Report: Surprise AFC team may have interest in Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson is free to negotiate with other teams after the Baltimore Ravens used the non-exclusive franchise tag on him, and a new report linked the star quarterback to a surprising team.
ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler said on “SportsCenter” Sunday that Jackson has yet to receive an offer sheet. Teams may wait until the NFL Draft before aggressively pursuing the former MVP — if they do at all. The big question is which teams. According to Fowler, the New England Patriots are one potential “wild card” in the Jackson sweepstakes.
“Right now there’s no real firm offer sheet for Lamar Jackson that I’m aware of. Teams are probably slow-playing this,” Fowler said. “The draft will be a good indicator. You have a team like the Colts at No. 4. If they can’t get the quarterback of the future they want in the draft, maybe they pivot to Lamar Jackson. The Jets, should they strike out with Aaron Rodgers, they could pivot. Then you have some wild cards like a Tennessee, a New England, teams that like to run the ball. You never know.”
Fowler added that there is a chance Jackson does not receive any offers from other teams. The feeling from the start has been that the Ravens will match any offer sheet Jackson receives, and rivals may not want to do the negotiating work for them.
It would be extremely out of character for Bill Belichick to hand out a huge guaranteed contract and give up multiple first-round draft picks for any player. New England has Mac Jones on a rookie contract, which allows them to address other needs. Of course, they are coming off a losing season and team owner Robert Kraft might be getting impatient.
A recent report claimed the Patriots have their eye on three top wide receivers. It is far more likely that they acquire one of them than it is for them to pursue Jackson.