Ever since Patriots owner Robert Kraft revealed yesterday that rapper Meek Mill told him Lamar Jackson wants to be a Patriot, New England has hardly known what to do with itself.
Could and should the Patriots actually trade for arguably the most dynamic quarterback in the league not named Patrick Mahomes?
Newly retired safety Devin McCourty thinks they should at least see what he wants.
"You have to make a call and see," McCourty said on ESPN's "Get Up!" Tuesday morning. "If you hear Lamar Jackson is interested in playing on your team ... he's one of the rare quarterbacks that you say, 'He's a guy.' ... So you gotta at least call."
McCourty is absolutely right. The Patriots should make that call.
Jackson is a former unanimous MVP in this league and has proven time and again he's one of the few quarterbacks who can consistently elevate average talent into something more.
You can poke at his completion percentage, the lack of elite volume stats or his missed games from the last two seasons if you want. But when you do, you should add the context that Mark Andrews -- a good player but hardly a transcendent one -- is far and away his best offensive weapon on a team that has failed repeatedly to draft receivers and has lost several good offensive players to trades and free agency.
For the "QB wins" people out there: the Ravens are 45-16 in games Lamar Jackson starts and 3-6 in games he doesn't.
He, more than just about any player in the NFL, is the offense for his team, and players around the league know much of a nightmare it is to play against him.
Still, none of that changes the fact that the Patriots are highly unlikely to meet his contract demands as they currently stand.
Bill Belichick and the Patriots rarely outbid teams for top-of-the-market players, preferring to let prices come down before striking team-friendly deals if they can. Now will be no different, even when we're talking about Lamar Jackson.
If Jackson eventually comes down off of wanting $230 million fully guaranteed and shows the willingness to accept less money, the Patriots should be prepared to find out what they could do to get him here. He's that level of player.
But it's still not likely he ends up in Foxborough versus returning to Baltimore or going to a much more quarterback-desperate team -- something the Patriots, whatever you think of Mac Jones, simply are not.
It wouldn't be a surprise to learn the Patriots were sniffing around on Jackson. But it would be a complete stunner if they went beyond exploring and actually made an offer, especially one that would make him among the highest-paid quarterbacks in the league.