Rumors have swirled about the Patriots trying to trade Mac Jones, but there’s one big reason New England won’t ship the quarterback out this year.
It looked like the Patriots had their quarterback for the foreseeable future when Mac Jones debuted with a strong rookie season in 2021. A year makes a huge difference.
Jones went from the future to a potential trade piece over the span of one decidedly mediocre season for New England.
The end result: A slew of trade rumors linking the now-out-of-favor quarterback with a move out of town.
Albert Breer of The MMQB confirmed reports that the Patriots have shopped Jones. However, he also revealed the biggest reason a trade isn’t likely.
“I do know [Mac Jones’] name came up in trade discussions with a couple teams,” Breer said after suggesting that head coach Bill Belichick may be “sending a message to that kid that you’re not on scholarship.”
The reality remains that the Patriots won’t get a package in return that would make it worth cutting bait on Jones.
“Part of the issue now is they wouldn’t get great value for him,” Breer said.
The Patriots have more reason to keep Mac Jones than to trade him
New England would need some value to justify that trade. The most valuable contract in the NFL is a quarterback on his rookie deal. Maybe Jones isn’t the long-term answer for the Patriots but financially it makes more sense for them to keep him on board while keeping their eyes open for other options.
We already know they’re not going to enter the Lamar Jackson sweepstakes. If the Ravens’ star isn’t the endgame, there aren’t many other quarterbacks out there worth pursuing. True upgrades are hard to find.
That’s especially true when you take the context of the 2022 season into account. Jones was ineffective, throwing 11 touchdowns to just 14 touchdowns. Compared to 2021, he was worse in just about every statistical category.
But he was also running an offense that would have made Tom Brady look pedestrian.
Belichick declined to truly replace Josh McDaniels, instead appointing no offensive coordinator while letting Matt Patricia and Joe Judge wing it. It was a disaster and the exact opposite environment built to help a young quarterback thrive.
The Patriots brought in Bill O’Brien to run a proper offense in 2023. Rather than dumping Jones for practically nothing, they’re better off seeing what he can do.