4 Teams That Can Steal QB From Ravens After the Lamar Jackson Franchise Tag
With the Lamar Jackson franchise tag now official, the Baltimore Ravens have just announced that they are (for all intents and purposes) letting their MVP quarterback go for far less than market value. By putting the non-exclusive franchise tag on the QB, any team can give Jackson a long-term contract offer.
The Ravens and general manager Eric DeCosta have the right to match any offer, but after showing no signs of willingness to give out the Lamar Jackson contract the QB wants, another team can get the 2019 NFL MVP for the low, low price of two first-round picks if Baltimore declines.
What does Jackson want? While the exact figures are unknown, reports suggest he wants a new Lamar Jackson contract in the neighborhood of what the Cleveland Browns gave Deshaun Watson. That means $230 million fully guaranteed.
While the Ravens aren’t willing to pay that price for their QB, there are plenty of NFL teams that will be. Here are the four teams that can steal the signal-caller from the Ravens following the Lamar Jackson franchise tag.
4. Washington Commanders
The Commanders have a dicey ownership situation right now, so giving out a $230 million contract might not make a ton of sense for Daniel Snyder. However, from a football perspective, it makes a great deal of sense.
The Washington franchise hasn’t had an All-Pro QB since Joe Theismann in 1983, and before that, it was Sammy Baugh in 1943. Needless to say, Lamar Jackson would be the best signal-caller the Commanders have had in decades.
With Jackson at the helm under new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, the two first-round picks the team gives up should be pretty late in the first round, and the franchise is currently 13th in cap space ($16,720,335), so paying the QB $45-plus million a year won’t be a major problem.
3. New York Jets
Right now, the Jets have all their eggs in the Aaron Rodgers basket. If they are smart, they’ll shift their focus to Lamar Jackson.
The Ravens QB is 13 years younger than Rodgers and could conceivably lead a team for another decade. Also, he will cost about the same in salary for the next two seasons, and the Jets may have to give up about the same amount of draft capital to get Rodgers and Jackson.
Yes, the Jets are built to win now, but Jackson doesn’t give them any less chance to do that than Rodgers. And Jackson can win in the future will New York’s young talent in a way Rodgers can’t. Shifting the money earmarked for Rodgers to a new Lamar Jackson contract would be a smart move for the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets.
2. Carolina Panthers
Panthers owner David Tepper is rich, aggressive, and desperately wants a franchise quarterback. That may mean he will trade up in the 2023 NFL Draft to pick Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, or Will Levis. Or, for fewer draft picks, he can go get Jackson.
Trading up to No. 1 in the draft will likely cost two future first-round picks, plus. Getting the Ravens QB after the Lamar Jackson non-exclusive franchise tag will cost two future ones, period.
Yes, the Panthers will have to pay him $230 million, but Jackson has proved he can win in the NFL in a way Young, Stroud, Richardson, and Levis haven’t. That means the Ravens QB is more of a sure thing and costs less in draft capital. For an owner like Tepper, that seems like a no-brainer.
1. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons haven’t truly replaced Matt Ryan yet, and reports from the NFL combine say that the organization discussed trading for the Ravens QB prior to the Lamar Jackson non-exclusive franchise tag.
Atlanta has the second-most cap room in the NFL right now ($67,278,944) and no face of the franchise. That could change quickly if the team presents Jackson with an offer sheet.
With that much cap room, the Falcons can create a Lamar Jackson contract offer that the Ravens not only won’t but can’t match. And that’s why after the Lamar Jackson franchise tag, the Falcons are the most likely team to steal him from the Ravens.