Report: AFC surprise team might be interested in Lamar Jackson

09/13/2021; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) reacts against the Las Vegas Raiders during Monday Night Football at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

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 has linked the star quarterback to a surprising team.

ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler told SportsCenter Sunday that Jackson has yet to receive an offer sheet. Teams can wait until the NFL Draft before aggressively pursuing the former MVP — if they do it at all. The big question is which teams. According to Fowler, the New England Patriots are a potential “wild card” in the Jackson Sweepstakes.

“As far as I know, there isn’t really a solid offer sheet for Lamar Jackson right now. Teams are probably playing this slowly,” Fowler said. “The draft will be a good indicator. They have a team like the 4th-ranked Colts. If they can’t draft the quarterback of the future they want, maybe they’ll switch to Lamar Jackson. Should the Jets strike with Aaron Rodgers, they could turn. Then you have some wildcards like a Tennessee, a New England, teams that like to run the ball. You never know.”

Fowler added that Jackson may not receive offers from other teams. From the start, the Ravens felt like they were in line with every offer sheet Jackson receives, and rivals might not want to do the bargaining work for them.

It would be extremely out of character for Bill Belichick to award a huge guaranteed contract and give up multiple first-round draft picks for every player. New England has Mac Jones on a rookie contract that allows them to fill other needs. Of course, they’ve had a losing season and team owner Robert Kraft might be getting impatient.

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According to a recent report, the Patriots are eyeing three top wide receivers. They’re far more likely to acquire one of them than go after Jackson.

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