If Meek Mill Succeeds in Getting Lamar Jackson to the Patriots, it Will Unleash Football Armageddon
When you're an internationally renowned business mogul, philanthropist, visionary and activist with the profile of a Mr. Kraft, you make friends in all fields of endeavor. World leaders. Athletes. Tycoons. Celebrities. Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame members. Rappers. Dashing, sophisticated, silver foxes who write blogs and books about his football team.
And like in any true friendship, the benefits go both ways. My close, personal friend RKK tirelessly helps others, asking nothing in return. I mean, how do you help a man who has everything? But once in a while, those favors can be returned. For example, Mr. Kraft lobbied to get Meek Mill released from prison. And as they say about hands getting washed and backs being scratched, Mill may have just paid back his kindness:
Source - Lamar Jackson may not have an official agent, but that didn’t stop Meek Mill from making an overture for the disgruntled Ravens quarterback.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters on Monday that the rapper, with whom he has become close friends, texted him three or four days ago saying that Jackson wanted to come to New England.
Kraft said his answer to him was: “That’s a Bill [Belichick] decision.”
First of all, if this were to happen, it would shake the football world to its very foundations. Heads around the NFL would explode like something out of a Cronenberg film. There'd be emergency meetings on Park Avenue. Congressional hearings. A state of martial law declared throughout the land. The Writ of Habeus Corpus suspended. Heaven and Earth would be moved to prevent this … well, move. (That sentence got away from me.)
We think it was a big deal for Tom Brady to go to Tampa, Peyton Manning to sign with Denver and maybe the Jets to get Aaron Rodgers. And they were. But all those MVP quarterbacks were/are 15 years older than Lamar Jackson is right now. The Patriots taking him from the Ravens would be a game-changer on a scale of the Soviets stealing our nuclear secrets in the 1950s. And watching the panic that would ensue around the league would be great sport. More entertaining than the actual season.
All this said, and while I appreciate Meek Mill's efforts, this is Fantasyland stuff.
Before I go any further, I'll admit my pro-Mac Jones bias here. I've been invested in the guy since about November of 2020 when a losing streak started to put him within the Patriots draft grasp. He was everything I'd hoped he'd be as a rookie. I blame last year's step backwards squarely on Matt Patricia's shoulders. And believe he's going to take a huge leap in his third year. I've been very clear on that. But in no reality is 2023 Lamar Jackson not a gigantic upgrade from 2023 Mac Jones. Add him and the balance of power shifts in the AFC in a nanosecond.
But it's just not realistic because of the price. Jackson is that dream home that's way out of our budget, both in terms of what you'd have to give up to get him, and the expense once you do. At minimum, it's going to take two 1st round picks. Bill Belichick has run almost 30 draft rooms in his life. So this is no small sample size. And when has he ever done anything remotely like investing that much draft capital on one player. I'll wait. No I won't. I don't have all day to sit here waiting for an answer that will never come.
Next, to keep Jackson will cost about $200 million. A significant portion of that will have to be guaranteed. To be clear, Jackson is perfectly justified in demanding that. It's what the market for young MVP quarterbacks is. He deserves it. But that's just antithetical to how GM Bill operates, has operated, and will forever operate. Not getting his hands ziptied with massive contracts is his core philosophy. It's the rock upon which his castle is built. Of course it's possible he could have a change in his foundational principles now that he's approaching 71 and the sun is getting low in the sky, so to speak. But that's a lot to expect after all the success he's had.
Next comes the possibility that the Ravens would be willing to trade Jackson. That's certainly an option for him and them. But if they're going to, what on God's green Earth makes anyone think they'd be willing to talk to the Pats? These two franchises have spent the better part of 20 years being the Athens and Sparta of the AFC. They despise each other. The Ravens gave birth to Deflategate. They got the rules changed after the 2014 Divisional game to outlaw the ineligible receiver formations. Then got them changed again when the Patriots leapfrogged the center to block a field goal. Then there was Terrell Suggs screaming "Have fun at the Pro Bowl! Arrogant fuckers!" into the locker room after winning a playoff game at Gillette. When it comes to them, it's personal. And any deal with New England would include a massive extra surcharge. Call it the Arrogant Fuckers Tax. One that would make the price of getting Jackson prohibitive.
Sorry to be the guy who kills the party with facts, logic, and common sense. I just don't see it as even remotely likely.
Which is a pity. Even for me, who's a founding member of Team Mac. Just watching the reaction around the league would be joyous. Roger Goodell would probably find some obscure clause in his contract that allows him to nullify the deal in the best interest of growing the game or something. But it's fun to dream about it, nevertheless.
As it is, it's probably a lot more likely that Meek Mill just prompted a tampering investigation that will cost us the 14th pick in this year's draft. That's how these things usually work out for Mr. Kraft's team.