The New England Patriots, one of the most successful NFL franchises to ever grace the gridiron, are going through unprecedented changes heading into next season. After 24 seasons, the team parted ways with six-time Super Bowl champion head coach Bill Belichick, hiring linebacker coach Jerod Mayo as his successor. New England continues to shake up their coaching staff, hiring two new coordinators, but the expectation is the turnover will also affect the product on the field. Per NFL insider Tom Pelissero during his appearance on NFL GameDay Sunday morning, New England is likely to trade quarterback Mac Jones this offseason while attempting to take a quarterback during the upcoming NFL draft.
The Insiders on @NFLGameDay: The #Bears would need a historical haul to trade out of No. 1; The #Commanders are expected to look into moving up from No. 2; The #Patriots are researching the top QBs in the Draft. pic.twitter.com/C3gN5npg7j
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 11, 2024
Tom Pelissero: Mac Jones Era Ending in New England
On the eve of Super Bowl LVIII, NFL insider Tom Pelissero spoke about the current situation in New England, specifically their plans regarding the quarterback position. Pelissero suggests the team is seriously inquiring about taking a signal-caller with the third overall pick, saying, “The Patriots sit at number three, and all indications are they will seriously consider taking a quarterback there. One of the big questions when they were interviewing offensive coordinator candidates was, ‘What is your evaluation of those top quarterbacks?'”
The New England Patriots hired Alex Van Pelt as their next offensive coordinator earlier this month. Van Pelt called plays for the Cleveland Browns from 2020 to 2022. The Browns scored 23.3 points per game last season, the 10th-best average in the NFL. He had previously worked with the Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Green Bay Packers, and Cincinnati Bengals as the quarterbacks coach, most notably working with Aaron Rodgers from 2014 to 2017.
Pelissero continued, saying, “Caleb Williams goes one, and one of the two quarterbacks goes number two; the Patriots are going to stand in and take a third quarterback at number three, or they could be the team that potentially trades out. Either way, Mac Jones, who lost the starting job this season, was demoted all the way to third-string in Bill Belichick’s final game. A likely trade candidate in the weeks to come. Good chance he ends up elsewhere.”
New England Patriots: Eyeing Quarterback at Number Three
With former USC Trojans standout quarterback Caleb Williams a virtual lock to go first in the 2024 NFL draft, the New England Patriots could have their choice of North Carolina’s Drake Maye or Michigan Wolverines gunslinger J.J. McCarthy with the third overall pick. Maye, primarily regarded as the second-best incoming quarterback behind Williams, threw for 62 touchdowns against 16 picks during his final two seasons at Chapel Hill. He also ran for 16 scores. Meanwhile, McCarthy led Michigan to a championship in 2023 while throwing for 22 touchdowns and completing 72% of his passes.
Pelissero also suggested that New England could trade out of the third overall pick, but that wouldn’t change the fact that Mac Jones’ time with the team is approaching an abrupt end. Jones, the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft, threw ten touchdowns to 12 picks this season. However, he was a Pro-Bowler as a rookie, throwing 22 touchdowns to 13 picks while leading his team to the postseason.