Asante Samuel warns Lamar Jackson against joining Patriots
If quarterback Lamar Jackson wants to go to New England, a former Patriots cornerback suggests that he should reconsider.
Asante Samuel, who won two Super Bowls while playing for New England from 2003 to 2007, tweeted on Thursday: “Lamar Jackson, my brother trust me you don’t want to play for [Patriots coach Bill] Belichick.”
Lamar Jackson, my brother trust me you don’t want to play for Belichick
— Asante Samuel (@pick_six22) March 30, 2023
Jackson, who announced Monday that he had requested a trade from the Baltimore Ravens, was linked to the Patriots this week. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Jackson got a recommendation from a popular rap artist.
“You know, Meek Mill is my friend,” Kraft said. “He texted me saying that Lamar Jackson wanted to come here. But that’s Bill[ Belichick]’s decision.”
It would be surprising if the Ravens allowed Jackson to leave for the Patriots, who’ve been one of their biggest postseason rivals over the past 15 years. Baltimore placed the nonexclusive franchise tag on Jackson on March 7, which means the Ravens can match any offer sheet signed by Jackson or receive two first-round picks in return.
Asked whether the Patriots would pursue Jackson, Belichick said Monday: “I’m not going to talk about players on any other team.”
Samuel, a four-time Pro Bowl defender, has been a critic of Belichick in the past. He said Belichick created a negative environment despite New England’s success and credited quarterback Tom Brady as the reason the Patriots won six Super Bowl titles.
Jackson, however, had a fun experience with Belichick. Last September, he recalled a pre-draft visit to New England in 2018, when he was surprised by the usually stoic coach.
“I saw Coach Belichick smile,” Jackson said. “Usually I see him and he [has a] straight face. When I saw him smile, I was like ‘Dang, you’ve got humor.’ I told him that. He was like, ‘Yeah.’ I’m like, ‘I wasn’t expecting you to be smiling.'”
In September, Belichick was asked whether Jackson has answered questions about his ability to play in the pocket.
“Without a doubt,” Belichick said. “He’s the type of [player] that’s an MVP-type of candidate. I think he’s more than answered them. But, we’ll see what his contract is, that will answer them.”
The Ravens and Jackson have been unable to agree on a new contract for over two years, which has led to speculation as to where the 2019 NFL MVP might land.