The Baltimore Ravens have spent more than two years attempting to negotiate a contract extension with Lamar Jackson, who emerged as one of the more formidable quarterbacks in the NFL after being drafted by the team in 2018.
However, the two sides have had a lot of trouble when it comes to settling on the amount of money he deserves.
Last month, we learned Jackson believed he was worth around $100 million more than the franchise was willing to pay him, and the QB reportedly turned down an offer that would have netted him $50 million a year over the course of five seasons.
On Tuesday, the Ravens officially moved to protect their most valuable asset when they slapped a non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson, which gave other NFL teams the opportunity to negotiate with him but granted Baltimore the right to match any offer he receives.
There were indications the Falcons and the Commanders (among others) were interested in acquiring Jackson’s talents, but both of those teams quickly announced they had no interest in signing him after the franchise tag news broke.
That was a fairly curious development that resulted in a number of high-profile names around the football world suggesting something fishy was going on behind the scenes, as plenty of people theorized NFL teams were colluding to prevent Jackson from signing a deal that had the potential to upend the QB market.
It appears the NFLPA is also concerned that’s the case, as Trey Wingo spoke with a source who said the players association is “keeping a very close eye” on what’s unfolding due to fears of possible collusion.
Regarding this: spoke with sources at NFLPA and they’re keeping a very close eye on the Lamar situation for that very reason. Regarding the C word “there’s constant concern about that” https://t.co/KrEe1te6BM
— trey wingo (@wingoz) March 7, 2023
At the end of the day, it’s very, very unlikely any solid evidence will emerge to back this theory regardless of how the situation ultimately plays out.
With that said, when you consider what Jackson has been able to achieve over the course of the past five seasons, the lack of interest is also very, very hard to ignore.