Lamar Jackson is still available with a couple weeks to go before the 2023 NFL Draft.
The 26-year-old quarterback still hasn't been able to work out a new contract with the Baltimore Ravens, who placed the non-exclusive franchise tag on him in March. A rival team also hasn't signed him to an offer sheet or made a trade to acquire the former league MVP.
The New England Patriots have been speculated as a potential destination for Jackson. However, multiple reports over the last few weeks indicate the Patriots aren't interested in making that kind of move.
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One ex-Patriots star who also doesn't see Jackson-to-Foxboro happening is future Hall of Fame tight end Rob Gronkowski.
“I think he would be a good fit, in a way. But at the same time, I don’t think he would be a good fit. It kind of goes both ways,” Gronkowski told Kay Adams earlier this week on the “Up & Adams” show.
“I feel like Coach Belichick always kind of dreamed of a quarterback -- not just a pocket passer, but a Lamar Jackson-type. The one that can be able to run the ball as well. I just feel like he likes those types of quarterbacks from all the times he talked about them in meetings and stuff when we were going against them.
“So, that’s why it would be a good fit. But it wouldn’t be a good fit at the same time because he has to pay him $ 50-plus million and he’s not paying $ 50-plus million for a quarterback. So, therefore it’s not a good fit off the bat because of that reason. So, I don’t think that’s going to go down at all.”
It is hard to envision the Patriots paying $ 50 million or more per season for one player, even if that player is as talented as Jackson. That's just not how the Patriots have operated during the Bill Belichick era. It also doesn't mean they'll never pay that much for a quarterback. The way that salaries for the elite quarterbacks are trending, $ 50 million per season might eventually become the norm.
But for this specific Patriots roster in 2023, it would be hard to justify paying $ 50 million for Jackson when so many other positions need to be bolstered from a depth and talent perspective. Even if the Patriots acquired Jackson, he wouldn't have a legit No. 1 wide receiver or a top-tier left tackle unless New England made more moves to acquire those players. And how would the Patriots get those weapons for Jackson when they likely would have to surrender a couple premium draft picks to acquire him?
New England Patriots
Jackson coming to Foxboro is fun for Patriots fans to think about, but based on all the reporting, it just doesn't seem like a realistic scenario.