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New England Patriots insider reveals likely return for team in a Mac Jones trade this offseason

New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots spent the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft on quarterback Mac Jones and he delivered in his first season. Just a few years later, Jones is on the verge of being replaced ant the return for the former first-round pick could be minimal.

Things looked promising for New England after the 2021 season. Jones earned a Pro Bowl selection and was named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team after posting a 92.5 QB rating and 22-13 TD-INT ratio in his first year. It was all downhill from there for the Patriots quarterback.

  • Mac Jones stats 2023: 2,120 passing yards, 10-12 TD-INT, 6.1 yards per attempt, 77.0 QB rating

Related: New England Patriots discussed blockbuster trade involving No. 3 overall pick

Once Josh McDaniels left New England, Jones’ production plummeted. Over the last two seasons, in between multiple benchings, he posted an 81.4 QB rating and averaged just 6.5 yards per attempt with a 24-23 TD-INT ratio and a 3 percent touchdown rate. Even after overhauling the coaching staff, the Patriots are ready for a change at quarterback.

While there remains debate over whether New England will take a quarterback with the third overall pick or trade down and build a team around a veteran, one thing has become fairly clear. Jones doesn’t have much of a future with the team and if he is shopped this offseason, there won’t be much of a return.

NFL executives who spoke to Doug Kyed of the Boston Herald indicated that the Patriots would likely be able to receive a fifth-round pick in exchange for Jones this offseason. However, one AFC evaluator believes New England would be lucky to receive a sixth-round pick.

It’s not all that surprising considering the expected return in a trade for New York Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is a seventh-round pick, with an outside shot at a sixth-round selection. Jones has at least put together one productive season and while he doesn’t have a high ceiling, he could be a functional fill-in starter with better talent around him.

Related: New England Patriots reported sheds light on possible Justin Fields trade

  • Mac Jones contract: $4.959 million cap hit in 2024

Of course, with his fifth-year option declined, Jones is only a one-year rental. It also doesn’t help that the Patriots organization publicly soured on him last year and he has developed a bit of a reputation among his peers around the NFL for being a dirty player.

Ultimately, receiving a fifth-round pick in exchange for Jones seems to be the best-case scenario for the Patriots. However, depending on how the quarterback market shakes out, New England may have to settle for a swap of Day 3 picks.

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