Contradicting report on Mac Jones, New England Patriots points to NFL’s silly time


New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones regressed big time as a sophomore this past season. The former first-round pick fell out of favor among the Patriots’ brass, head coach Bill Belichick included.

This has led to some speculation that the Patriots might simply look to end their two-year experiment with the former Alabama star via a trade this offseason.

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated took it one step further by indicating there’s an internal belief in New England that the gap between Jones and 2022 draft pick Bailey Zappe isn’t too great.

“Internally, I don’t know if they see this massive gap between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. I’m not saying they think Bailey’s as good as Mac, but there was some element of Bailey doing what he was coached to do last year that I think gave Bailey the edge to some degree for a little while there. So I think it’ll be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer came along.”

Report on Mac Jones situation with the Patriots

A fourth-round pick out of Western Kentucky last spring, Zappe took over for an injured Jones and led New England to a 2-0 record in as many starts. He also threw five touchdowns against zero interceptions while boasting a 100.9 QB rating.

Despite the narrative that New England has soured on Jones and might look to move him, other reports suggests that it’s just the silly time on the NFL calendar making its presence known.

“I think that any speculation that Mac Jones would be trade bait or considered a trade object in 2023 is stupid. Next year might be a different story with him entering the final year of his contract, whether or not the Patriots pick up his fifth-year option. But this year? Absolutely not.”

Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston said on Wednesday

Related: Sportsnaut’s updated NFL trade rumors

Mac Jones likely entering make-or-break season for the New England Patriots

mac jones, new england patriots

There’s really no rush for New England to make a decision on Jones. The team will not have to decide on his fifth-year rookie option until after the 2023 season. And in reality, the Pats can’t be seen as top-end conference title contenders right now. Giving him another season to prove his worth as a franchise quarterback makes sense.

With that said, there has to be some real concern over how much Jones regressed as a sophomore after leading New England to a surprise playoff appearance his rookie season.

YearComp%YardsTDINTQB rating
Mac Jones career stats

Typically, quarterbacks find a way to progress heading into their sophomore seasons. The fact that we saw the opposite of that from Jones in 2022 has to be seen as concerning.

For a head coach as fickle as Belichick, Jones’ performance this past season could set into motion the possibility of finding another option. With former Patriots quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett set to hit free agency, that’s magnified further.

For now, it seems that New England is going to give Jones one more shot to prove his worth. However, we also wouldn’t put it past Belichick and Co. to keep their eyes open for other options during the offseason.

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