Mac Jones was supposed to be the New England Pariots' starting quarterback for years to come, but it's become increasingly clear that might not be the case. Some hopeful Patriots fans might think that Jones can save his job with a strong finish to the 2023 campaign, but he might need to do more than produce on-field results to do so.
After all, one former Patriots assistant believes that Jones' falling out of favor in New England has much more to do with how he's perceived off the field.
Mac Jones Rumors
On his "The GM Shuffle" podcast, former Patriots assistant Michael Lombardi — who was with the team from 2014 to 2016 — blames Jones' unlikability as a reason why the QB might not be with the franchise much longer.
Lombardi compares Jones' situation to that of New York Giants quarterback Tommy DeVito, saying that the rookie might not be the best, but he can tell the Giants like DeVito by how they rally around him "when he makes a mistake or takes a sack." Lombardi just doesn't get that same feeling from the Patriots and Jones.
"All the things, you can see there’s a disdain for [Mac Jones]. Like you can see — there’s no sense of energy, there’s no, ‘Hey, he’s my guy, I love this guy.’"- Michael Lombardi
The former Patriots assistant wasn't done there, though. Lombardi even went as far as comparing Jones to Carson Wentz, saying that Wentz fell out of favor everywhere he went due to his unlikability, too.
However, the major difference is that Wentz at least has one MVP-caliber season and a Super Bowl ring under his belt. Meanwhile, Jones has been declining since his rookie year.
While it's easy to pile on the New England QB, it's worth noting that Lombardi's remarks came out on the same day that Mike Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster openly declared their support for Jones, going as far as saying the 25-year-old has been "positive" and "supportive" throughout his struggles.
"I think that [Jones] deserves a ton of credit for the way that he handles himself, the way that he goes about his process, how he prepares. I can’t say enough good things about him."- Mike Gesicki
While Jones' days with the Patriots are potentially numbered, hopefully, he gets an opportunity to turn things around elsewhere. His rookie campaign showed he can be a Pro Bowl-caliber QB and a change in scenery could be what he needs to get back there.
In the meantime, Bailey Zappe will likely assume starting quarterback duties when the Patriots host the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday. As it stands, most sportsbooks are favoring New England to lose by a touchdown at Gillette Stadium.
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