Lamar Jackson posted a cryptic Instagram story. Is it a hint at contract negotiatons with the Ravens?
It’s franchise tag deadline day, which means we’re about to find out a lot more about who will be available in NFL free agency and who won’t be.
No player is in focus more than Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has had a contentious year of negotiation — or, perhaps more precisely, not negotiating — with the Baltimore Ravens. Jackson wants a guaranteed deal that rivals that of the biggest in the league, and the Ravens don’t want to give him that. Complicating things is the fact that Jackson is self-represented.
On deadline morning, he took to Instagram to drop a classic cryptic message:
“Let them judge you. Let them misunderstand you. Let them gossip about you. Their opinions aren’t your problems. You stay kind, committed to love, and free in your authenticity. No matter what they do or say, don’t you dare doubt your worth or the beauty of your truth. Just keep shining like you do.”
While it looks like a cryptic message possibly aimed at the Ravens — and though it may be intended to double as that — it’s actually a passage from a Scott Stabile book.
Stabile wrote Big Love: The Power of Living with a Wide Open Heart and Just Love.
If you want to frame it toward the Ravens, though, there’s a lot here about self love and valuing yourself. Jackson has done that all year long, and today is the penultimate moment of that. He’s standing by what he thinks he’s worth.
Lamar Jackson’s fate will be determined soon
The Ravens and Jackson are barrelling toward a franchise tag. The real question at this point is whether or not it will be an exclusive franchise tag or non-exclusive. The exclusive tag would give the Ravens exclusive negotiating power. The non-exclusive tag opens the player up to offers from other teams, which the incumbent team, Baltimore, can match.
If they choose not to match, they are owed two first-round picks from the team making an offer.
The exclusive tag is more expensive, but gives the team certainty. The non-exclusive tag is cheaper, but creates more vulnerability and allows outside teams to drive the price up.
But maybe that’s what Baltimore wants? Clearly, they are not on the same page as Jackson in regards to salary expectations. Letting the market set the price could show either Jackson or the Ravens that they’ve been off-base in their stance with the negotiation process.