Exploring Trade Options for Mac Jones with the New England Patriots

The New England Patriots endeavoured to move quarterback Mac Jones during the off-season, as per Mike Florio’s report from Pro Football Talk.

The Patriots explored potential trades for Jones with the Las Vegas Raiders, Houston Texans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Washington Commanders.

The Patriots chose Jones with the fifteenth pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Prior to his entry into New England, an immense pressure was placed on his shoulders as the successor of Tom Brady. Brady achieved six championships with head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots, before gaining his seventh Super Bowl win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Patriots completed their season with a record of 8-9, missing out on the playoffs. The outlook for the upcoming season is not optimistic, with a projected win total of only 7.5.

The Patriots are +800 to win the AFC East, the long shot on the board behind the Buffalo Bills (+135), New York Jets (+240), and Miami Dolphins (+300). They’re forecasted to finish last in their division.

The Patriots are +6000 to win Super Bowl LVIII, according to DraftKings, with only six teams having longer odds. They find themselves ranked twelfth out of sixteen teams in the AFC to win the AFC Championship at +3000 odds.

The Jones trade rumour caused a huge reaction from Patriots fans all over New England.

Mac Jones Goes to Washington?

The Buccaneers had to search for a quarterback to replace Brady, who retired at the end of the season. They signed Baker Mayfield, yet they’re open to additional ideas at quarterback.

The Texans have the second pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, and new head coach DeMeco Ryans declared that they’re inquisitive about drafting a quarterback like CJ Stroud or Bryce Young.

The Raiders recently added former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to their roster via free agency. Before he assumed the role of head coach of the Raiders, Josh McDaniels was the offensive coordinator with the Patriots. McDaniels and Jones worked together during his rookie season, which is why the Patriots contacted the Raiders about a potential trade. The Raiders decided to sign Garoppolo instead.

The Commanders are in need of a quarterback after they moved on from Carson Wentz, and recently lost backup Taylor Heinicke to the Atlanta Falcons. Out of all the teams mentioned in Florio’s report, the Commanders seem like the most logical destination for Jones.

The Commanders currently have Jacoby Brissett and Sam Howell on their roster, but both are better suited as backup quarterbacks. They were also linked in another trade rumour involving Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Jackson demanded a trade after contract extension negotiations fell apart with the Ravens because he sought out a 100% guaranteed contract.

Belichick Misfires with Judge/Patricia as OC

During Jones’ rookie season, he led the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a postseason berth, yet they were eliminated in the AFC Wild Card. Jones completed 67.6% of his passes and threw 22 touchdowns with 13 interceptions. However, this was under McDaniels as the offensive coordinator. After McDaniels took the Raiders job, Belichick made a questionable decision and decided to promote assistant coaches to share duties running the offense.

Joe Judge and Matt Patricia were named co-offensive coordinators, yet neither former assistant coach had a specialty in offence. Judge spent five seasons as a special teams coach with the Patriots, and Patricia was the defensive coordinator for six seasons.

Judge and Patricia had recently come back to New England after unsuccessful stints as head coaches. An inept Judge went 10-23 with the New York Giants and was fired after two losing seasons. The Detroit Lions dismissed an acerbic Patricia midway through his third season after he posted a 13-29-1 record.

Despite their failure as head coaches, Belichick remained loyal to his former assistants and welcomed both back to his staff. However, he severely misjudged their capability to run the offence. As a direct result, they failed to qualify for the playoffs.

I’m a big fan of Mac,” team owner Robert Kraft told The Athletic. “He quarterbacked his rookie season and did a very fine job. We made the playoffs. I think we experimented with some things last year that frankly didn’t pan out.”

Even Kraft threw some shade on Belichick’s decision to let Judge/Patricia run the offence.

Belichick Sours on Jones

Jones and multiple veterans, including long-time backup quarterback Brian Hoyer, clashed with Judge/Patricia who were out of their depth at offensive coordinator. When players had legitimate questions about the offence, both coaches brushed them off.