What will Mac Jones need to prove to be the New England Patriots quarterback of the future?

New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots vs Buffalo Bills / Bryan Bennett/GettyImages

The latest rumors of the New England Patriots being involved in the Aaron Rodgers sweepstakes this spring send a deafening message on the team’s feelings about Mac Jones.

Patriots ownership, front office, and the coaching staff have continuously told the public that Jones is the future of the organization, but according to the report from Craig Carton, their actions say differently.

Going after a 39-year-old, Aaron Rodgers, who has contemplated retirement over the last several years, sure doesn’t bode confidence in the third-year pro.

I mean not for nothing, in the middle of the season last year, Patriots fans were calling for Bailey Zappe to take the snaps from under center, to which Bill Belichick even obliged and pulled Jones in week seven against the Chicago Bears and put in the rookie from Western Kentucky.

As a known Jones hater, it now seems like the pendulum has swung so far against him I am now defending him.

As it stands right now, the roster on paper looks to be the worst in the division, plus the conference, as a whole, appears to be the strongest it has been in some time.

Patriots fans worldwide might need to look in the mirror and temper expectations going into the 2023 season.

Ultimately, the Patriots organization has only cared about winning over the course of the last two decades.

If Jones can lead the Patriots to the playoffs this season, he will remain the guy going into 2024. Unlike other organizations that may factor in individual results, this has not been a factor with Belichick and his staff.

Now if the Patriots were to miss the playoffs, does that mean Jones is not the guy?

Does nine wins but missing the playoffs do enough for him to be the Patriots' quarterback in 2024?

Missing the playoffs might be all management needs to push the former Alabama quarterback to the side as they look for a replacement.

Personally, I see it as Jones has been handed a poor set of cards before even going into the season. Regardless of how the Patriots finish the 2023-2024 season, the offensive cast isn't strong enough to evaluate him properly.

Last year, Jones battled injuries and finished the season with nearly 3,000 yards passing and 14 touchdowns as the Patriots finished 8-9, missing the playoffs. It will be interesting to see how the Patriots view the quarterback position following the 2023-2024 season.