When does NFL free agency end? Assessing Baltimore Ravens' timeline on Lamar Jackson's decision
The NFL signing period is wide open and has been since early March ahead of the 2023 NFL draft, which takes place in Kansas City at the tail end of April 2023.
NFL-restricted free agents can sign from March 15 to April 21, while unrestricted free agents, franchise players and moving players must sign deals by November 15, 2023, unless they can't play for the rest of the 2023 season. Squads franchise tags their players to keep them for another year, preventing them from entering free agency and losing them for nothing.
As such, in the case of Lamar Jackson, the Baltimore Ravens have done the bare minimum by placing him on the nonexclusive franchise tag. That means any team in the league can snag him for two first-round picks and offer him a contract, even though the Ravens could choose to match that contract.
Placing a player on the NFL franchise tag doesn't stop his team from negotiating a new contract, even though it's looking less likely as the days go by in Jackson's case.
What's next in Lamar Jackson and Baltimore Ravens NFL saga?
The Baltimore Ravens have been locked in contract talks with their franchise QB, whose deal they recently franchise-tagged ahead of the league deadline, for over two years.
Nevertheless, a breakthrough has been elusive, with the team not satisfying the 26-year-old's demands for more guaranteed money after the market shattering fully guaranteed $250 million package the Cleveland Browns gave with Deshaun Watson a year ago transformed the landscape for quarterbacks.
It has been rumored that the Ravens offered $274 million over six years, with $133 million fully guaranteed, which he promptly rejected. This rejection alerted teams like the New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots of Jackson's availability, and rumors have been rife ever since.
Hence, at the moment, Lamar Jackson is on a $32.416 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens that expires at the end of the 2023 season. Jackson can speak with other teams, thanks to this contract, and we will be surprised if he hasn't done already. The rumor mill is in full swing, and we're just as enthused as you are about the future of the unanimous 2019 NFL MVP.
In a perfect world, teams should be falling over themselves for the chance to snag Lamar Jackson for a mere two first-round picks, pennies on the dollar for the caliber of player he's.
Jackson remains one of, if not the best dual-threat QBs in the National Football League, and he's getting more accurate with age. Jackson is just 26, so we do not know why the Ravens are playing hardball with their best QB in modern league history.