Patriots Rumors: Exploring the possibility of Lamar Jackson at any cost

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - DECEMBER 04: Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens runs the ball against the Denver Broncos at M&T Bank Stadium on December 04, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

Chatter about the New England Patriots quarterback situation abounds but who is really the best option out there? With all aspects in mind, it’s not an easy answer. But, when it comes to performance, one player stands out.

First, the current players in the position are Mac Jones and his second-year understudy and competition, Bailey Zappe.

Other options such as trading for a young quarterback like Skylar Thompson or drafting a dual-threat quarterback like Hendon Hooker from Tennessee are also out there. Not bad at all.

But who would actually be the best alternative for the New England Patriots, not necessarily for cap purposes, but for the sake of the team on the field?

The best possible answer to that question is a very costly option that may or may not be a free agent. If he is franchised, the cost to acquire will be steep and the cost to sign the player salary-wise will be even greater.

So who is the best alternative?

New England Patriots should trade for or sign …

The irony in signing the player in mind now is that he was available in 2018 for the price of one of the New England Patriots two lower first-round picks. The Patriots botched that opportunity to a fare-thee-well.

They selected two average players, Isaiah Wynn, and Sony Michel in 2018. Left on the table was the best player available, a dual-threat quarterback from Louisville, Lamar Jackson (LJ).

Michel has since been traded for little and Wynn will be gone shortly. But now, Jackson, a star, may just be available. So the question is, does it make sense for the Patriots to trade for or sign LJ?

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The answer here is an absolute YES! The cost will likely be two first-round picks and the ancillary cost per, as they say, maybe as high as a $45M per year salary. That’s a tidy sum, indeed.

So should the New England Patriots invest all that draft and salary capital in Lamar Jackson? It’s an easy answer again, YES, he’s worth the freight. And they can get value back by trading Jones.

Disclosure: had this space been the GM of the Patriots in 2018, Jackson would be a Patriot. This is especially true (and should have been) if the team actually intended to cut ties with Tom Brady after the 2019 season, which they in essence did (another foolish decision).

So, what’s the situation now? The Patriots have a quarterback who is a huge question mark in Mac Jones. As a rookie, he was excellent, but as a second-year man, he wasn’t (yes, the coaching was a major factor.). Which Jones shows up in 2023? The answer is: who knows?

If he’s healthy, is there any question about who’d be the better option for the team in 2023? Not at all. It would be Lamar Jackson.

Jackson is a 2023-style NFL quarterback, not an anachronism. NFL quarterbacks of today need to be mobile. Mac Jones is not. His “inescapability” is off the charts. Jackson basically sets the bar for, “escapability”.

New England Patriots should roll the dice on Lamar Jackson

The New England Patriots botched the 2018 draft. What else is new? They are a notoriously poor drafting team as even their usually reticent owner has publicly pointed out.

But with Jackson possibly on the market, they should rectify that immensely costly mistake and just go for it. The Patriots with Mac Jones at quarterback are just an average team, maybe with playoff aspirations. With Jackson, who knows where they could be?

So to summarize, the New England Patriots should have, “… nothing to fear but fear itself”. (Franklin Roosevelt quote). Roll the dice. Under the Belichick regime, without Tom Brady, this team is mediocrity personified.

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If Belichick wants to go out in a blaze of glory, roll the dice on Lamar Jackson. What they have now isn’t getting the job done, for certain. Go for it. it might be great. There’s really nothing to lose.