AFC Free Agency Rumors: Jackson, Broncos, Ya-Sin, Raiders

In a recent interview, ESPN’s Adam Schefter expounded a theory on why so many teams are coming out and voicing their disinterest in Lamar Jackson, who received the non-exclusive franchise tag last week and is allowed to negotiate terms with other teams than the Ravens. The theory has nothing to do with Jackson and his outstanding abilities; it has to do with the Ravens’ player personnel staff.

One of the advantages that we teased in earlier reports on the situation was that, by tagging Jackson with the non-exclusive tag, the team would effectively be allowing other teams to do their negotiating for them, since they would likely match any offer opposing teams would make. There was speculation that the Ravens could do this to essentially allow the market to set the value on Jackson.

Schefter theorizes that other teams have no interest in doing Baltimore’s homework for them. Other franchises are fully aware that the Ravens have no intention of letting Jackson walk, so any offer they might make just does the Ravens’ job for them of organizing a new deal for Lamar.

Another added detriment for other teams is that the Ravens would have five days to match the offer or accept Jackson’s departure. In the meantime, the offering team would be stuck in salary cap purgatory, not knowing whether or not it would be taking on the contract of a premier veteran quarterback or not. This is extremely unattractive as free agency is due to open next week. If a team is stuck for five days not knowing their financial position, it becomes difficult to negotiate with other free agents.

Here are a few other free agency rumors from around the conference:

  • An example not too unsimilar from the above phenomenon may occur in Denver, where new Broncos defensive coordinator Vance Joseph has recently arrived from Arizona. Joseph may also bring along a former player as, according to freelance journalist and former Cardinals staff writer Mike Jurecki, the Broncos reportedly have lots of interest in Cardinals pending free agent defensive end Zach Allen. Allen is expected to earn an impressive contract this offseason after a standout contract year in Arizona.
  • In a recent mailbag with Las Vegas Review-Journal writer Vincent Bonsignore, a question was posed about the potential for the Raiders to re-sign cornerback Rock Ya-Sin. According to Bonsignore, the team is certainly open to bringing Ya-Sin back, for the right price. Ya-Sin followed up an impressive 2021 season in Indianapolis with a decent year in Las Vegas after being traded straight up for defensive end Yannick Ngakoue. The team could certainly use Ya-Sin as their cornerback depth has been whittled down over the years, and a semi-down year for the young corner could assist in setting up the “right price” for the Raiders.
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