That doesn’t mean New England has complete faith in its current starting quarterback, though.
The Athletic’s Jeff Howe cleared this up in a column published Wednesday, which also poured cold water on the idea of the Patriots acquiring Jackson. Although team owner Robert Kraft has been an outspoken supporter of Jones, the 2021 first-rounder’s presence in New England isn’t the main reason the organization won’t go after Jackson.
“To be clear, the Patriots aren’t out on Jackson because of Jones,” Howe wrote. “Those are mutually exclusive situations, with the price on Jackson in salary and draft compensation being too much of a non-starter.”
Those hurdles surely are scaring off other teams, too. An interested franchise would need to give two first-round picks to the Ravens to land Jackson or work out a tag-and-trade deal with Baltimore. From there, the 2019 NFL MVP reportedly wants a fully guaranteed contract similar to the $230 million pact Deshaun Watson made with the Cleveland Browns last year.
As for Jones, a lot is riding on the 2023 season. If he doesn’t showcase legitimate franchise QB potential in the upcoming campaign, the Patriots could find themselves in the quarterback market next offseason.