BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens did not reach an agreement on an extension with former MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, instead offering him a non-exclusive franchise tag.
This means Jackson is free to sign an offer sheet with another team, giving the Ravens a chance to match the offer sheet and keep him in Baltimore, or let him sign elsewhere and acquire two first round picks as compensation.
However, shortly after the announcement of the franchise tag was made, teams came out and made announcements of their own indicating they are not planning to pursue Jackson via an offer sheet.
Following this chain of events, accusations of collusion by NFL owners ran rampant - and Locked on Ravens host Kevin Oestreicher can see why.
"It was very fishy that all the sudden you saw that the Falcons weren't going to pursue him," Oestreicher said. "Then other reports that the Panthers weren't going to sign him, and the Commanders, and the Raiders.....a guy like Lamar would improve all of these teams."
Jackson missed Baltimore's final five regular season games and playoff contest with an injury, souring his relationship with the Ravens ahead of contract negotiations.
He's known to be asking for a guaranteed deal in the ballpark of Deshaun Watson's $230 million, and that asking price coupled with his recent injury history may be causing some concern among NFL owners and GMs.
Whether collusion is the actual cause of Jackson's tepid market after the franchise tag was applied or not is a question we may never fully get an answer to, but it will make for an interesting few weeks before the saga is resolved.
Check out Thursday's Locked On Ravens podcast for Oestreicher's full comments on the developments .