Could Mac Jones wind up reuniting with Josh McDaniels in Las Vegas?
McDaniels and the Raiders are looking for a new quarterback after parting ways with Derek Carr. Since McDaniels was the New England Patriots' offensive coordinator and QBs coach during Jones' rookie season, some have pondered the possibility of the Raiders trading for the 2021 first-round pick.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio helped to fuel that speculation on Tuesday.
"After the season ended, Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked whether Jones will be the team’s starter in 2023, Florio wrote. "Belichick didn’t answer the question, saying instead that Jones has proved he can play in this league. Perhaps a trade could happen, pairing Jones with the former Patriots offensive coordinator who helped Jones have a solid rookie season."
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But just how realistic is the Patriots trading Jones ahead of the 2023 campaign? Would either team even entertain the idea of such a deal?
The MMQB's Albert Breer joined 98.5 The Sports Hub's "Zolak and Bertrand" on Thursday to share his insight.
"I don't think Bill appreciated the way that Mac handled some of the stuff last year," Breer said. "There's a way that I think Bill thinks a franchise quarterback should conduct himself. And for the most part, (Tom) Brady did conduct himself that way. I think there were certain things in the way that Mac handled his second year as a pro that Bill didn't appreciate.
"I don't know how in love the Raiders are with Mac. Like, if you're talking about getting their first-round pick, I don't think that's happening."
Jones often wore his emotions on his sleeve during the Patriots' disappointing season. On multiple occasions, he was caught on the television broadcast yelling at coaches or simply displaying poor body language. Much of his frustrations were with Matt Patricia and the offensive coaching staff's conservative approach.
That behavior, as Breer notes, didn't sit well with Belichick. That might be one reason the Patriots would be willing to hear what the Raiders have to offer in a potential trade for Jones.
"I think they would," Breer said. "Internally, I don't know if they see this massive gap between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. I'm not saying they think Bailey's as good as Mac, but there was some element of Bailey doing what he was coached to do last year that I think gave Bailey the edge to some degree for a little while there.
"So I think it'll be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer came along. I don't think a real offer is going to come along, but it'd be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer did come along."
As of now, Jones is poised to bounce back in 2023 with Bill O'Brien taking control of the offense.