Why Shannon Sharpe Believes Mac Jones Should Demand Patriots Trade

Bill Belichick didn't exactly put his QB in a position to succeed last season


Apr 6, 2023

Should Mac Jones want out of New England in wake of the report that Bill Belichick shopped the Patriots quarterback in trade talks this NFL offseason?

For Shannon Sharpe, the answer is simple.

“Yup,” Sharpe said Wednesday on FS1’s “Undisputed.” “If I’m Mac Jones, it rubbed me the wrong way that you’ve got somebody who’s never called offensive plays in their life, and now all of a sudden, he’s my coach. Put him on the side of the ball that he’s been most effective at — which is the defensive side of the ball.”

Sharpe, of course, was referring to Matt Patricia, a former defensive coordinator who called New England’s offensive plays last season, and Joe Judge, a former special teams coach who served as the Patriots’ quarterbacks coach.

Belichick took an unconventional approach to building his coaching staff after Josh McDaniels vacated his position as New England’s offensive coordinator to become head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. And it backfired in a big way, with the Patriots’ offense regressing and tension reportedly developing between Belichick and Jones after the second-year QB sought outside counsel from the Alabama Crimson Tide coaching staff amid New England’s struggles.

“Coaches like to tell you, ‘I’ve got an open door policy,’ ” Sharpe said. “Mac Jones is probably voicing his concerns. Not only to Matt Patricia. Not only to Joe Judge. And I’m sure they went back to Coach Belichick like little disciples, like they should. And guess what. It’s falling on deaf ears. So, you know what, let me go to somebody (if I’m Jones) and (ask), ‘How should I handle this? What should I do? Should I say something? Should I speak out? Should I go public to the media? How do I handle it? Do I just bite my tongue until blood starts to pour down my (face)? What do I do?’

“I’m trying to talk to Matt Patricia, but he’s just like Belichick. Joe Judge, he’s just like Belichick. Coach Belichick don’t want to hear anything I’ve got to say because he’s all annoyed — ‘How can you question anything that I do? See all my rings?’ He’s the type of guy (to say), ‘You see all these rings I’ve got?’ “

Clearly, Sharpe is on Team Mac, unlike former NFL coach Eric Mangini, who this week defended Belichick — his former boss in New England — while making sense of the Patriots’ friction. Belichick is incredibly accomplished, no doubt, but the Patriots haven’t won a playoff game since defeating the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII. They missed the playoffs altogether twice in the four seasons since Tom Brady’s departure.

“Bill Belichick doesn’t want to bear any culpability,” Sharpe said. “It’s you! Because you wanted to say, ‘I’m a genius. I can do it all.’ “

Admittedly, the Patriots made strides to rectify the offense this offseason, most notably by bringing back Bill O’Brien — whom Jones worked with at Alabama — as the offensive coordinator. Still, it’s fair to wonder whether the relationship between Belichick and Jones reached the point of no return. Bailey Zappe fever could again engulf Foxboro in 2023.

“If I’m Mac Jones, stay there for what? To be belittled, I’m not winning and you’re not putting me in a situation where I can succeed,” Sharpe said. “Yeah, get me up out of here.”

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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