(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Lamar Jackson is now free to negotiate a new contract with a team of his choice after the Baltimore Ravens affixed their non-exclusive franchise tag on him.
Many feel this move means the quarterback is on his way out of Baltimore, as both sides have been far apart when it comes to negotiating a new contract.
Jackson reportedly wants something in the area of $50 million a year, and he wants a fully guaranteed deal, similar to what Deshaun Watson got a year ago shortly after being traded to the Cleveland Browns.
However, in the nearly three decades of NFL free agency, only once has a player gotten a team’s non-exclusive franchise tag and ended up signing with another team.
That one instance came in 1998 when defensive tackle Sean Gilbert left the Washington Redskins and signed with the Carolina Panthers.
In the 30 years of NFL free agency, Sean Gilbert is the only player to receive the non-exclusive franchise tag, sign an offer sheet with another team, and then end up with that new team, per @EpKap. In 1998, Gilbert was franchise tagged by Washington, signed an offer sheet with… https://t.co/mSteVF1Sf3
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 8, 2023
As of now, there is little or no interest in Jackson around the NFL, which comes in stark contrast to Watson’s situation a year ago when he had asked for the Houston Texans to trade him, and several teams were vying for his services.
Like Watson, Jackson is one of the game’s best dual-threat QBs, but unlike Watson, who led the league in passing yards in 2020, Jackson’s production as a passer has waned over the last few years.
He peaked at 3,127 passing yards and 36 passing touchdowns in 2019, the year he won the regular season MVP award, but in 2022 he put up only 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Some have alleged that other teams are colluding against Jackson, but the more likely explanation for the lack of interest in him is simply the fact that he’s demanding too much money for a player of his caliber.
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