What's the Latest with Lamar Jackson?

The Baltimore Ravens used the franchise tag on Lamar Jackson to force a deal that hasn't transpired yet . . . and the clock is ticking.

Lamar in Limbo

One of the best quarterbacks in the NFL is currently unwilling to play for his current team, but can't find another team, either.

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens are battling over an extension. It doesn't appear as if any progress has been made since the end of last season.

Lamar Jackson former NFL MVPJackson is a former (2019) MVP winner, but struggled to stay healthy and produce over the last few seasons. Jackson is a quarterback who does most of his damage on the ground, and that's caused him to take some big hits along the way.

The Ravens have made it clear that they intend to keep the former MVP, and they are preparing to have him as their starter next year. Jackson, however, has requested a trade. That's not proven easy to facilitate. 

This is a major news story until there is a resolution, which doesn't figure to be anytime soon. Jackson may ultimately choose to sit out, hoping to get more guaranteed money than the Cleveland Browns gave to Deshaun Watson.

Baltimore is currently 22-1 (+2200) to win the next title, according to Super Bowl LVIII odds

"Tag, He’s It"

All of this drama started when the two sides were unable to come to terms on an extension. Thus, the Ravens used the franchise tag on Jackson, but not the tag that was expected.

Lamar Jackson Baltimore Ravens tradeBaltimore placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, giving the quarterback the opportunity to sign with another team. If that team wanted to offer Jackson a contract, then the Ravens would get a chance to match.

Baltimore was taking a chance going this route, but it's proven to be the correct course of action to this point, since no other NFL team has tendered Jackson an offer, at least one he’d consider accepting.

Using the franchise tag also gave the Ravens more time to try and get a new deal signed with Jackson. That hasn't mattered as of this writing.

Let's (Not) Make a Deal

Last month, Jackson did make it known he had requested a trade.

Coach John Harbaugh continues to maintain he wants to move ahead with Jackson. The trade request news came as a shock to many around the NFL, and it immediately changed the quarterback market.

Since that announcement, many teams have publicly stated they would not pursue a trade to acquire the quarterback. Some of the owners have made comments on the issue, while other teams just want to move in a different direction. 

Jackson had believed there would be a number of teams going after his services. That hasn't happened. While a deal could always happen at any time, it’s likely that something would happen before the 2023 draft in late April.

Baltimore is taken to be a middling (8½-victory) team, as per NFL regular-season wins.

Jackson Is Representing Jackson

One of the biggest problems in this whole situation is that Lamar Jackson is sans agent, as he has represented himself since joining the league. There are only a handful of players in the league that operate in this manner, and it makes contract discussions hard.

The league recently sent a memo to its teams, reminding them they can only enter into negotiations with the quarterback himself. A man named Ken Francis was reportedly contacting teams on behalf of Jackson. That’s been denied by the quarterback.

Agents are able to seek out a trade if given the approval by a player’s current team. That hasn't happened in this case. Tampering punishments could be incurred if such "negotiations" happened. That doesn't seem to be the case here.


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