Robert Griffin III believes New England dropped the ball with Jones
9 hours ago
Did the Patriots really shop quarterback Mac Jones this NFL offseason?
ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio reported such Tuesday, citing the tension that reportedly exists between Jones and New England head coach Bill Belichick, but former NFL quarterback Robert Griffin III is among those stumped by the trade rumors.
“The Patriots have reportedly shopped Mac Jones to other teams this off-season,” Griffin tweeted Tuesday. “Trying to trade him after giving him a defensive coordinator as his Offensive Coordinator and a special teams coach as his QB Coach last year is MIND BLOWING.”
Jones, the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, had a strong rookie season but struggled for much of his sophomore campaign. Belichick tabbed Matt Patricia, a former defensive coordinator, to call New England’s offensive plays last season, while Joe Judge, a former special teams coach, served as the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach. The personnel moves backfired, with New England’s offense sputtering as the Patriots finished 8-9 and missed the playoffs.
Now, obviously, it’s unclear what the future holds for Jones. While a subsequent report Tuesday from MassLive.com’s Mark Daniels cast doubt over the Jones trade rumors, Doug Kyed of A to Z Sports reported “the tension is real” and that it “goes both ways.” So, perhaps the Patriots really will move on from Jones, paving the way for backup QB Bailey Zappe — or someone else not currently on New England’s roster — to take the first snap of the 2023 season.
“And I’m a Bailey Zappe guy. Love his game. But Mac’s regression was a by product of unconventional decisions with the offense,” Griffin wrote in a follow-up to his initial tweet Tuesday. “Thought it could be a tendency breaker and give them an edge, but the only people they confused were their own players.”
This figures to be a make-or-break season for Jones, who clearly was dealt a tough hand in 2022 but nevertheless failed to perform between the lines. But it’s quickly becoming a question of whether he’ll spend the year in Foxboro, even though it’d be rather jarring to see the Patriots trade him away after bringing back Bill O’Brien (Jones’ coach at Alabama) this offseason to be their offensive coordinator.