NFL teams ‘are unwilling to draw up the offer sheet for Baltimore, explaining a lack of interest in Lamar Jackson’ after suggestions they are colluding against the former MVP
NFL insider Adam Schefter offered a thought-out reason as to an NFL-wide disinterest in Lamar Jackson, claiming team executives may not want to do the leg work for Baltimore to ultimately retain him.
A litany of players and media members have criticized NFL franchises, accusing them of collusion after no team has yet to come forward with public interest, or an offer, for the non-exclusive tagged quarterback.
Baltimore placed the tag on Jackson Tuesday, meaning he will earn $32.4m in the upcoming season unless a new deal with the Ravens, or another franchise, can be reached.
If a team were to offer Jackson a contract, Baltimore has the right to match it and keep Jackson on those terms, or decline it — meaning the Ravens are entitled to two first-round picks for Jackson’s services.
‘I think part of it is the fact that teams know that they feel like that they would just be drawing the offer sheet for the Baltimore Ravens,’ Schefter told Get Up.
Lamar Jackson has yet to receive any known interest by another franchise following the tag
Baltimore applied the non-exclusive franchise tag to Jackson before the deadline on Tuesday
‘So if any one of these teams steps forward and says, “Let’s give Lamar Jackson, you make it up, a four-year, $200 million contract fully guaranteed,” well Baltimore could have the chance to write it.’
‘It does seem like, all the sudden, there are teams saying, “We’re not going to make a push.” I know people say collusion, I just think this is just reporters asking high-placed executives on certain teams for their answers.’
Strangely, Schefter momentarily distanced himself from his overarching point, seemingly contradicting his previous and soon-to-follow comments.
‘It defies logic that a quarterback as talented as Lamar Jackson wouldn’t generate more interest.
‘I’ll leave that to everybody else to figure out their own theories, because it is a quarterback league and we’ve got an elite quarterback available on the market but it doesn’t seem, right now, like there are going to be many suitors for his services.’
Though, he did get back to his central argument that current events are not a personal vendetta against Jackson. Rather, a reality of business in the NFL — and in this instance for non-exclusive tagged players.
Drew Brees played on the non-exclusive tag for San Diego in 2005 and Kirk Cousins did the same with Washington in 2016 — without much tangible interest once the tag had been used — given the need to give up two first-rounders in return.
‘Other teams have baulked at signing that player to an offer sheet because they don’t want to do the work for another team. This is not a Lamar Jackson phenomena.
‘That’s a part of this too. We can come up with collusion [but] basically the Ravens said “Let the market show what you’re worth. You say you’re worth all this money, if someone’s willing to pay you, then you’ll have that and we’ll have a chance to match that.”
Jackson is free to negotiate with other teams after the Ravens applied the non-exclusive tag
‘In my mind, this a very simple solution to help try to solve a problem that two sides have gone back-and-forth with for two years without reaching any agreement.’
Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta said in a statement Tuesday, the tag does not mean an acrimonious split is inevitable.
‘There have been many instances across the league and in Baltimore when a player has been designated with the franchise tag and signed a long-term deal that same year,’ DeCosta said.
‘We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Lamar, and we are hopeful that we can strike a long-term deal that is fair to both Lamar and the Ravens. Our ultimate goal is to build a championship team with Lamar Jackson leading the way for many years to come.’
Baltimore GM Eric DeCosta is confident a long-term deal can be done with the 2019 NFL MVP