If you are a fan that only pays close attention to the Packers, you may have missed the news out of Baltimore yesterday. The Ravens decided to franchise tag star quarterback Lamar Jackson. Franchise tags aren’t uncommon, but the type Baltimore decided to use is raising eyebrows.
The most common type of franchise tag is the non-exclusive franchise tag. The other type of franchise tag is an exclusive tag. A full breakdown of the difference between the two can be seen here. In Lamar Jackson’s case, the non-exclusive franchise tag was used. Jackson is allowed to negotiate with other teams with this tag but if he were to sign somewhere outside of Baltimore, that franchise would have to give 2 first round picks back to the Ravens.
It’s rare for quarterbacks to be given the non-exclusive franchise tag because most teams would have no problem giving up 2 first round picks for a starting quarterback. Not too mention one that is only 26 years old and already has an MVP season under her belt. What would make the Ravens take this chance then?
Rumors are that Jackson wants more guaranteed money like what Watson got with the Browns. Ravens ownership is reluctant to guarantee that much for a quarterback that has battled injuries the last two years. This tag is a sign that they want Jackson to dictate his own market. If teams offer him a crazy amount and they let him go, their reward is draft compensation. If he’s offered something reasonable, the Ravens match and retain their starting QB.
How Could This Hurt a Rodgers Trade?
It’s well known there are plenty of quarterback needy teams in the NFL right now. The list of teams that make sense for Rodgers is a lot smaller than Jackson but that doesn’t mean there isn’t overlap. With the Packers reportedly trying to trade Aaron while simultaneously trying to keep his value high, another high end starter potentially being available doesn’t help.
Derek Carr signing with the Saints was a huge help for the Packers if their goal is to move Rodgers. The Jets have a huge need at quarterback and are ready to win now. Once Carr was off the board, Rodgers became the only real option for them if they want to make a true Super Bowl push. Does that change with Lamar Jackson being gettable?
Obviously there are no guarantees with Jackson as any offer could be matched up Baltimore. However, with cash being a major concern with the Rodgers contract, what’s stopping the Jets from making a similar money offer to Lamar and hoping the Ravens balk at it? Rodgers is more experienced and a better passer but Jackson is considerably younger and more versatile. Would it be that shocking to see the Jets make a bold move?
I want it to be clear that I don’t think the Jets make a move for Jackson, but it would certainly box the Packers in if they did. With the Jets off the board, what teams would be left who need and want Rodgers? Maybe the Raiders? The Dolphins would make sense on paper but they don’t have a first round draft pick in 2023. The options are extremely limited and at that point. Rodgers may just retire.
As crazy as NFL front offices can be at times, one making a move for Lamar Jackson seems unlikely. That’s good for the Packers as their best option if they choose to turn to Jordan Love is to trade Aaron Rodgers and get draft picks in return. The fact Jackson is even out there as an option, however, may come into play with negotiations. The more theoretical options there are for teams, the less value Rodgers has as a trade asset.
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