4 Patriots on Thin Ice Heading Into Free Agency

These four New England Patriots players find themselves on thin ice as the NFL free agency period is set to open on March 13.

Patriots WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of four players on thin ice in New England ahead of free agency.
Patriots WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is one of four players on thin ice in New England ahead of free agency. / Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
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2. QB Mac Jones

The Patriots' struggles in the passing game weren't only Smith-Schuster's fault last season.

Mac Jones also left much to be desired in his third season under center for the Pats. The former Alabama signal-caller struggled to perform consistently, leading the franchise to a 2-9 record as he threw for 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 77.0 passer rating across 11 starts. Jones was even replaced by backup QB Bailey Zappe four times, showcasing just how bad things were.

As free agency looms, chances are that we've seen the last of Jones in a Patriots jersey. The 25-year-old has been listed as a trade candidate this offseason by several NFL experts. Considering how the Pats currently hold the third overall pick at the 2024 draft, it's more likely that a QB prospect like Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye will be their Week 1 starter come September (unless they sign a mentoring arm).

Hopefully, Jones figures out a way to become a starting QB one day. It just won't be with the Patriots if things continue on the same trajectory.