Jimmy Garoppolo’s presence in Las Vegas won’t stop the Raiders from trading for Mac Jones. Here’s how a potential trade might shake out.
Mac Jones’ inability to get along with Bill Belichick might lead to a swift departure from New England. If the Patriots do put the young signal-caller on the trading block, expect former New England assistant Josh McDaniels to register his interest in acquiring his services.
The Patriots have reportedly “shopped” Jones to four teams this offseason and the Raiders are one of the franchises directly linked to the former Alabama standout. Las Vegas did sign former Patriot Jimmy Garropolo to be their starter this offseason, but his contract isn’t large enough to stop the Raiders from bringing Jones in if they believe he’s an upgrade.
The real question is whether or not Las Vegas will be willing to offer New England a trade package enticing enough to tempt Belichick into pulling the trigger. If a deal is going to get done, it will likely center around draft capital. That also means any transaction would almost certainly be completed before this year’s NFL Draft.
The Patriots may have dreams of flipping Jones for a first-round pick but that’s not going to happen. Teams are keenly aware of his weaknesses as a passer and with Belichick’s concerns about his personality. Combine that with the reality that Jones is already halfway through his four-year rookie contract and it’s easy to understand why a first-rounder won’t be available in any potential Jones trade.
That doesn’t mean a mid-round pick will be out of the question. Jones did show flashes of becoming a quality starter during his tenure in New England. The high side of his value might yield New England a second-rounder.
The Raiders would be wise to hold the line with a third-rounder. Giving the Patriots a chance at the pick being elevated to a second-rounder if Jones becomes a full-time starter should be enough to satisfy everyone involved.
Raiders fans shouldn’t look for a Jones trade to materialize quickly. It’s in the Patriots’ best interest to hold out until Draft Day to see what might shake free for their undervalued quarterback. It only takes one team to fall in love with the idea of Jones to trump what the Raiders should offer.