After Colts general manager Chris Ballard expressed that the team would do their due diligence on Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, owner Jim Irsay told ESPN reporter Stephen Holder that there’s one problem:
However, it’s not Jackson’s salary that concerns Irsay, it’s the draft picks and additional compensation that the Colts would have to give up in a trade of if the team were to sign Jackson off his non-exclusive franchise tag.
“The money is not a problem,” Irsay told Holder.
The Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson ahead of the start of free agency, which would pay him $32.4 million if he were play under the tag next season.
The non-exclusive franchise tag allowed the Ravens to retain Jackson’s rights, but allowed Jackson to speak with other teams and sign an offer sheet. If the Colts, or any other team, were to tender an offer to Jackson, the Ravens would be in a position to match the offer or let Jackson go. If Jackson were to sign with another team, the new team would be required to cede two first-round draft picks; a steep price for any team.
Jackson can also be acquired via trade, but the Ravens would likely have a high asking price that would require the Colts to give up significant draft capital, which is something the team may be unwilling to do.