Because the Patriots are going through significant changes this offseason, mainly moving on from Bill Belichick after 24 years, the wild stories that may not have been revealed otherwise continue to make new headlines every day.
Most have focused on the alleged drama behind closed doors in Foxboro, which has made it seem unpleasant for the last few years. But we're now getting even more insight into Mac Jones's tumultuous tenure since he was drafted in 2021.
The detailed accounts about there being more tension between Belichick and Jones than what we saw on the field were not surprising to anyone who has watched a Patriots game over the last few years, but a new interview with the quarterback's longtime coach is providing some unexpected context that nobody could have attempted to predict.
Joe Dickinson spoke to NBC Sports Boston's Tom Curran recently and discussed Jones' career from when he was drafted through the 2023 season. He revealed a lot of unquestionably intriguing information and insight, with the biggest takeaway being his suggestion that Jones ask for a trade from the Patriots after completing a successful rookie campaign.
“After the first season, I saw that it was really good for Mac and that his coach [Josh McDaniels] was leaving, and I advised Mac and his agent to go and ask for a trade… I just said, ‘Hey, I just think it would be better for you and the Patriots if they trade you.' I felt like, ‘Hey, if you really want this guy to work, you’re going to get some guys around him. '
“You’re going to put the right guys around him helping him. And if you don’t, this is really easy, just trade him, get another guy, because that’s allowed and that’s within the rules.’”
Mac Jones's coach seemed to predict the future after an accomplished rookie season
Given how the next two years unfolded, Dickinson's suggestion may have been something Jones should have considered more, especially now that he will be competing for a roster spot entering his fourth season.
Fans and the media have complained for years about the lack of proper offensive roster building, even when Tom Brady was still with the team. Although he was a quarterback who consistently made former quarterbacks turned receivers or ex-lacrosse players look like stars, the same cannot be expected of a young player during the formidable years of his NFL career.
Yet that's exactly what Belichick expected Jones to do, so much so that he let his most trusted weapon walk in free agency (Jakobi Meyers) for an injured receiver in return, a non-blocking tight end and offensive linemen who hadn't played a single game in their careers. So basically, Jones was not set up for success at all.
Even though he contributed to the problems with the offense over the last two years, especially the ill-timed turnovers, Jones was not interested in requesting a trade, according to Dickinson, who said he wants to stay with the Patriots because he admired all they accomplished during the dynasty.
“Mac is Mac, for whatever reason. He grew up watching Tom Brady… and for whatever reason, he’s always been a New England Patriots fan, and he wanted to be like Brady, (who) a lot of guys want to be like. The good Lord made one Tom Brady. And I think Mac wanted to be that guy. Yeah. And still does.”
Despite his poor performance last year, which led to his benching, rumors have suggested that Mayo may be interested in giving Jones another chance to reclaim the QB1 job for the 2024 season. That is only an option now that Belichick is no longer on the team, as he would have traded him this offseason without a doubt.
Considering all that has transpired throughout his three years in New England, it's good to hear Jones still has a good mindset even now. How it will ultimately end up for him is yet to be seen, but his coach may be onto something about him going elsewhere and being more successful.