Sorry to say I told you so.
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Patriots are reportedly out on pursuing Lamar Jackson either by signing him to an offer sheet or trading for him outright.
“It’s just not going to happen,” according to Howe’s source within the league.
As evidenced by Robert Kraft’s seemingly discordant statements supporting Mac Jones and supposedly revealing Jackson’s desire to be a Patriot, the team’s decision on Jackson isn’t solely based on its confidence in Jones. It’s about the hesitance to surrender draft capital and a massive contract that Howe points out would be more than anything New England offered Tom Brady — the greatest quarterback of all time.
The Patriots typically prefer to strike when they can get a discount on a good player, aiming to fit them within the grand scheme of the team rather than committing large chunks of their cap to any one player. But neither Jackson nor the Ravens have any incentive to lower their demands right now, which means Bill Belichick isn’t going to play ball as things stand.
Additionally, Howe reports that the Patriots do expect Mac Jones to win the starting job this season, though Bailey Zappe could offer stiff competition in training camp — something Belichick hinted at during the NFL owners meetings.
It sure seems as if the Patriots would rather see if Bill O’Brien can help them get the most from their Mac Jones investment rather than make a whole new (and extremely expensive) one in Lamar Jackson.
The plain fact is that Patriots simply aren’t desperate enough to throw out all their plans and go for Jackson when he’s at his most expensive — as much as some fans want them to be.