With Tuesday's franchise tag deadline fast approaching and Lamar Jackson still without a new contract, the Ravens are nearing an inevitable conclusion.
Baltimore is headed toward placing the franchise tag on Jackson if no long-term deal can be reached by Tuesday's deadline, NFL Network Insider Tom Pelissero reported Monday morning, per sources.
Pelissero added that Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta recently met with Jackson in his hometown of Miami with the hopes of working toward a deal, per sources. After more than a year of negotiations, however, it appears the situation is en route to the franchise tag.
The next decision for Baltimore would then involve whether to place the non-exclusive franchise tag or the exclusive franchise tag on the QB.
The exclusive tag, last used in 2021 by the Cowboys on Dak Prescott, ensures Jackson cannot negotiate with any other teams in free agency, and it will cost the Ravens around $45 million in 2023 -- the average of the top-five prior year salaries at QB at the conclusion of this offseason's restricted free agent signing period on April 21.
Should Baltimore decide to use the non-exclusive tag on Jackson, it will cost the team $32.4 million in 2023 and both sides will have until July 17 to reach a long-term deal. Jackson is permitted to negotiate a contract with another team on a non-exclusive tag, and the Ravens would have the right to match the contract or trade Jackson for two first-round draft picks.
In the 2019 season, Jackson won the AP Most Valuable Player award after throwing for 3,127 passing yards, 36 touchdowns and six interceptions. Jackson also rushed for 1,206 yards on the ground and scored seven times.
Last season, Jackson played in 12 games and led Baltimore to an 8-4 record in games he started. Jackson missed the final games of the season due to a knee injury. Baltimore went on to lose in the Wild Card Round to the Cincinnati Bengals.