorious in situations like this because they get to keep their best players for low prices. Somewhat granting them of having complete control over their players. Stephen A. Smith Claims Lamar Jackson Situation Exposes NFL Collusion.
The Baltimore Ravens have until July 17th to reach an official deal for Lamar. Still, if he doesn’t get an offer sheet, Jackson would have to settle for $32 million next year, while Derek Carr is getting $39 million, and Daniel Jones is getting $40 million.
What’s Next For The Ravens QB?
Lamar’s timetable with the Ravens is unknown, and I’m unsure if he would play on the franchise tag again. It’s going to be difficult for Jackson. He will likely have to negotiate smaller contract options if he remains in Baltimore and on the one-year deal.
For the Ravens, it’s evident that the team is happy with their decision to put Lamar on the exclusive deal. Let’s say a deal gets done; the Dallas Cowboys used the complete franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott in 2020. A year later, they reached a long-term deal with him.
It’s harsh to witness, but it’s even more difficult for Jackson, especially without an agent. His mother represents him. There’s still hope for the elite QB, but not much.
Although, the majority of the teams are passing the option of getting Jackson. Free Agency begins Sunday, March 12th, and continues through Thursday, March 16th. NFL Free Agency Frenzy airs at 1:00 PM ET on Sunday and Thursday and at 11:00 AM ET on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.