New England Patriots' quarterback Mac Jones is entering the most important season of his football career. Could we see him on a new team in 2024 if he fizzles out with New England? I'd even go as far as to say that the Patriots could trade Jones at the deadline if the 2023 season does not begin how the team hopes.
Mac Jones is probably the 22nd best QB in the NFL right now. He's accurate and has adequate size for the position, but that's about it. He isn't a threat with his legs and doesn't have a special arm, either. I've said for a while that Mac Jones can peak in the tier of QBs like Kirk Cousins and Derek Carr.
I do think Jones can get to a place where he can be viewed as a franchise QB, and the 2023 season seems to be the best overall situation for him, I think. While the Patriots do not have a true WR1, they do have a solid stable of skill players and a competent offensive mind in Bill O'Brien. However, there's always the chance that Jones plays as poorly or even worse than he did in 2022.
If that is the case, Mac Jones will surely not be on the team in 2024. Let's cover three new landing spots for the QB if he fizzles out with New England in 2023.
3 landing spots for Mac Jones if he fizzles out with the Patriots in 2023
1. Las Vegas Raiders
I do think Josh McDaniels is on thin ice in Vegas, but there always is the possibility that he makes it through his second year as head coach of the team. They dumped Derek Carr for Jimmy Garoppolo, which was certainly a choice, but the Raiders do feature a very nice stable of wide receivers and an elite running back.
Well, Garoppolo certainly is not a long-term option for a team. He can barely stay healthy and turns 32 this year, so he may not make many more years as a viable starter in the NFL. Well, McDaniels could argue that he'd want to continue the progress he and Mac Jones made in 2021. Perhaps that would be enough for Mark Davis to give him another season.
2. Denver Broncos
If Denver Broncos' QB Russell Wilson fizzles out in 2023 like Mac Jones could, I could see the Broncos dumping him and looking for someone who could help them immediately. Sean Payton made quite a bit of magic with a pure pocket passer in Drew Brees for years. Brees, like Jones, didn't have anything special in terms of arm talent and had limited mobility.
Maybe Sean Payton would think that he could work with Mac Jones and turn him into a competent passer. You never know, honestly. He'd also be a very cheap option for the Broncos who would have to endure a large cap hit to move on from Russell Wilson.
Drew Brees wasn't a special talent at the QB spot, but Sean Payton knew how to get the best out of him, and I think he could do the same with Mac Jones.
3. San Francisco 49ers
This would be a logical landing spot for Mac Jones. There were rumors that the San Francisco 49ers were looking to draft Mac Jones back in 2021 when they traded up to the third overall pick. They took Trey Lance, instead, which has been a total mistake thus far.
Brock Purdy, the 2022 Mr. Irrelevant pick, now looks to be their QB of the future, but Sam Darnold is also in town and he actually played well in 2022. Honestly, I don't even think the 49ers know who their starting QB will be in the future.
If Mac Jones were to come available, could the 49ers think that he'd present a more talented version of their current QB1, Brock Purdy? It's clear that certain QBs are the best fits for Kyle Shanahan's offense, and Jones fits that mold.
The 49ers also do have quite a bit of large contracts on their roster and might like the idea of continuing to go the cheaper route at the position.