Lamar Jackson had the non-exclusive franchise tag placed on him by the Baltimore Ravens. Here’s when he can sign with other teams.
There has been movement on the quarterback market in the past couple of weeks, and it only escalated since the free agency negotiation window opened up on Monday, March 13. One quarterback who is facing some uncertainty is Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens, who was supposed to be an unrestricted free agent.
As has been reported, the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson on the March 7 deadline. That means that he will officially be under contract for the 2023 season at a $32.4 million price tag. But, he is allowed to speak to teams that are interested in him, and have the chance to submit an offer sheet to the Ravens. If a team does make an offer, Baltimore has the opportunity to match it. If they don’t, they would receive two first-round picks (2023 and 2024) from the team who sent in the offer sheet.
So, when can Jackson begin speaking with teams?
When can Lamar Jackson speak with interested NFL teams?
The answer to that question if 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday, March 15. So, at the time of this publication, Jackson can talk with teams right now.
While Jackson can do so, things did get interesting when reports indicated that the Ravens were placing the non-exclusive franchise tag on March 7. There were teams that could have been matches for Jackson, but they bowed out of the sweepstakes. Those teams included the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, Miami Dolphins, and Las Vegas Raiders.
The Falcons appear content going forward with Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke as their top quarterback options. The Panthers made the trade up to the No. 1 overall pick to select one of the top four prospects at the quarterback position. The Commanders signed Jacoby Brissett to seemingly have a competition with Sam Howell. The Dolphins picked up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option. Finally, the Raiders signed Jimmy Garoppolo to reunite with head coach Josh McDaniels.
Reports have indicated that Jackson is seeking a fully guaranteed contract, similar to what Deshaun Watson received from the Cleveland Browns. Recently, ESPN senior NFL insider Adam Schefter said that Jackson turned down a contract with $200 million in guarantees back in September. This is what Schefter and ESPN colleague Chris Mortensen reported last fall. Jackson responded to that claim on Twitter.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Jackson’s search for a new contract. What is known is that he is free to speak with teams right now. We shall see if a team will send an offer sheet to the Ravens.