Based on things said and not said during the league meetings, two viable candidates emerged for Lamar Jackson.
One of them can now be scratched off the list.
The Colts and Patriots hadn’t slammed the door, unlike most if not all other potentially interested teams. Via Jeff Howe of TheAthletic.com, the Patriots are not interested.
It’s not a surprise, but it wasn’t previously known with any degree of certainty. Owner Robert Kraft said that Meek Mill texted him recently to say Jackson is interested in the Patriots. Kraft deferred the decision to coach Bill Belichick, who refused to address Jackson because he’s currently on another team. (He isn’t, technically; he’s unsigned.)
But Kraft also spoke this week about the importance of draft picks. Beyond the financial expectations for a Jackson contract, the Patriots would be unlikely to give up significant draft capital to get Jackson. Those picks become young, cheap players who can become part of the nucleus of the team.
So while Jackson is clearly better than Mac Jones, the total cost to get the 2019 MVP makes him not an option.
This presumes that the Ravens would even trade Jackson to New England. There’s a very real rivalry between the two teams that possibly would keep them from ever doing it.
Thus, for now, the options appear to be the Colts, the Ravens, or no one.