Lamar Jackson’s market continues to diminish this offseason with the latest rumored trade partner in the AFC bowing out of the race.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson raised up a storm when he tweeted details of his weeks-old trade request in a move to perhaps increase interest and generate more buzz in his waning trade market.
One week later, Jackson’s scheming efforts have failed, and another of his highly rumored trade candidates has reportedly closed the door on acquiring the star quarterback.
The New England Patriots stirred up controversy last week when Meek Mill, one of Jackson’s and Pats owner Robert Kraft’s friends, texted Kraft to tell him Jackson wanted to join New England.
Kraft responded that it was up to head coach Bill Belichick. Cue even more speculation.
But per a source for The Athletic, the Patriots have no intention of pursuing a Jackson trade in 2023.
In theory, the Patriots could test Jackson’s true desire to link up, attempt to convince him to accept a far more affordable deal and offer the Ravens a trade package — say, three first-round picks — to get the Ravens onboard with such a move.
It’s still not a price the Patriots would be willing to pay.
New England Patriots close door on Lamar Jackson trade
Jackson received the non-exclusive franchise tag earlier this offseason which allows him to negotiate with teams and secure himself a deal. If another team gives him an offer sheet, the Ravens have the chance to match the offer or decline it and send Jackson away for two first-rounders.
Baltimore made a risky bet by placing the non-exclusive tag on him, yet so far, it seems to have worked in the franchise’s favor. Jackson’s trade market continues to dwindle by the week: the Atlanta Falcons, Washington Commanders, Seattle Seahawks, and now the Patriots have all publicly taken themselves out of the Jackson sweepstakes.
The Indianapolis Colts remain the only realistic option, though there could be a few teams around the league that aren’t voicing their opinions on Jackson and instead are seeing how the offseason plays out.
As for New England’s future moving forward, Mac Jones is projected to be the Pats’ starting quarterback for 2023.
Keeping Jones as the starter and blocking any notion of a Jackson trade doesn’t mean the Pats think Jones is a more capable franchise quarterback than Jackson; rather, the Pats just don’t want to cough up the obscene amount of salary cap space and draft compensation to acquire a former MVP like Jackson.
Their minds can change, but knowing Belichick’s characteristic stubbornness, they probably won’t.