Robert Kraft shut down Bill Belichick's request to trade Mac Jones last offseason
There was a plethora of information in ESPN's exposé published last week that seems to explain a lot about the Patriots 2023 season while also stirring up some potential drama in the building, even with Bill Belichick out the door.
Seth Wickersham is known for doing that over the years, particularly with the Patriots, and his latest report seems to be very on-brand for the controversial writer. Among the many nuggets within his long collaborated article, he claimed Belichick sought permission from Robert Kraft during the 2023 offseason to trade Mac Jones.
Because the quarterback had such a dismal second season, much to the fault of Belichick's personnel and roster decisions, it's unsurprising that the head coach may have wanted to move on from him. However, Kraft had taken a liking to Jones since he was drafted and is alleged to have shut down the trade before it could happen.
“…during offseason planning meetings, Belichick later told people in the building, he raised the idea to the Krafts of trading quarterback Mac Jones. The Krafts had embraced Jones after he was drafted in the first round in 2021, hoping to build something close to a Brady-like relationship with him.”
Suppose this accurately recounts what was going on behind closed doors. In that case, it's interesting that Belichick would want to punish Jones for his lousy season, seemingly as if he bore no responsibility for it. It's also interesting that Kraft already felt loyal to the quarterback after just one season.
Perhaps it's because he was the first one they believed could be their next franchise quarterback after Tom Brady, especially since he had such a memorable rookie season. And maybe it was also Kraft's way of ensuring he wasn't solely punished for a season that was collaboratively putrid.