What could have been a relatively quiet Tuesday yesterday was disrupted quite a bit by a report about New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones. The third-year man, who was drafted 15th overall in 2021, was supposedly being “shopped [...] to multiple teams” this offseason.
Nothing has transpired as of yet, and Jones remains the Patriots’ quarterback. The report still raised quiet a few eyebrows and led to considerable speculation about the young passer’s long-term future with the organization.
A series of new reports, however, disputes the notion that Jones has indeed been made available for trade by the Patriots. The reactions gathered by MassLive’s Mark Daniels and the Boston Herald’s Andrew Callahan range from surprise, to denial, to outright calling the original report “nonsense.”
Daniels spoke with three sources that denied knowing of any trade talks the Patriots might have had about Jones:
One NFL source said they hadn’t heard anything about the Patriots shopping Jones to any team this offseason, adding, “That’s news to me.” A second NFL source said the Patriots haven’t contacted the Buccaneers about Jones, saying his name “has never come up” this offseason. A third NFL source said the Patriots have not contacted the Raiders about a trade involving Jones, either.
Callahan did also not find anybody able to confirm the story of Jones being shopped by the Patriots:
Checking with league sources today, I found no belief the Patriots will trade Mac Jones. One team source called the “shopped” report nonsense. It struck others around the league as likely old news overstated. Jones was in the building today and has been regularly, per sources.
As we mentioned yesterday, none of that means the original story was fabricated. And as colleague Matthew Rewinski pointed out, the Patriots shopping Jones — or any player for that matter — would actually be business as usual for head coach/general manager Bill Belichick.
That said, two things have to be considered especially in light of those conflicting reports now coming out:
1.) There is plenty of talk around the NFL. Jones might have been mentioned in an entirely different context, and somebody might have just picked up his name and run with it without any nefarious intent.
2.) The Patriots gauging Mac Jones’ value would not be unrealistic. Jones is entering his third year in the league and has yet to prove himself as a player capable of filling that franchise quarterback role. That does not mean a trade is imminent, or that New England even has the intention to move him, but getting a feel for his potential market simply adds to the mosaic that is his long-term outlook with the team.
So, where does all of that leave the Patriots and their quarterback? That remains to be seen, but for now all we know for sure is that the team did invest in its offensive supporting cast this season and that Jones remains on the roster as the frontrunner to start at quarterback.