Now that Dak Prescott got his record-breaking contract, Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are in line to top it.

Baltimore Ravens General Manager Eric DeCosta said Tuesday he’s had conversations with Jackson but the two sides haven’t started official negotiations.

“He’s a foundational type of guy for this organization,” DeCosta said. “We’re confident and committed to trying to get a long-term deal done and hopefully we can get that done at some point in the near future. It might take a little time but we’re willing to try.”

Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, is entering the final season of his rookie contract. He’s scheduled to earn $1.771 million in 2021 and the Ravens could exercise a fifth-year option for 2022. They could also apply a franchise tag in 2023.

Prescott played under the franchise tag last season when he sustained a gruesome ankle injury in October. That didn’t prevent the Cowboys from giving him a $160 million, four-year deal that included an NFL-record $66 million signing bonus.

Those numbers would seem to be the new bar for guys such as Jackson, Allen and Mayfield.


“It’s like when you go to the Bentley dealership or the Range Rover dealership, you know what the cars are going to cost,” DeCosta said. “You’re not going to get a discount. … They’re quarterback deals. They’re marquee players and you know you’re going to pay a lot but you’re going to get a lot in return.”

Jackson was the last pick in the first round in 2018. He has led the Ravens to the playoffs each of his three seasons.

TITANS: The Tennessee Titans released cornerback Malcolm Butler three years into the five-year deal he signed in March 2018, according to his agent Derek Simpson.

Butler signed for more than $60 million in March 2018 after leaving New England as a free agent. He was due $11 million in base salary this season and $11.2 million in 2022.

But Butler had the team’s third-highest salary cap hit at $14.2 million for this season trailing only Ryan Tannehill and safety Kevin Byard, according to

Releasing Butler is expected to save the Titans more than $10 million against the salary cap as they try to create space for free agency.


The seven-year veteran started all 16 games last season and tied for the team lead with four interceptions. That tied his career high of four interceptions in 2016 with New England, and his most famous interception clinched the 2015 Super Bowl for the Patriots over Seattle.

Butler started 36 of 41 games for Tennessee. He had a career-high 100 tackles last season for the Titans and has 17 career interceptions.

GIANTS: For the second consecutive year, New York has given the franchise tag to defensive tackle Leonard Williams.

The Giants applied the non-exclusive franchise tag on Tuesday, just before the league deadline. He earned $16.1 million on the 2020 tag and a second franchise tag is worth 120% of the previous season’s contract. Unless the 26-year-old Leonard and the team reach a long-term deal by July 15, he will earn more than $19 million for the upcoming season.

Because the Giants used the non-exclusive tag, Leonard could sign elsewhere, but the Giants would get two first-round draft picks as compensation.

BEARS: Chicago placed the franchise tag on star receiver Allen Robinson, setting up a potential messy situation with their most consistent playmaker on offense.


The sides have until July 15 to reach a multiyear deal. Otherwise, he would play next season for approximately $16.4 million assuming he signs.

Robinson agreed to a three-year, $42 million contract when he joined Chicago in 2018 after playing his first four seasons in Jacksonville. He is coming off one of his best seasons.

BUCCANEERS: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed the franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, an expected first step to what the Super Bowl champions hope will be a successful bid to keep a star-studded roster intact to help Tom Brady pursue an eighth NFL title.

The 25-year-old Godwin earned $2.13 million in 2020 while ranking second to Mike Evans on the team with 65 receptions for 840 yards and seven touchdowns in 12 games. He stands to make about $16.4 million under the franchise tag next season.

While retaining Godwin for a fifth season was Tampa Bay’s top priority entering free agency, Tuesday’s move is only the beginning of what GM Jason Licht and Coach Bruce Arians have promised will be a determined effort to “keep the band together” for 2021.

Linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Antonio Brown and running back Leonard Fournette are among the key players not under contract for next season.


The Bucs have also said they’re open to giving Brady a contract extension, a move that would free space under the salary cap.

JAGUARS: Jacksonville used its franchise tag on left tackle Cam Robinson, preventing him from hitting free agency and making him the blindside protector for presumptive No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence.

SAINTS: The New Orleans Saints placed the franchise tag on free safety Marcus Williams, GM Mickey Loomis announced.

The decision prevents the 24-year-old Williams from entering free agency and effectively places him under a one-year contract for about $10.5 million.

Williams was a second-round draft choice out of Utah in 2017, who has started since the beginning of his rookie year and has intercepted 13 passes during his first four NFL seasons.

Last season, Williams intercepted three passes to go with seven passes defensed.


LIONS: Detroit signed Tyrell Williams, adding much-needed depth at wide receiver with a player they hope can stay healthy.

Detroit’s top receivers from last season, including Kenny Golladay, are free agents. First-year General Manager Brad Holmes may use to franchise tag to retain Golladay if the team can’t agree on a long-term contract with the standout receiver.

The Las Vegas Raiders released Williams two weeks ago after he had two injury-plagued seasons. Williams has 197 catches for 3,181 yards and 23 touchdowns in 69 career games.

FALCONS: Atlanta  saved almost $4 million from the 2021 salary cap by cutting veteran offensive guard James Carpenter.

Tuesday’s move comes after the team already cleared almost $11 million in cap space by releasing two veterans, safety Ricardo Allen and defensive end Allen Bailey.

PANTHERS: Carolina  placed the franchise tag on Taylor Moton while still hoping to work out a long-term extension with the fourth-year offensive tackle.


If no long-term deal is reached by July 15, Moton would make between $13 million and $14 million next season depending on the NFL salary cap – which has yet to be established – and would be eligible for free agency next year.

BROWNS: Cleveland released veteran defensive end Adrian Clayborn after one season, clearing out a little more salary cap space.

Clayborn appeared in 15 games for the Browns last season after signing a two-year, $5.75 million contract as a free agent in March. The 32-year-old had 3 1/2 sacks, 12 tackles and forced a fumble while in Cleveland’s defensive line rotation.

The team will save $3 million under the cap with Clayborn off the books. Clayborn spent three seasons with the Atlanta Falcons and four in Tampa Bay before signing with the Browns.

STEELERS: Marcus Allen is staying in Pittsburgh. And staying at linebacker too.

The Steelers announced they have signed Allen to a one-year deal for the 2021 season. Allen had been an exclusive rights free agent.


The 24-year-old Allen played in 14 games in 2021 after being moved from safety to inside linebacker in the preseason because of depth issues at the position. The team called Allen a “linebacker” when it announced the signing.

VIKINGS: The Minnesota Vikings cleared more salary cap space by cutting kicker Dan Bailey, keeping their carousel of specialists spinning for yet another season.

Bailey ranked last in the league in 2020 in field goals (68.2 percent) and extra points (86.0 percent), among kickers who appeared in 10 or more games. Both of those were career lows, by far. The 10-year veteran missed five field goals and five extra points over the final five games, putting his job in jeopardy.

The move provides the Vikings a $1.7 million savings on their cap this season. They’ll carry a dead money charge of $2.1 million, for the remaining prorated portions of the signing bonus they gave Bailey a year ago. There were two seasons left on that deal.

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