The speculation regarding Mac Jones' job security in New England continues just days before the Patriots visit the Raiders, as his back-to-back benched-worthy games remain the hottest topic outside Bill Belichick.
Other than the concern surrounding the quarterback's poor performances continuing and if he should remain benched the rest of the season, the conversation has shifted into who the next man up could and should be in the event Belichick makes that decision.
In the two games that Jones was taken out this season, Bailey Zappe replaced him and didn't look any better. It lined up with how the quarterback looked throughout the summer and preseason, which led to his release during the initial roster cutdown.
After struggling to find other reliable backups, he was re-signed to the game-day roster to reclaim the backup role, but Belichick has seemingly made his feelings known about Zappe's future as the QB1 in New England.
With Zappe out of contention, that leaves rookie Malik Cunningham and Will Grier.
If the decision is to completely revamp the offense, Cunningham would make the most sense. He's the mold of what quarterbacks in the NFL are trending toward in recent years, as a more mobile player who can extend drives with his legs but can also make some good throws when needed.
However, that type of quarterback hasn't fared too well under Belichick, as we saw during the 2020 season with Cam Newton.
Grier is more of the Patriots' cup of tea. He hasn't had a lot of chances since being drafted by the Panthers in 2019, but he's the pocket passer that Belichick is more comfortable with and was a quarterback the team initially liked, which made the recent signing make sense.
Since the future of the offense appears to be on unsteady ground, insiders and reporters are trying their best to get the scoop regarding what Belichick may do.
Because of that, Boston Sports Journal's Greg Bedard shared what he's been hearing about the possibility of Jones being benched and who would take over in his place during an appearance on 98.5 The Sports Hub "Felger & Mazz" earlier this week.
"From talking to people around the team, I think, if Mac Jones doesn’t succeed this week, if he doesn’t retain his job, I think it’s Will Grier’s."
Given the difference in play between Cunningham and Grier, hearing the Patriots would likely lean toward the more familiar style isn't shocking.
Although he has yet to take the field since signing with the team, one would assume that if he were given the keys over Cunningham or Zappe, the coaching staff would be comfortable with what they see from him during practice.
Ideally, this scenario will not come to fruition, despite those on the anti-Jones bandwagon crossing their fingers it does. The plan should be to hope the offense can get it together enough to win some games or not get blown out at the very least; therefore, significant changes won't be necessary.