New England Patriots Rumors: To trade or not to trade Mac Jones

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 08: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots stumbles during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 08: Mac Jones #10 of the New England Patriots stumbles during the third quarter against the Buffalo Bills at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots Mac Jones is on the hot seat as he enters his third year in the league. Jones entered 2021 with high expectations. He justified his first-round pick status with a fine rookie season.

Then in 2022, the wheels fell off the Patriots’ offense. In short, they stunk and Jones was part of the problem. Much of the blame fell on the offensive coaching staff put in place by head Coach, Bill Belichick.

Belichick confusingly put two coaches in charge of the offense who knew little about offensive coordination, Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. The results as suggested by NFL cognoscenti at the time were predictable, the offense was a disaster.

Now Jones enters his third season with a new and real offensive coordinator, Bill O’Brien and the focus will be on Jones, if, he remains with the team. That’s a question that should be explored.

Should Jones be in control or should he be traded? Let’s explore both sides.

New England Patriots Mac Jones should lead the team

New England Patriots
New England Patriots QB Mac Jones. (Photo by Winslow Townson/Getty Images) /

The argument that Jones should stay and persist includes the following. First, the team invested a first-round pick (No.15) in the player. That’s good motivation to give him a solid run.

In addition, in his rookie season, Jones showed could lead a team to the playoffs. That’s another good and requisite indicator. The rookie was excellent.

Jones is a very accurate thrower. He also came back to Foxborough in much better condition for his second year. Never underestimate the value of dedication and commitment.

He has a great pedigree coming from the Alabama program after excelling under Nick Saban and now graduating into the Belichick system.

Jones has had (this space included) great support in the New England Patriot fanbase. His rookie season and dubious Pro Bowl “selection” were still all good. But in year two, his performance backslid and the results were poor as the team failed to make the playoffs by one game.

In addition, his attitude and demeanor were questioned by a former Patriot great. So what about now, prior to year three, should Jones be traded or handed the keys to the offense?

Reasons why the New England Patriots should trade Mac Jones

It’s hard to question that New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones’ stock has fallen precipitously. Belichick waxes eloquently about the vaunted second-year leap in performance by young players.

For Jones, it was a huge broad jump backward. He regressed. For certain, the incompetent coaching staff that caused ripples of discontent early on was a significant factor.

They had no idea what they were doing. But in fairness, neither Patricia nor Judge was an offensive coach. The blame if any goes right to the top, to Bill Belichick. It was a foolish move then and it cost the team its season.

Now Jones is in the middle. He has a talented backup on the team in last season’s fourth-round pick Bailey Zappe. Zap won a couple of games and played well when Jones was hurt last season. Arguments that he only beat lousy defenses are specious. You play whoever’s on the schedule.

Like Tom Brady and Drew Bledsoe more than 20 years ago, Zappe seems determined to take the No. One job from Jones.

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In addition, it seems prudent to either draft, trade for, or sign another quarterback to compete with both. Why not? Competition keeps everyone on their toes. The thought here is to trade for Miami’s super-mobile quarterback, Skylar Thompson, and let the three fight it out.

Jones would probably fetch a decent return from a desperate quarterback-needy team. The return would have to be at least a second-round pick this year or a third this and a second next.

The most significant reason why Jones should be traded though is this. The young quarterback has minimum escapability in the pocket. He’s not a swift individual but he’s not a sloth either.

Rather, Jones doesn’t possess the ability to side-step an ongoing rusher like Tom Brady or run for it to avoid a sack. Escapability is an essential ingredient for quarterbacks, especially those who can’t run from pressure. And Jones can’t very well.

Next. Patriots Rumors: Why Bill Belichick wouldn’t dare trade Mac Jones. dark

So, the synthesis of this is if the return is solid enough to help buttress other positions of need for the New England Patriots, then Jones should be traded. Another QB or two then has to be brought in by trade or drafted. Then, let the competition begin.

In the final analysis, unless things are perfect, Mac Jones will likely be disappointed. Perfection is illusory. Therefore, it’s probably time to move on and trade him for draft picks. It is what it is.