NFL insider lists Patriots as a ‘wild card’ for Lamar Jackson, links them to Odell Beckham

"[The Patriots] have been sort of scouring the Earth for receiver help as well," according to ESPN NFL insider Jeremy Fowler.

Bill Belichick with Lamar Jackson after a game.
The Patriots appeared to show some interest in Lamar Jackson prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. Could they be interested in him again? Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Patriots have already made a pair of notable moves in hopes of upgrading their skill positions on offense, and there could be more movement on the way.

While sharing the latest on the Lamar Jackson situation during a hit on “SportsCenter” on Sunday, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said the Patriots are a “wild card” team to watch in the sweepstakes for the star quarterback.

Jackson’s situation is a bit more complicated than most considering he’s on the non-exclusive franchise tag. The Patriots would have to give Jackson a deal he’d want to sign and if he agreed to a contract, the Ravens would have five days to match or they’d get two first-round picks from New England.

There’s been some speculation about the Patriots possibly going after Jackson this off-season, especially given their shared history. New England hosted Jackson for a visit prior to the 2018 NFL Draft. Of course, the Patriots didn’t select him and actually passed on him twice before the Ravens traded up to No. 32 to select the quarterback.


Fowler noted that there isn’t a “real firm offer sheet” for Jackson at the moment as teams are “slow-playing” the situation. He mentioned that the Jackson sweepstakes could begin around draft time if some teams’ current quarterback plans aren’t in place by then, naming the Jets and Colts as possibilities.

But New England has a better fallback option than those two teams as Mac Jones is still on his rookie contract.

It appears the Patriots are still making some moves to build around their current quarterback, even if they let their top receiver, Jakobi Meyers, walk in free agency. New England signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster to a similar deal that Meyers inked with the Raiders. The Patriots also signed tight end Mike Gesicki.

Still, another notable receiver could also join the fray. Fowler listed the Patriots and the Chiefs as two possible suitors for Odell Beckham Jr.

“[The Patriots] have been sort of scouring the Earth for receiver help as well,” Fowler said of the Patriots’ search for pass-catching help and how it relates to Beckham.

New England was reportedly among the dozen or so teams that attended Beckham’s private workout earlier in March. The 30-year-old missed the entirety of the 2022 season after tearing his ACL in the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI win.


A handful of teams showed interest in Beckham during the 2022 season, including the Cowboys, Giants, and Bills. However, the Cowboys are reportedly out of the mix after trading for Brandin Cooks on Sunday and Beckham is out of the Giants’ price range, according to ESPN.

It was previously reported that Beckham was seeking $20 million per year in free agency. However, he seemed to deny the report on Saturday, writing in a tweet that he was “confused” about where the reported number came from.

Fowler said he wasn’t sure which team offered Beckham $4 million. In his last full season, Beckham had 65 receptions for 825 yards and seven touchdowns over 18 regular-season and playoff games with the Browns and Rams in 2021.

The Patriots have also been linked to DeAndre Hopkins and Jerry Jeudy, who they’d have to acquire via trade. But Fowler added that “there’s a feeling around the league” the Chiefs will add a receiver and it could be Hopkins.

Hopkins, who turns 31 in June, had 64 receptions for 717 yards and three touchdowns in nine games last season, missing time due to a suspension and knee injury.


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