As the National Football League held its annual meeting in Phoenix, Arizona on Monday (March 27th), Kraft spoke to reporters and revealed that he had a conversation via text with the “Dreams & Nightmares” rapper three days earlier. “Meek Mill texted and said, ‘Lamar Jackson wants to come to the Patriots,’ Kraft said before adding, “I said, ‘That’s Bill Belichick’s decision.’” When asked about the conversation, Belichick responded in his famously terse manner, “I’m not going to talk about players on any other team.”
Jackson, who’s been the quarterback of the Baltimore Ravens since being drafted by them in 2018, announced that he requested a trade from the team on March 2nd. He related the news of his decision via his Twitter account on Monday, asking fans to personally ask him questions.
This comes 20 days after the Ravens applied a non-exclusive franchise tag after failing to come to terms with him on a long-term contract. That tag means that teams can negotiate with Jackson, but if he signs an offer sheet Baltimore has the right to match it or demand two first-round picks in return.
The 26-year-old quarterback is finding no takers for his services, as he is reportedly seeking a fully guaranteed contract similar to the $320 million contract Deshaun Watson signed with the Cleveland Browns. Many have speculated that the Patriots could make a deal with the Ravens despite their often-bitter rivalry with the franchise, but Kraft and Belichick have expressed support for their current QB, Mac Jones.
Meek Mill’s reported involvement sparked a buzz among industry observers, as it is well-known that he and Kraft have a close relationship. Another reason is that Jackson is not represented by an agent, and the NFL has already sent out an internal memo to all 32 teams to remind them not to engage an “unauthorized representative” by the name of Ken Francis in talks concerning a trade for Jackson.
It was soon revealed that Francis is a business partner of Jackson’s in a fitness equipment business. When contacted by ESPN, Francis denied any negotiating efforts, saying: “I don’t speak for Lamar.”