The Baltimore Ravens officially placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on quarterback Lamar Jackson. Up against a hard deadline of Tuesday at 4:00pm EST, the Ravens opted to take the riskier of the two franchise tag options.
The non-exclusive tag, which carries a cap hit of about $32 million, allows Jackson to negotiate and potentially sign an offer sheet with other teams. In the event that happened, the Ravens have the option to match the contract or let Jackson leave in exchange for two first-round picks from the other franchise.
Less than a few hours after the Ravens tagged Jackson, though, it appears interest in the former MVP around the league is not very high. Per the below reports, several suspected suitors for Jackson are reportedly not interested in pursuing him on the market.
This includes the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders, and Miami Dolphins.
The Atlanta Falcons will not be pursuing QB Lamar Jackson, per sources.— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) March 7, 2023
Scott Fitterer certainly will discuss and has discussed Lamar Jackson b/c that's what he does.— Joe Person (@josephperson) March 7, 2023
But Panthers are not expected to be in the Jackson market, per league sources.
The Dolphins will not be pursuing Lamar Jackson or any other starting QBs this off-season, multiple team sources tell me. As one source said, “Mike fully believes Tua is the perfect fit for his system.”— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) March 7, 2023
Been trying to gauge league-wide interest in Lamar Jackson since #Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him.— Kimberley A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) March 7, 2023
Washington is a team that, on paper, makes sense (just like the Falcons). But based on what I’m hearing, the #Commanders are not likely to pursue Jackson.
This makes up the majority of teams rumored to be potential candidates in a Jackson sweepstakes over the past several months. So, this development comes as a bit of a surprise. It’s possible that circumstances could change and at least one of the above teams does in fact pursue Jackson in free agency. However, the early signs suggest many may have overestimated Jackson’s allure around the league.
If true, it’s difficult to find many other potential fits for Jackson elsewhere. The Houston Texans and New York Jets are two other quarterback-needy clubs. However, the Jets are reportedly targeting Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers and the Texans are likely to draft a quarterback in April, as they hold the No. 2 overall pick.
The Las Vegas Raiders were originally thought to be “very unlikely” as a team interested in Jackson. However, ESPN’s Dianna Russini later reported that the Raiders had not eliminated any options at quarterback, Jackson included. So, they’re a potential candidate to watch for.
The NFL’s legal tampering window opens this coming Monday, which is when Jackson could begin talking to other teams around the league. In the coming days and weeks, we’ll likely gain a better sense of what, if any other teams are interested in signing him — and to what extent.
And so, the saga continues.