Perhaps no organization in the NFL has had quite as stressful an offseason as the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens have been one of the most consistent franchises in the league over the last decade-plus.
Most of that can be attributed to strength at the quarterback position, with Joe Flacco and then Lamar Jackson manning the position.
But now they find themselves in a bit of quandary.
Jackson is one of the league’s most dynamic players, and has been since the day he was draft. He won the NFL MVP award in just his second season in the league and has twice made the Pro Bowl.
But he’s also dealt with injuries. Jackson has not started all 17 (or 16) games of a season at any point in his career. He’s play just 24 of a possible 34 games the past two seasons.
So when it came time to sign him to an extension, the two sides had very different numbers in mind. The contract dispute between the Ravens and Jackson has now lasted over a year. And it appears they’re no closer to a long-term deal than they were before.
Instead, it appears Jackson will play out the 2023 season on the non-exclusive franchise tag. If he doesn’t agree to a long-term deal, he’d then be a free agent after the season.
Thankfully for Baltimore, they have a decent backup plan.
Enter Tyler Huntley.
Baltimore signed Huntley as an undrafted free agent out of Utah in 2020. He’s since played in 15 games, starting eight over his three seasons. While he has just a 3-5 record in those games, Huntley has been solid.
He even made the Pro Bowl* in 2022!
But Huntley, too, was a restricted free agent this offseason.
That’s no longer the case. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports that Hunley will sign his restricted free agent tender on Monday.
That means he’ll make $2.627 million in 2023. He’d then become a free agent next offseason, like Jackson.
It’s not the deal Ravens fans were hoping for. But it’s better than nothing.