5. Mac Jones
Mac Jones' tenure with the Patriots has been an absolute roller coaster.
Belichick looked like a genius for snagging Jones with the No. 15 pick during the quarterback's rookie year, as he led New England to the playoffs while recording 3,803 passing yards and 22 touchdowns.
The encouraging potential Jones showed has only flickered into view ever since, though. He took a clear step back in 2022, and the arrival of Bill O'Brien did nothing to help him 2023. In fact, Jones' decline only worsened this last season, with the former national champ's confidence clearly gone after a rocky past couple of years.
A clean break seems like the best path forward for both sides in 2024. Jones has done nothing to make his case to an incoming GM that he's worth keeping around. Yet, at only 25 years old and having an option for 2025 still left on his deal, the incoming front office could sell other teams on Jones' possibility to bounce back in a new environment.
We've seen a number of former highly drafted quarterbacks revive their stock around the league, including Baker Mayfield of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just this past season. Another franchise could be convinced Jones follows that same mold.
The incoming GM would be smart to extract any kind of value they can get out of the Alabama product's departure if he's traded.
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