3 reasons why the New England Patriots should trade Mac Jones before the draft

It's time for Pats to move on from former first-round pick.

Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots
Los Angeles Chargers v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

The New England Patriots are a team in transition. They reside in a transformational stage in attempting to reshape their destiny after the abrupt end of the dynastic era of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. It ended after the 2018 Super Bowl season, and they've only recently just figured that out.

After brooming Brady, the Pats went downhill in a hurry as Bill Belichick's flaws as general manager (and as a coach, for that matter) were exposed, and the team has sunk to the bottom of the AFC East, a Division it had dominated for two decades. Now, with a new Coach, Jerod Mayo, and a new de facto general manager, Eliot Wolf, it's time to renovate the whole edifice and bring it back to prominence and relevance.

One key position that has to be addressed in the next two months or so, is the quarterback, the most important of all. The 2023 QB room was a disaster as for whatever reasons Mac Jones floundered, was benched for Bailey Zappe, and neither provided much of anything in the way of points on the board. Now it's time to trade Jones and move on with a new and hopefully a dual-threat quarterback.

The Patriots won't pick up Jones' fifth-year option and need a new direction at QB

This makes sense for three main reasons. First, the Patriots will not pick up Jones' fifth-year option that would pay him a fortune. It's not happening, which means he's a lame duck. Jones doesn't seem happy in Foxborough, and his performance has reflected that fact. It's best for the player and team to cut ties completely and move on.

The NFL has moved in a new direction, with dual-threat quarterbacks taking center stage. Belichick never quite came to grips with that fact after he jettisoned Brady, though he did give Cam Newton a go in 2020. That was a disaster, as the coaching staff was clueless about using his talents. Ultimately, he was scapegoated as the cause of their lousy season. That was totally BS.

Jones lacks escapability in the pocket, and it's time to transition out of that stationary model. The rebuilt Patriots' offense under Wolf needs to draft a dual-threat QB early on and move into the 2020s NFL. The options have been explored to a fare-thee-well and will be further until the draft.

Suffice it to say that any of Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels (the choice here), Michael Penix, or Bo Nix fits the bill. If we see one of those on the draft sheet on day one or two, feel good about the direction. Forget about a trade for a veteran QB. Go and get your starting quarterback in the draft.

The Patriots need the extra draft capital

Additionally, the Patriots are currently draft-capital poor, with only seven total draft picks. That's far fewer than usual. The good news is that in six of those rounds, their own pick is near the top of the round. Trading Jones will deliver something, though "what" is a head-scratcher.

Whatever that compensation, it's better than the proverbial "nothing." Some teams may see Jones as an undiscovered gem. That's the hope here. The brighter the gem in their eyes, the greater the compensation. A third-rounder would be truly wonderful, but only expect that in your dreams. It's unlikely without additional lower Pats picks going the other way.

Jones's past two years have been a slide down of monumental proportions from a Pro Bowler (not really, but he did suit up) as a rookie in 2021 to a bench warmer in 2023. Even a fourth-rounder should be considered a gift at this stage. A fourth well-applied can deliver a good player. Yet, even if Jones can only fetch a fifth and a sixth-rounder, it's all to the good. You just take them and move on.

These are three major reasons the Patriots should trade Mac Jones this off-season. When things don't work out, move forward and leave your mistake, misstep, bad luck, or whatever you want to call it behind. Don't keep mistakes around to remind yourself. It is what it is: time for the Patriots and Mac Jones to part ways. And it should happen relatively soon.

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