New England Patriots quarterback Mack Jones isn’t getting much love this season. He owns a 5-6 record with seven touchdowns to eight interceptions. His QBR is 30.7, up from 50.9 his rookie year. He even came on the bench for third baseman Bailey Zapp after returning from injury against the Chicago Bears.
There were also comments from head coach Bill Belichick after the Patriots’ loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. That means the Hail Mary wasn’t called at the end of the game because Jones couldn’t reach the end zone from New England’s 45-yard line.
Even though Jones was the 15th overall pick in last year’s draft and he put together a solid 10-7 record as a starter last season, leading the Patriots to a playoff spot, some believe the Patriots will trade the veteran QB this offseason.
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Apparently, one of Jones’ teammates wouldn’t mind either.
Rookie offensive lineman Trent Brown liked an ESPN Instagram post that quoted reporter Bill Barnwell’s comments about the Patriots’ quarterback situation.
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“The Patriots should still make the call [Tom] Brady’s people will wonder if he wants to return to New England to finish his career. …they could also pursue [Jimmy] Garoppolo,” Barnwell suggested.
It might not be anything, but the fact that the Browns agreed to the offer could mean that Jones might not be the guy the Patriots want under center.
Brady is a free agent this upcoming season, so speculation has already begun as to whether he will return for another season or actually retire this time. If he doesn’t return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Patriots have been touted as a possible destination.
Rob Gronkowski recently told Fox News Digital that the Patriots would welcome Brady back “with open arms.” Of course, both parties must want to unite.
Brown was Brady’s teammate in 2018, starting every game for him at left tackle.
Garoppolo was Brady’s backup in New England, and the organization clearly saw something in him when they drafted him in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Garoppolo is nursing an injury he suffered with the San Francisco 49ers. Given that he has a shot at returning during the playoffs, he should be good to go heading into training camp next season. He’s also proven to be a solid starting point guard since he left New England.
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The argument for bringing in a veteran quarterback even with Jones on the roster is that he’s still under contract after two guaranteed seasons after this year, and the Patriots can activate his fifth-year option. For example, if Brady returns, New England could see it as an opportunity for Jones to learn from one of the game’s greatest ever.
It’s also tough to play in the AFC East these days, with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills leading the way since Brady left for Tampa Bay. Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins have proven to be a solid group, and the New York Jets are no longer an easy matchup twice a year.
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I don’t know what Belichick thinks about the game’s most important position in the short and long term, but with Jones regressing after a promising rookie season, no one can say for sure he’ll be under center for the Patriots in 2023.