6 Offseason Moves the Patriots Must Make to Return to the Playoffs Next Season

If the New England Patriots want to get back to the playoffs in 2024, they need to make these 6 moves

New England Patriots, Mac Jones
New England Patriots, Mac Jones / Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Get rid of Mac Jones

When Mac Jones was still on the board at No. 15 during the 2021 NFL Draft, it felt like a match made in heaven for the Patriots. After one season with Cam Newton under center, New England thought they found their long-term replacement for Tom Brady. And after his rookie campaign, it seemed as though they were correct.

Belichick and the Patriots just went 7-9 in 2020, which was their first losing season since 2000 — which was also his first year with the franchise. With Jones under center in 2021, they were 10-7 and returned to the postseason. They lost to the Buffalo Bills in Round 1 but it seemed as if they were headed in the right direction. Then, things took a turn for the worse.

Jones struggled in his second season in the NFL, finishing with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in 14 games. New England was also just 6-8 with him under center — and 2-1 without him.

In 2023, the wheels fell off. Jones struggled all year with accuracy, especially in the red zone. He had just 10 touchdowns and 12 picks in 11 starts while the Patriots were just 2-9 with him as the starter. He was eventually benched for Bailey Zappe and there were reports he and Belichick wouldn’t speak to each other by season’s end.

Looking ahead to 2024, there’s no way Jones should be on this roster. He’s proven he’s not “the guy,” and even if they wanted to give him a fresh start, there are far too many players on the roster who saw the former coach give up on him. Jones won’t be able to win the locker room over and while they won’t get much at all in a trade, New England should be shopping him.