Patriots Get Shockingly Low Return on Investment With Mac Jones

Mac Jones' career with the New England Patriots came to a disappointing conclusion.

Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) leaves the field
Nov 12, 2023; Frankfurt, Germany; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) leaves the field / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On April 29, 2021, Mac Jones strode across the stage at the NFL Draft as commissioner Roger Goodell announced that the New England Patriots had selected the Alabama product with the 15th overall pick. Now, nearly three years later, New England was only able to fetch a sixth-round pick (No. 192) in exchange for Jones as the quarterback's future with the Patriots has come to a rather underwhelming conclusion.

Not only did Jones never materialize into the franchise quarterback that New England had envisioned, but also the return on investment pales in comparison to the draft capital that the Patriots used on Jones. Bill Belichick has left the new brain trust with pennies on the dollar.

Patriots Get Shockingly Low Return in Mac Jones Trade

Reportedly, former head coach and de facto general manager Bill Belichick wanted to trade Jones last offseason, when a reasonable return at the time likely would have been valued as a second or third-round pick.

Ownership vetoed the idea, and now the Patriots will have to settle for a sixth-rounder, a substantial deviation from the hypothetical return for Jones last offseason.

Four teams were "in the mix" for Mac Jones, but the Jacksonville Jaguars were the only team to submit an offer, per Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports. Mac Jones is a native of Jacksonville, where he played his high school ball at The Bolles School.

Jones is far from the only member of his QB draft class who didn't find success at the NFL level. Second-overall pick Zach Wilson is an unwelcome commodity with the New York Jets, and 11th-overall pick Justin Fields could likely be on the move with the Bears slated to select first overall.

Trey Lance, who was selected third overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, was already jettisoned by the San Francisco 49ers in August for a fourth-rounder to the Dallas Cowboys. Lance would serve as Dallas' third-string quarterback and did not appear in a game for the Cowboys in 2023.

In fact, the only quarterback from that draft who appears to have a future as an NFL starter is Trevor Lawrence, whom Jones will presumably back up in Jacksonville. Lawrence was taken with the first overall pick in 2021 after a distinguished career at Clemson.

Between the last two drafts, the Patriots have selected seven players in the sixth round. In 2022, New England picked Kevin Harris, Sam Roberts, and Chasen Hines. In 2023, The Patriots took Kayshon Boutte, Bryce Baringer, DeMario Douglas, and Ameer Speed.

Douglas showed flashes in his rookie season and Baringer was seemingly on the field every offensive possession to punt the ball away, but that track record is far from a murderers' row.

The trade between New England and Jacksonville cannot be officially completed until the new league year opens on Wed. March 13 at 4 p.m. EST and Jones passes a physical with his new team.

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