Patriots rumors: Expert predicts Bill Belichick trade, Mac Jones frustrating everyone, failed star benched

  • Patriots keep J.C. Jackson home ahead of Germany game
  • Mac Jones continues to frustrate those around Patriots organization
  • Trade could be natural conclusion to Bill Belichick's New England career

Bill Belichick, New England Patriots
Bill Belichick, New England Patriots / Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
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Patriots Rumors: Mac Jones' decision-making frustrates members of the organization

The Patriots selected Mac Jones with the 15th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. The Alabama product was billed as a brilliant, cerebral game manager with the football I.Q. necessary to offset middling physical tools.

Well, for a while, that appeared to be the case. Jones was stupendous as a rookie, earning his first (and as of now, only) Pro Bowl appearance. In the years since, Jones has been on a precipitous decline. He appears to have lost all confidence in the pocket. New England continues to ride with Jones as the weekly starter — primarily due to a lack of viable alternatives — but it's clear his days as the New England QB1 are numbered.

Rather than solid, mistake-free football, Jones has been a woeful decision-maker in his third NFL season. Though nine weeks, he leads the NFL with nine interceptions. He has completed 64.8 percent of his passes at 6.1 yards per attempt, both career lows. He has 10 touchdowns, which ranks 17th in the NFL.

Unsurprisingly, frustration is mounting in the Patriots organization, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

"One thing that’s really infuriated people there, people in the building is the decision-making. They’ve been sold this smart, efficient, game-managing quarterback and they’re not getting it. The decision-making hasn’t been good. They see him passing up open receivers. They see things that, quite frankly, that you wouldn’t see from a quarterback who has those sorts of qualities."

Jones' job is in jeopardy at this point. The Patriots have been very publicly preparing Bailey Zappe and Will Grier for potential opportunities. At 2-7, New England's postseason hopes are toast. At this point, Bill Belichick — he of infallible, all-time great status — might be on the hot seat. If Jones can't start delivering at least passable results, the Patriots should probably explore the alternatives. It can't get much worse.

If the Patriots do decide to pull the plug on Jones, expect the trade market to heat up during the offseason. Maybe a team is convinced it can restore Jones to his rookie-season glory with the right support staff.