John Harbaugh and Lamar Jackson.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images (left), Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images (right)

The Ravens Have Lost All Leverage With Lamar Jackson

It's been quite some time since we got the latest Lamar Jackson news and gossip, and we finally have a massive nugget of information that should change the trajectory of the NFL for the 2023 season.

Jackson took to Twitter to post a thread of four tweets announcing that he requested a trade for the Baltimore Ravens on March 2. I don't know when you're reading this, but I'm writing this on March 27 — almost a month after the fact.

Hey, where were we on that, NFL Insiders?

Anyway, the timing of this tweet is even more interesting, as it lined up with when Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was due to speak with reporters at the league's annual meeting, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Speaking with reporters, Harbaugh still seemed optimistic about having the signal-caller on the roster come Week 1.

Harbaugh also wasn't exactly interested in talking much about Jackson's official request, though.

There are a few interesting takeaways from Jackson's series of tweets. He cited the Ravens as not being "interested in meeting my value" and said the Ravens fan base is "great" but that he had to "make a business decision that was best for my family and I."

Several tweets have come out about Jackson recently, including Tom Pelissero reporting that Jackson's business partner Ken Francis, a Florida man, was trying to negotiate Jackson's contract. As a result of that activity, the league sent out a memo advising teams not to negotiate with him because he's not a certified agent.

Well, Jackson disagreed. However, the league likely wouldn't send out a memo without some validity to its statement.

Jackson's announcement of the March 2 request comes about two weeks after he tweeted about the contract that he said the Ravens offered: three years and $133 million guaranteed.


Where Jackson Goes From Here

Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after a touchdown in the first quarter of the game against the New York Jets at M&T Bank Stadium

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

RELATED: The Value of a Rushing Quarterback: How Lamar Jackson Has Changed Everything

So now what? Where do we go from here?

If you'll recall, Jackson is currently under a non-exclusive franchise tag. This came on March 7, which would've been five days after his trade request.

This franchise tag carries a value of $32.4 million for one season. However, players under this tag can negotiate with other teams, which can sign Jackson to an offer sheet. In addition to the offer, they'd need to deal two first-round picks to the Ravens.

That said, teams could negotiate a trade on the side for less compensation. If that's the case, Jackson would sign his franchise tag, the Ravens would trade him and receive compensation, and the team would then sign Jackson.

While Harbaugh hopes Jackson will be on the roster, it's safe to assume that this relationship has soured with the Ravens leadership and front office, at the very least.

In terms of leverage, the Ravens are currently on the wrong side of it. Jackson has now publicly stated he wants out — and, thus, the Ravens may not have a chance to get those two first-round picks. They could hold Jackson "hostage," but it doesn't seem unlikely he'd be willing to sit out.

There's another angle to this we should consider. If a team is willing to go along with the two first-round picks, it could very well wait until after the draft, and then it would be a first-round pick in 2024 and 2025. This would allow a team such as the Indianapolis Colts, for example, to draft an offensive lineman, or the Atlanta Falcons to take a receiver or cornerback.

As you can see, there are several scenarios.

However, to answer the question, it appears that Jackson is on his way out, and teams such as the Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders and many others should be in the mix.

MORE: These 5 NFL Teams Could Fulfill Lamar Jackson's Trade Request