NFL GM has a hot take about Mac Jones' future with Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Bill Belichick opened up quite the can of worms Monday night with his handling of the New England Patriots' quarterbacks.
Mac Jones got the start against Chicago Bears after missing three games with a high ankle sprain. But Belichick pulled Jones after just three offensive series in favor of rookie Bailey Zappe, who immediately led back-to-back touchdown drives.
Get New England news, weather forecasts and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NECN newsletters.
Zappe fizzled out in the second half as the Patriots fell apart in a 33-14 loss, but Jones' poor play -- 3 for 6 for 13 yards with a brutal interception -- led to questions about whether he's really the better option than Zappe at QB.
If you think those questions are premature, they pale in comparison to the opinion of one NFL general manager, who apparently told Audacy's Jason La Canfora he believes the Patriots could look to trade Jones next offseason.
"I talked to a GM this morning," La Canfora said on his "In The Huddle" podcast. "He was pretty adamant that, ‘I think Mac Jones will be available by the (NFL) Combine one way or the other, whether Bailey Zappe looks like he’s the answer or whether Bailey Zappe doesn’t.'"
Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, Celtics and more
"There will be a market for him," La Canfora added. "There are a lot of bad quarterbacks in the league right now."
That's quite the spicy take.
While Jones has struggled through three-plus games this season (two touchdown passes and six interceptions) and has a 2-7 record in his last nine starts, he's still just one season removed from making the Pro Bowl as a rookie while leading the Patriots to a 10-7 record and a playoff berth. With just 21 NFL starts under his belt, Jones has plenty of time to blossom into a very good quarterback.
It'd be very surprising to see the Patriots make Jones available for trade, especially after Zappe's second-half performance against the Bears. Zappe had several balls batted down at the line of scrimmage, and his limitations as a passer were on display as the Patriots tried to play catch-up.
Then again, few expected the Patriots to go to Zappe so soon in Monday's game, and that surprising switch -- in addition to fans chanting for Zappe after Jones' interception -- have to be damaging to Jones' psyche.
So, while the mere suggestion of a Mac Jones trade seems like a major overreaction, we're not ruling anything out when it comes to New England's bizarre QB situation.