Patriots pass on Lamar Jackson: Bill Belichick is ‘NO interest in upset Ravens quarterback’
The New England Patriots have no interest in Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, according to The Athletic.
It had been speculated that coach Bill Belichick’s front office could go after the disgruntled former MVP. Adding to the rumors, team owner Robert Kraft revealed at this week’s owner meetings in Phoenix that rapper Meek Mill had told him Jackson wanted to be a Patriot.
However, as Kraft explained, that decision rests with Belichick, and Bleacher Report now claims the six-time Super Bowl champion isn’t interested.
If the Patriots don’t add a quarterback in next month’s draft, they will likely return with Mac Jones centered for the 2023 season. The 24-year-old has gone 16-15 in two seasons, throwing for 6,798 yards (219.3 per game) and 36 touchdowns and throwing 24 interceptions. He’s also been sacked 62 times in his short career, which remains a cause for concern going forward.
On Tuesday, Jackson lashed out at critics for suggesting he would sit out the playoffs, not because of an injury but to preserve his health for his next contract.
Lamar Jackson (left) is reportedly not in Bill Belichick’s plans for the New England Patriots
Team owner Robert Kraft (left) said rapper Meek Mill (right) told him the QB wanted to join Pats
Jackson sprained his knee on Dec. 4 and was originally predicted to miss two or three weeks, but ended up missing six as Baltimore was ousted 24-17 by the Bengals in the wild card round.
He was criticized in some corners for not playing through the pain – including from Michael Vick – and some questioned if his post-season absence was because he had yet to land the long-term contract he wanted.
Jackson took to Twitter Tuesday to defend his reputation.
“I don’t remember sitting on my guys from week 1 against Jets through week 12 against Broncos,” he said. “How come I’m suddenly sitting out on money that I could have injured myself at any time within that time frame when we know I’ve been thinking about the Super Bowl since April 2018?”
Jackson’s frustration with the contract negotiations reached a boiling point when he announced Monday that he had requested a trade from the Ravens.
Unfortunately for the former MVP, staying in Baltimore could be his best and only option.
“We made our choice for Lamar Jackson five years ago,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said Monday at the NFL owners’ meetings in Phoenix, shortly after reporters told him Jackson had requested a trade on March 2.
‘Why? Because we love him. We love the way he plays. We love his way of thinking. We love his charisma, his style. Just like he is in the dressing room. Everything about him, we love him. i love him personally I love being the coach of the team he plays for. That’s what you do You build a team around your players and I look forward to that.”
If the two sides can’t agree on a long-term deal by July 17, Jackson could be in contention for the $32.4 million franchise tag this season.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh said the team is still planning around Jackson
Jackson has not sparked interest in free agency after the Ravens tagged him with the non-exclusive franchise label. Some teams immediately said they would not pursue Jackson. The Washington Commanders joined that list on Monday.
“There are a lot of talented players that could help us that we don’t talk to for various reasons, and Lamar falls into that category,” said Martin Mayhew, Commanders general manager.
NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has suggested that the owners conspire against Jackson.
“I have never seen teams so readily publicly express their lack of interest in a prime-year MVP quarterback who also has an injury guarantee regardless of contract,” Smith wrote on the union’s website. “The fact that right behind Jackson are quarterbacks like Joe Burrow, Jalen Hurts and Justin Herbert who performed at extremely high levels as part of their rookie deals.
“Fully guaranteed contact in Jackson’s case means all quarterbacks with expiring rookie contracts will (and should anyway) call for her in the next cycle. Make no mistake what is happening right now is their attempt to block the same cycle that has led to fully guaranteed contracts in other sports.
But Jackson’s situation is more complex.
A team signing him on an offer hand would lose two first-round picks if Baltimore refused to honor the deal. Jackson has missed 10 games over the past two seasons with injuries, so teams may see him as a risk and prefer to build on a young quarterback playing on a rookie contract.
The biggest sticking point between Jackson and the Ravens is the guaranteed money.
Jackson saw Deshaun Watson land a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract from the Cleveland Browns last season and wants one, too.
Jackson is right. He has achieved more than Watson and does not have the necessary baggage. The Browns only gave Watson that deal, despite a threatened ban for sexual misconduct, after he said he wasn’t interested in playing for Cleveland.
Jackson saw Deshaun Watson receive a guaranteed $230 million deal from the Browns
The Browns could not have persuaded Watson to agree to a deal without promising a fully guaranteed contract, so the hapless franchise made a desperate decision.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti publicly criticized the Browns for doing so, and other owners quietly lamented the deal.
“I don’t know if he should have been the first to get a fully guaranteed contract. For me, this is something groundbreaking and it will make negotiations with others more difficult,” Bisciotti said last year.
No team has made it since.
Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray signed lucrative contracts with partial guarantees last season. Derek Carr, Daniel Jones and Geno Smith are other QBs who have signed big deals with partial guarantees this offseason.
Kirk Cousins had previously received a fully guaranteed contract from the Minnesota Vikings in 2018, but it was only worth $84 million over three years. The Ravens already offered Jackson far more. He said he turned down a three-year, $133 million deal that was fully guaranteed.
Another factor is that Jackson acts as his own agent. That can be difficult in contract negotiations of this magnitude, although Harbaugh praised Jackson’s negotiating skills.
This is a dispute where both parties have strong arguments.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/nfl/article-11916051/Patriots-pass-Lamar-Jackson-Bill-Belichick-NOT-interested-disgruntled-Ravens-quarterback.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Patriots pass on Lamar Jackson: Bill Belichick is ‘NO interest in upset Ravens quarterback’