Patriots reportedly not expected to pursue Lamar Jackson

Despite Robert Kraft's earlier comments, it seems Jackson will not be coming to New England.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens attempts a pass during the first half at Gillette Stadium on September 25, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
Lamar Jackson requested a trade out of Baltimore earlier this month. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The thought of Lamar Jackson conducting the Patriots’ offense in 2023 might have many fans in Foxborough salivating.

But a new report is putting cold water on any chance of the Patriots swinging for the fences and prying the former NFL MVP out of Baltimore.

The Patriots — barring unforeseen circumstances — “are not expected to pursue signing or trading for Jackson, according to three league sources close to the situation,” Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal reported.

Per Bedard, the Patriots’ hesitancy to try and acquire Jackson is due to both the steep cost it would take to acquire him, coupled with a lack of support from ownership.


Jackson offers a higher upside at the quarterback position than Mac Jones. But the Patriots would have to relinquish key assets and heaps of cash in order to add Jackson to their roster.

Because the Ravens placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on Jackson earlier this offseason, any team that signs Jackson to an offer sheet would have to give up two first-round picks to Baltimore if they opted to not match that contract.

And that contract will be a hefty one.

Considering that Jackson reportedly turned down a five-year, $250 million contract offer from the Ravens last fall, it’s clear that the 26-year-old QB wants to command even more guaranteed cash on his next mega-deal. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported at the time that the Ravens’ pitch included $133 million in guaranteed money. 


If Jackson is looking to command a deal similar to the five-year, $230 million (fully guaranteed) contract that the Browns handed Deshaun Watson last March, then Jackson could take up over $40 million in cap space each season.

Beyond the roster overhaul that the Patriots would have to undergo to accommodate Jackson’s new deal, it seems like Robert Kraft and New England’s ownership is buying into the odds of a bounce-back season for Mac Jones. Bedard also reported that the Patriots are “actively trying to add weapons around Jones.”


Even though it was Kraft who sparked the latest Patriots-centric rumors tied to Jackson by revealing his text conversations with Meek Mill, the Patriots owner also offered up a ringing endorsement of Jones during Monday’s media address at the NFL annual league meeting in Phoenix. 

“I’m a big fan of Mac,” Kraft said of Jones. “I think he came to us as a rookie. He quarterbacked his rookie season and did a very fine job, I thought. We made the playoffs. I think we experimented with some things last year that frankly didn’t work when it came to him, in my opinion.”

Kraft added: “I think we made changes that I think put him in a good position to excel. Look, in the end, Bill is in charge of my football team and makes the decisions of who should start and who should play, and he’s done a pretty darn good job of it for the last — when you think about it — 24 years. I had peach fuzz when that started.

“But I don’t know, for me, I see [Jones] as a very hard-working young man. He’s in the stadium almost every day in the offseason. I think bringing in Bill O’Brien will work to his advantage. I’m very positive and hopeful about this upcoming year, and I personally am a big fan of Mac.”


Imagining Jackson in a Patriots jersey might be an entertaining exercise to help kill time during these dog days of the offseason. But when applying reality to the situation, it just doesn’t seem to make sense for New England. 


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on