Baltimore Ravens Make Big Decision on Lamar Jackson's Future

The Baltimore Ravens just made a big decision on their starting quarterback. The team recently announced that they have placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Lamar Jackson. This means that it's possible that Jackson could play for another team this fall if he gets an offer he likes. 

Jackson and the Ravens have not been able to agree to a long-term contract. ESPN reported last year that Jackson wanted a fully guaranteed contract just like Deshaun Watson got with the Cleveland Browns. The Ravens are against doing a fully guaranteed contract, and now Jackson can talk to other teams about getting a new contact. If he signs an offer sheet with another team, the Ravens can match the offer to keep him or take the two fort-round picks as compensation. Under the nonexclusive franchise tag, Jackson will make $32 million in 2023. 

Multiple teams have been linked to the Jackson, including the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Las Vegas Raiders and Washington Commanders. But all the teams mentioned will reportedly not pursue Jackson for different reasons. And while things don't look great for the Ravens right now, Jackson could return to the team when it's all said and done. 

"There have been many instances across the league and in Baltimore when a player has been designated with the franchise tag and signed a long-term deal that same year. We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Lamar, and we are hopeful that we can strike a long-term deal that is fair to both Lamar and the Ravens," general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement. "Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come."

Jackson was selected by the Ravens in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. He had a breakout season in 2019 as he threw for 3,127 yards and 36 touchdowns while rushing for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns. His production in 2019 led to him winning the MVP award among receiving multiple accolades. In the last two seasons, Jackson has missed a total of 10 games due to injuries. This past season, Jackson missed the last five regular-season games and the team's playoff game against the Cincinnati Bengals because of a PCL injury.