Lamar Jackson's future is still very unknown, especially after Monday when the quarterback announced he recently asked for a trade from the Baltimore Ravens. One option for Jackson appeared to be the New England Patriots given what team owner Robert Kraft said earlier this week.
Kraft told reporters that rapper Meek Mill, who performed at Kraft's wedding, texted him to let him know Jackson wants to be a Patriot. Kraft did not say the 26-year-old would be in Foxboro next year, but he also did not say it's out of the question. Kraft said that decision is up to head coach Bill Belichick, per the Boston Herald.
Apparently, Belichick isn't interested as the Patriots are not going to pursue Jackson despite his interest in coming to New England, according to Bleacher Report.
Jackson has not confirmed where he wants to go, but has said that the Ravens are not "interested in meeting [his] value" and he wants a team that will.
The quarterback received a non-exclusive franchise tag this offseason, meaning he can negotiate with other teams and the Ravens have a chance to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks if they decide not to match. The situation seems to have gone from bad to worse between Baltimore and Jackson, and the likelihood of him in purple and black next season is becoming slimmer by the day.
When asked about Jackson earlier this week, Belichick did not give much away regarding any possible interest in signing the former league MVP. When asked if he would "envision a scenario where the Patriots would pursue" Jackson, Belichick gave a blunt answer, saying (per Mike Reiss), "I'm not going to talk about players on any other team."
When pressed further, he was adamant about not commenting.
"Period," he said when being reminded that Jackson is a free agent.
The Patriots had Mac Jones as their starter last season on a struggling offense. Kraft mentioned the team is making changes that will set Jones up for success and noted that he is in the building every day. If it is not Jackson, Jones will likely get the starting nod, but even that is not guaranteed. Belichick said (via NFL.com), "Everybody will get a chance to play. We'll play the best player," when asked if there could be a competition between Jones and backup Bailey Zappe, who got a chance to play briefly last season.
Last season, Jones went 6-8 in the 14 games he played in and started. He completed 65.2% of his passes for 2,997 yards, 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Comparing him to the other quarterback in discussion, Jackson played in 12 games in 2022, with an 8-4 record, 62.3 competition percentage, 2,242 yards, 17 touchdowns and 7 interceptions.
Jackson's resume includes an MVP, first-team All-Pro honors, two Pro Bowl selections and he was the NFL's passing touchdown leader in 2019. Jackson has proven he can be a threat on the ground and in the passing game. He has some playoff experience, appearing in four games with a 1-3 record.
New England's quarterback situation has been a rollercoaster since future Hall of Famer Tom Brady left and having a proven winning quarterback again would elevate their offense.