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The NFL's new league year is officially underway, which means Baltimore Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson can negotiate with other teams. The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson earlier this month, which pays nearly $13 million less than the exclusive designation, but also opens the door for Jackson to leave.

The same day Jackson received the non-exclusive tag, it was reported that multiple quarterback-needy teams would not pursue the 2019 NFL MVP. Among those teams were the Atlanta Falcons, Miami Dolphins, Carolina Panthers, Washington Commanders and Las Vegas Raiders.

This development was met with surprise and confusion. Why is there not immediately a market for Jackson? Well, it has to do with why the Ravens have been unable to lock him up long-term

On Monday, Panthers general manager Scott Fitterer laid it out succinctly, saying that Jackson is "a great option," but a "really expensive option," per CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones.  

Lamar Jackson
BAL • QB • #8
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Guaranteed money is reportedly a big reason why Jackson hasn't signed a long-term deal yet. He wants a deal that looks like the one Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns last offseason -- which included $230 million fully guaranteed. In negotiations with Baltimore, Jackson has attempted to surpass that contract, per ESPN

Instead of shelling out hundreds of millions of guaranteed dollars to Jackson -- who is a bonafide star -- the Panthers opted to trade two first-round picks, two second-round picks and star wideout D.J. Moore to the Chicago Bears for the right to make the first selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Panthers reportedly did not have one quarterback in mind when they made this aggressive move, but they will surely draft a signal-caller. 

One has to believe there will be at least one team that approaches Jackson to negotiate in the coming months, even if he ultimately ends up playing the 2023 season on the tag in Baltimore. But it's no secret that NFL teams believe he may be out of their price range.