Another insider suggests that Lamar Jackson won’t play on franchise tag

Yet another NFL insider has suggested that Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson could threaten to hold out rather than play on the franchise tag in the fall.

During a Wednesday appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio forwarded that “we have to take seriously the possibility” that Jackson “won’t show up this year” to play for the Ravens barring an extension.

Before the Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag to retain Jackson’s for the 2023-24 season, NFL insider Jason La Canfora relayed that he believed the situation had become personal for the 26-year-old signal-caller, who presumably has presumably been offended by the offers he has received from his current employer. La Canfora also hinted that Jackson could consider simply refusing to play on the tag, a take which was later echoed by NBC Sports’ Peter King.

“And if the Ravens put the non-exclusive tag on Jackson, good luck in forcing him to play in 2023 for $32 million…after visions of jillions have been dancing in his head,” King wrote for an early March edition of his “Football Morning in America” column. 

As Kevin Patra has recently noted for the NFL’s website, Jackson is on track to play on a tender worth $32.416M for 2023-24 unless he puts pen to paper on an extension prior to the July 17 deadline for teams to sign tagged players. Jackson can currently speak with other clubs, though Baltimore can match any offer he receives and would receive two first-round draft picks as compensation should Jackson actually head to another organization. 

Adding a strange twist to the proceedings, before Jackson this past Monday took to Twitter to announce that he requested a trade in early March, Florio reported that a representative “not certified by the NFL Players Association” had informed other teams the one-time NFL Most Valuable Player “is ready to move on from the Ravens.” However, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport then noted on Monday that Jackson’s trade request was “more about money” than about wanting to join a different organization. 

Jackson’s biggest hurdle continues to be that no team in or outside of Baltimore has yet offered him the massive amount of fully guaranteed money he has allegedly been angling for since Cleveland Browns signal-caller Deshaun Watson signed a fully guaranteed five-year, $230M contract last year.

Florio and other insiders seem to think Jackson could bet on himself by not playing on the franchise tag, perhaps one reason the Ravens reportedly tried to sign Baker Mayfield before he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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