Countless reports surfaced both during and after the New England Patriots’ 2022 campaign relating to the on-field antics displayed by second-year quarterback Mac Jones and how it was felt by others inside the locker room. Well, there’s been yet another source of confirmation from another well-known NFL insider.
Appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand” last week, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer spoke about the likelihood the Patriots would trade Jones this offseason. And in doing so Breer dropped a nugget hinting how Bill Belichick felt about Jones last season.
“I don’t think Bill appreciated the way that Mac handled some of the stuff last year,” Breer said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “There’s a way that I think Bill thinks a franchise quarterback should conduct himself. And for the most part, Tom Brady did conduct himself that way.
“I think there were certain things in the way that Mac handled his second year as a pro that Bill didn’t appreciate,” Breer added.
Fellow NFL analyst Chris Simms shared last month how he heard Jones sought counsel from outside of One Patriot Place as it related to the Patriots struggling offense. It was something that didn’t sit well with Belichick either, according to Simms and “Pro Football Talk Live” co-host Mike Florio. Former Patriots wideout Julian Edelman also ripped Jones and his “pissy” faces.
In regards to a potential trade for Jones, Breer doesn’t think the Patriots immediately would shut it down but also doesn’t believe they’ll go searching for it.
“Internally, I don’t know if they see this massive gap between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe,” Breer said. “I’m not saying they think Bailey’s as good as Mac, but there was some element of Bailey doing what he was coached to do last year that I think gave Bailey the edge to some degree for a little while there.”
Jones is expected to benefit from New England’s recent hire of offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Bill O’Brien. But perhaps Jones will be coming in on a shorter leash because of his on-field production and in-game tantrums from last season.