Lamar Jackson playing for the New England Patriots in 2023 has felt and continues to feel like a pipe dream. However, it’s hard to ignore some of the recent speculation including New England as a potential suitor for the current Baltimore Ravens quarterback.
The ears of Patriots fans perked up last week when NFL insider Dan Graziano admitted he wouldn’t rule New England out of the Jackson sweepstakes. ESPN colleague and NFL insider Jeremy Fowler then threw a few sticks onto the fire, a fire previously made up of leaves and mulch, while floating the Patriots as a “wild card” for the 2019 NFL MVP.
Well, after weeks of continued speculation and after Baltimore’s use of the non-exclusive franchise tag, oddsmakers have rejoined the conversation. Bookies.com’s Adam Thompson seemingly believes the Patriots have a reasonable chance to land Jackson.
New England could acquire Jackson for the price of two first-round picks as long as Baltimore doesn’t want to match a potential contract offer from the Patriots.
When hypothesizing about Jackson’s 2023 team, Thompson listed the Patriots with the third-best odds at 5-1, implying a 16.7% probability. New England ranks behind only the favored Ravens (+225, 31% probability) and Tennessee Titans (4-1, 20% probability) and ahead of the Minnesota Vikings (+550), Indianapolis Colts (10-1), New York Jets (14-1) and Atlanta Falcons (15-1).
Of note, these hypothetical odds are not currently available at sportsbooks.
“The New England Patriots have emerged as a ‘wild card’ in this market,” Thompson wrote Tuesday. “Mac Jones finished 28th out of 31 eligible QBs in QBR after being 16th in his rookie year of 2021. Adding Jackson hides a lot of the other team issues in New England (at WR and tackle) and keeps the team relevant in the AFC East, which is becoming one of the NFL’s toughest divisions, especially if the Jets acquire Rodgers.”
Other reporters beside Graziano and Fowler have weighed in on Jackson potentially landing with the Patriots, too. MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels reported shortly after Jackson was given the non-exclusive tag the Patriots were not expected to pursue him while ESPN’s Bill Barnwell shot down the bold scenario and ranked New England No. 12 on his list of potential fits.
Before the Ravens officially allowed Jackson to communicate with other teams given their choice of franchise tag, oddsmakers at PointsBet listed the Patriots (6-1) behind only the Jets and Falcons. At the time, PointsBet Sportsbook trading analyst Mike Korn explained to NESN how bookmakers “definitely think” New England is a possibility.
Since then, New York has essentially taken itself out of the running given the likelihood of an impending trade for Aaron Rodgers while the Falcons, for one reason or another, reportedly don’t plan to pursue Jackson.