5 Most Likely Mac Jones Destinations for 2024 After Patriots Benching

Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany;  New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before a
Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) warms up before a / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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With the news this morning that Bailey Zappe will start under center for the New England Patriots on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, questions are swirling about what that means for Mac Jones' future.

The former first-rounder was taken by New England with the 15th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft after a prolific season at Alabama in which he finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting and set several NCAA records, including completion percentage (77.4).

In his 2020 season at Alabama, Jones also set the NCAA record for passer rating at 203.1. Last Sunday against the New York Giants, Jones had a passer rating of 27.8. If Jones had spiked all 21 passes directly into the ground, his passer rating would have been 39.6. Quite the fall from grace.

Jones had a promising rookie season as the Patriots finished 10-7, including a stretch of seven consecutive wins in the middle of the season. New England earned a playoff berth and Jones made the Pro Bowl. Despite an early playoff exit, the future looked bright for the young signal caller.

Since being knocked out by Buffalo in the Wild Card Playoffs that night, the Patriots have gone in the opposite direction, losing 18 of their last 28 games and trotting out a putrid offense that has only averaged 13.5 points per game this season.

Jones has been right at the center of criticism, and at times rightfully so. Although he is far from the only problem on this 2-9 New England squad, change is coming in Foxborough. For both him and the franchise, a clean break might be for the best.

If Jones and the Patriots do go their separate ways, where does he end up? Here are a few contenders.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Oh, what a storyline it would be if Jones leaves New England to find success in Tampa Bay, just like that other former Patriots quarterback.

Baker Mayfield hasn't played well enough to buy himself more time in Tampa Bay, and his contract expires at the end of the year. The team selected former Florida Gators quarterback Kyle Trask in the second round of the 2021 draft, but Trask has only thrown 10 passes in the NFL. The Bucs' decision to sign and start Mayfield over Trask would also indicate that they are not too high on him.

The Buccaneers currently hold the seventh overall pick, so they may be able to scoop up a quarterback in the draft if they decide to go in that direction. Their remaining schedule isn't exactly a gauntlet either (the teams remaining on their schedule have a combined record of 25-41), so a few wins would push them farther down the draft board.

Jones was born and raised in the Sunshine State, so perhaps a return to his roots could reinvigorate him.

Unlike some of the other teams on this list, Tampa Bay lacks a real established offensive mind or quarterback whisperer that could take Mac Jones under their wing. Head coach Todd Bowles has made his money on defense, and offensive coordinator Dave Canales is in only his first season calling NFL plays.

Tampa Bay might show interest in Jones, but there are far better landing spots if he wants to resuscitate his career.