Former quarterback draws interesting comparison for Mac Jones' career

Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

There are many questions surrounding the Patriots this offseason, one of which includes the eventual fate of Mac Jones. Now that Bill Belichick, who appeared not to be interested in the quarterback continuing his career in New England, is out of the building, there is a lot of speculation about how Jerod Mayo will deal with the position for the 2024 season.

The assumption has been that a new franchise quarterback will come to town via the draft in April since the Patriots have the third overall pick. Other speculated scenarios state they could go with a bridge quarterback, maybe even Jones, and either draft a quarterback in a later round or address the position in next year's draft.

If the decision to wait on a quarterback is made, there is debate regarding whether Mayo could revive Jones's seemingly failed career. It was a conversation had on a pregame show for the Patriots' Week 14 game against the Steelers.

Former quarterback and co-host of the Amazon Prime pregame show Ryan Fitzpatrick shared his take on what Jones' career could look like and made an intriguing comparison to another player who struggled in his first few seasons in the league, ultimately benefitting from a change of head coach.

“[Mac Jones] is definitely broken, mentally, emotionally — he’s broken. You know, I look to a few similar examples of first-round quarterbacks that have gone through the struggles. … Tua Tagovailoa, who I was with, Brian Flores (using the) same New England way, he was broken for Brian Flores.

“The way that he treated him, the way that he coached him. And what happens? Mike McDaniel comes in, he restores his confidence, he gets it back and he’s now an MVP candidate.”

Looking back at how Tua's career began and how he was quickly labeled a bust because of it, comparing Jones' start in the NFL makes a lot of sense. It's not a connection anyone else has made, and their beginnings in the league are eerily similar.

It's certainly possible that either a coaching change in New England or playing on a new team will be all that Jones needs to surge on the field, as it did for Tua, as long as he can overcome the mental obstacles that he has dealt with over the last three years.

On the other hand, there's a possibility that doesn't happen with the Patriots or any other team since there may not be any that show interest in acquiring him if he were up for trade or available via free agency.

What Mayo ultimately decides will be a pivotal moment for the team this year and could dictate their outlook for the season ahead. It will be interesting to see if he feels Jones deserves another chance, as he's somewhat hinted at in recent days. But it also wouldn't be surprising if the new head coach wants to start fresh with a new quarterback along with a revamped roster.

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