We all know what the normal NFL franchise tag is — it binds a player to said team for the season, and they are paid a premium price at their position. But what is the non-exclusive rights franchise tag?
Lamar Jackson was signed to the non-exclusive rights franchise tag on Tuesday prior to the deadline. Jackson is stuck with the Baltimore Ravens, which couldn’t agree to a long-term contract with their quarterback prior to 4 p.m.
Non-exclusive rights does technically mean another team could sign Jackson in free agency, but it comes with some stipulations.
Jackson is a talented quarterback, but there are some questions as to his durability and progression in the passing department.
What is the non-exclusive rights franchise tag?
The non-exclusive franchise tag allows a player to negotiate with other teams for a deal of their choice, should he want. With Jackson, a team in need of a quarterback could try and sign him to a long-term contract beyond the price of the tag, which would pay him just over $32 million for this season.
If Jackson were signed by another team, however, it would cost that team two first-round picks. The non-exclusive rights tag also gives the Ravens more time to negotiate a long-term deal with Jackson, which is likely the main purpose of this.
Baltimore also has the chance to match whatever deal Jackson agrees to.
Jackson was also negotiating a deal beyond $40 million per season. The tag pays him under that mark, should he play on it, which makes it a good tool for Baltimore and a negotiating tactic if Jackson wants to stay with the Ravens beyond this season.
Betting on himself would be a dangerous ply for Jackson, especially considering he is oft-injured at this point in his career. The way Jackson plays — a run-first style — puts him in danger of hits from opposing defenders early and often.