Despite most conversation surrounding the Patriots and their quarterback situation seemingly moving on from involving Mac Jones, he remains on the roster with one more year on his rookie contract and will presumably stay with the team until that expires.
Because of that, reflecting on how his career got to the point of being outright benched in his third season is becoming commonplace for fans and analysts as New England presumably looks to move in a new direction at the position. Many have realized that perhaps the quarterback wasn't given a proper chance to succeed since entering the league.
It's a point that NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper recently spoke about and expressed his empathy for Jones, mainly due to the lack of proper roster building and consistent coaching around him, ultimately leading to his apparent regression and disappointing last two seasons.
“Mac Jones was dealt a bad hand. Let’s face it. They didn’t help Mac Jones. Mac Jones had– they bring in different coordinators, you’ve got two, you’ve got guys who weren’t even coordinators, you’ve got receivers that have no star power out there, anybody with elite skills, you don’t have an offensive line. Mac Jones can’t– he can’t win behind that. That’s a no-win situation, okay? Because of what he was surrounded by, so I feel bad for Mac.”
Maybe it's because the team has moved on from Bill Belichick, making people feel more comfortable talking about this now. However, this has been a significant talking point throughout Jones's career that many chose to ignore or decided shouldn't have impacted his success.
Now that we can look back on three years of his career, it's hard to argue that Belichick gave him a team to work with that would make the transition from college to the pros easy, but the coach was dead set on his ways of signing the bare minimum as if Tom Brady was going to be walking through that door.
Expecting Jones to somehow overcome the lack of a competent supporting cast as if he were a seasoned veteran should never have been the expectation, nor should it ever be for a rookie quarterback. The constant changes of offensive coordinators may not be entirely on Belichick's shoulders, but lackluster free agency signings and a focus on the defense in the draft did no favors for Jones in gaining confidence and continuity with the offense.
He will now enter the fourth year of his NFL career with an unclear future in New England and the league. Jerod Mayo didn't rule out having Jones be the quarterback or, at the very least, remaining on the team. But all signs point to another new face under center next year, leaving Jones to likely look elsewhere to continue his path in the NFL in 2025.