What the non-exclusive franchise tag means for the Ravens, Lamar Jackson moving forward | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast
Yahoo Sports' Matt Harmon and NFL.com's Eric Edholm discuss the Ravens putting the non-exclusive franchise tag on their star quarterback.
MATT HARMON: We got breaking news here in the middle of the show. Lamar Jackson officially gets the nonexclusive franchise tag--
ERIC EDHOLM: How about that?
MATT HARMON: --from the Baltimore Ravens. For those that don't know the difference between the exclusive and nonexclusive franchise tag, the nonexclusive franchise tag means that Lamar Jackson and his lack of agent team can go to-- and by all accounts by the way, I'm not like an agent hardo or anything like that. I don't talk to agents, don't care about agents. I don't have an agent, don't care about agents. I'm not here to cape up for agent world. But by all accounts, it's been, like, as somebody wouldn't have an agent, it's not the same like back and forth negotiation anyways that it would be normally. So Lamar now has the right to go to other teams, and they can give him a contract offer. And the Ravens have to either match that offer, or give the other team two first round picks, which to me, Eric, two first round picks for Lamar Jackson, take them.
ERIC EDHOLM: Steal. Oh, you think-- Oh, you're seeing the other way.
MATT HARMON: No, no, no, I'm with you that, like, for-- if I'm the Falcons, just--
ERIC EDHOLM: Oh, right.
MATT HARMON: --obvious example.
ERIC EDHOLM: Yes.
MATT HARMON: Take my two picks. I don't give a damn about these two picks. You know, so-- but on the Ravens side, I think their logic is basically, like, if the fully-guaranteed stuff is true, OK, if you can go get a fully guaranteed deal from somebody else, go-- have at it.
ERIC EDHOLM: That's it. I think that's exactly it. What the nonexclusive tag allows-- right, if it's exclusive, can't talk to anybody. Nonexclusive, it allows Lamar to see what his market truly is, which is a dangerous game to play, but the Ravens are essentially betting that either, yeah, there's that one team out there that's willing to overpay, if you will. And they'll say thanks for your service and move on. Wow, that would be crazy. But--
MATT HARMON: Crazy.
ERIC EDHOLM: --you're saving $10 million, potentially, on a one year tender, and there's also the possibility that other people have some injury concerns, or they don't have the cap space. There may only be a handful of teams currently prepared to pay that kind of money for a quarterback. I tend to think somebody will find a way, right?
MATT HARMON: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
ERIC EDHOLM: I don't know, is this the first step of him leaving Baltimore? Do we even-- because like you said, two first round picks, even if you give up a high one this year, adding Lamar makes you a better football team, inherently lowering your-- lowering the value of that second line. I mean, boy, I don't know, that doesn't feel like enough for Lamar.
MATT HARMON: It does not feel like enough for Lamar. I think either the Ravens have to pretty much be like we are OK-- if you truly get a fully-guaranteed deal-- and because the only way you're going to get a fully guaranteed deal is if you have multiple bidders. Obviously, with Deshaun Watson last year, there was multiple bidders. So if he could potentially get like another team to make that offer, they either have to be like, we are OK then taking the L and we'll give you this fully guaranteed deal that you allegedly want. Or we're OK with losing you. You have to be OK with those two things, and the losing him thing, it does feel so crazy, but I kind of think that there was so much reaction, Eric, to when the Browns gave Deshaun Watson the fully guaranteed deal, obviously, from the public, but also from other owners too. Even Steve Bisciotti was pissed about this.
ERIC EDHOLM: He was.
MATT HARMON: And I just said I'm not caping up for agents. I am certainly not caping up for billionaire NFL owners. However, I wonder how many of these guys really want to put like that much-- because they have to put the money into escrow, right? And, like, how many of these guys, A, want to do that, and, B, can afford to do it. Like, the Raiders-- great example-- Mark Davis ain't got-- they couldn't do it. But could like David Tepper, Carolina Panthers, could he do it? He's got a boatload of money, right? Like that's definitely one to watch because I think that's the thing that's not going to get talked about enough in these like discussions with Lamar is not who can afford him cap space wise, if he really fully wants-- he wants a fully guaranteed deal and other quarterbacks want it going forward, who can literally afford it from the ownership perspective?
ERIC EDHOLM: Like you said, you have to put the money in escrow, and Kansas City Chiefs could do it with Mahomes. Bills could do it Josh Allen, what have you, but you're right. It's a question mark. And here's a-- I don't know I don't want to spoil the chat here or anything, but if you're the Commanders and you're looking 45 minutes down the road at this situation, how are you not in on this? Like, I'm sure Sam Howell has plenty of upside and all that. but--
MATT HARMON: Well, we just talk about ownership questions, and, you know, I mean,
ERIC EDHOLM: Yeah, right.
MATT HARMON: Daniel Snyder's got to save a lot of money for his legal fees, so--
ERIC EDHOLM: True. True. But wouldn't that be the ultimate--
MATT HARMON: F you Yeah.
ERIC EDHOLM: You know what? Yeah, I can't remember what the rules are on saying f you or whatever. But, yeah, I mean, that would be like, holy crap. That would be fascinating. I'm not saying I'm rooting for it. I'm just saying, wouldn't that be interesting? I don't know. There's endless possibilities all of a sudden.