Lamar Jackson Made Decision To Not Use Agent And NFL Free Agent Market Turns Ice Cold

Lamar Jackson Made Decision To Not Use Agent And NFL Free Agent Market Turns Ice Cold


Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

National Football League quarterback Lamar Jackson had been with the Baltimore Ravens but is now quite possibly searching for a new home, and he’s looking for one without an agent.

Jackson played college football at Louisville, where he won the Heisman Trophy during his sophomore year, and was selected by the Ravens as the final first-round pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. He’s a two-time Pro Bowler. Jackson, who became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to start a Pro Bowl game, was voted the MVP of the 2019 season. His current contract is set to expire.

Jackson played under the fifth-year option this past season after he and the Ravens did not agree on terms of a long-term deal this past offseason.

The Ravens placed a nonexclusive tag on Jackson, meaning all NFL clubs can now negotiate directly with him. If a team gives a formal offer to Jackson, the Ravens can match the offer.

The “tag” makes Jackson’s situation complex.

The exclusive franchise tag secures the player to a one-year deal at a nonnegotiable price. It prevents the player from entering free agency that season. But when their one-year franchise tag expires, they are eligible for free agency again.

The nonexclusive franchise tag, however, does not prevent the player from seeking out competing deals in free agency from other teams.

Jackson will be able to meet with other teams on March 13, two days before free agency begins. If he receives an offer he likes in free agency from another team, he can take it. The Ravens would have five days to match that offer and keep Jackson on their team. If they don’t match the offer, Jackson will officially sign with his new team. The new team then must send two first-round picks to the Ravens as compensation, The Ringer reported.

Although the nonexclusive tag that Jackson has gives the player some freedom, it costs the team less than the exclusive tag. According to The Ringer, this season, the exclusive tag for a quarterback was around $45 million for one year; the nonexclusive tag is only $32.4 million.

In professional sports, a free agent is a player who is eligible to sign with other clubs or franchises; they are not under contract to any specific team.

While it seems he would have lots of options, teams are shying away from dealing with Jackson.

Unlike most top NFL players, Lamar is not negotiating through an agent. Instead, Jackson is leading negotiations for his second NFL contract alone. He’s also receiving some help from his mother, Felicia Jones, who is working as his manager, Bet MGM reported.

Even though he can now deal with whatever team he wants, no less than five NFL teams have publicly declared their lack of interest in Jackson.

Why is no one playing ball with the successful quarterback?

The complete lack of interest in Jackson is even wilder than Jackson being opened up to the entire league for negotiation. And the reason seems painfully obvious: NFL owners are adamant about squashing out the idea of quarterbacks getting fully guaranteed contracts,” CBS Sports reported.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson speaks to the media at a press conference after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. The Baltimore Ravens announced March 7, 2023, that they were designating Jackson as their franchise player, preventing him from becoming an unrestricted free agent this month after the expiration of his rookie contract. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)