The Baltimore Ravens signed quarterback Lamar Jackson to a long-term contract, and general manager Eric DeCosta spoke about the use of the non-exclusive franchise tag as a placeholder, via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
“I think the franchise [tag] is a powerful tool,” Eric DeCosta said, via Florio. “I mean, anyone will say that, agents will say that, teams will say that, the union would say that. And so that’s exactly right. I think, you know, the fact is we were having a tough time getting a deal with Lamar. Again, we respected his position and his feelings, but we were still having a tougher time.”
DeCosta also discussed the possibility of other teams signing Jackson to an offer sheet, and if the Ravens would have matched a deal.
“But in the end, we felt like our deal, that the deals that we had made, we felt they were credible deals, we felt they were strong deals, and we felt like we were in a position to, not that we could match every single deal, but we felt like we would be able to match most deals and that if a team were willing to do a deal that we couldn’t match would be very hard for that team to do that type of deal,” DeCosta said, via Florio. “Not impossible, but very difficult. We already had that $32 million as a placeholder on our salary cap. Other teams didn’t. That’s problematic for other teams. So, in the end, it’s a calculated gamble, I would say. You know, is a team going to go after Lamar Jackson? And if they do, maybe, just maybe, the deal is something we can match which makes life easier for us.”
Ultimately, no one signed Jackson to an offer sheet, and the Ravens got a long-term deal done to keep their franchise quarterback.
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