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Browns' division faces shift as foe Baltimore Ravens place non-exclusive franchise tag on QB Lamar Jackson

AFC North competitor could soon be leaving division
Lamar Jackson
Posted at 3:30 PM, Mar 07, 2023

BALTIMORE — The Browns are busy making roster moves of their own this offseason, but across the AFC North, opponents' moves are something that could strongly impact the Browns this season as well—one move, in particular, involves Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson.

On Tuesday, the Ravens placed a non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, allowing him to begin negotiating deals with other teams around the league.

Jackson, who represents himself, and the Ravens have been unable to come to an agreement on a contract extension despite plenty of discussions.

While the Ravens will be able to match the offer of other teams that Jackson negotiates with now that the franchise tag has been placed on him, the team will also have the option to receive two first-round picks instead.

Tuesday's move opens the door for Jackson to depart the AFC North and head to a team willing to give him a max contract, many believe will be fully guaranteed similar to Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson, who the Browns penned to a five-year, $230 million deal last year.

For the Browns, this move means a possible shift in the opponent they face twice a year and must go through to get to any hopes of a Super Bowl. Jackson, the 26-year-old 2019 AP NFL Most Valuable Player and two-time Pro Bowler has boasted a 6-3 record against the Browns in his career. For his level of talent to depart the division would be a major shift in the AFC North and could prove to be highly beneficial for the Browns moving forward.

The tag will cost the Ravens $32.416 million this year and they'll have until July 17 to reach a multi-year extension with the quarterback.

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