The New England Patriots might introduce a new quarterback alongside first-year head coach Jerod Mayo, however, it shouldn’t be Justin Fields.

It’s been reported that current team quarterback Mac Jones might not return for a fourth season. Karen Guregian, Mark Daniels and Chris Mason of MassLive reported that New England’s plan for next season’s signal-caller is to select a quarterback with the team’s No. 3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Then again, all possibilities are on the table for a Patriots team that finished an AFC-worst 4-13, posing a handful of concerns.

“Honestly, after talking to Elliot (Wolf) there are about 10 scenarios that can actually happen,” Mayo told MassLive.

Fields, 24, could be dealt within the coming weeks since the Chicago Bears enter the April 25 draft with the No. 1 and No. 9 overall selections. That’ll give the organization, similar to New England’s current situation with Jones, the leeway to consider all avenues before naming a starting quarterback. It also allows Chicago to shop Fields, a 2021 first-rounder, to improve in other areas.

Story continues below advertisement

Nevertheless, the Patriots shouldn’t be the team welcoming in Fields next season if a deal does come to fruition, and here are three reasons why:

1.) Health concerns
Fields missed six games combined in the 2022 and 2023 seasons, most recently suffering a dislocated right thumb injury. Now, in any other case, this could be overlooked, however, Fields is among the more mobile quarterbacks in the league.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

Last season, Fields attempted 124 rushes after recording 160 in 2022, totaling 1,800 rushing yards in the two-year stretch. The question isn’t whether Fields is skilled enough to transfer and implement that play style in a new offensive unit outside of Chicago, but how sustainable that will be considering his health history. That’s a red flag to any organization, especially the Patriots, who desperately need to nail their next quarterback after failing following Tom Brady’s exit from Foxboro in 2019.

Most of the injuries Fields has suffered, like in Week 11 of 2021 against the Baltimore Ravens (cracked ribs), resulted from scrambling in the pocket. The argument could be made that an improved offensive line could alleviate those concerns, but as is the case with any mobile quarterback, tip-toeing the line of injuries is dicey and prevalent at all times.

Story continues below advertisement

2.) Chicago wasn’t an elite showing
Entering the league among a class of quarterbacks that included Trevor Lawrence, Zack Wilson, Trey Lance and Jones, Fields hasn’t stood out.

Fields has thrown 40 career touchdowns to 30 interceptions, making for a not-so-impressive ratio which, granted, could be attributed to a subpar supporting cast. But again, that’s dicey. In three seasons with Chicago, Fields has led the Bears to finish 30th, 32nd and 26th in passing yards among all teams, which obviously isn’t encouraging.

It’s yet to be proven that Fields can be effective throwing the ball as he’s yet to record a completion percentage above 61.4, which ranked 30th among all quarterbacks last season. Even Chicago’s backup quarterback Tyson Bagent finished the year completing more passes (65.7%) than Fields in 2023.

3.) New England has options
The Patriots, while under pressure, aren’t cornered in terms of exploring options at quarterback.

Story continues below advertisement

New England could land a quarterback prospect from the draft like Caleb Williams (USC), Jayden Daniels (LSU), Drake Maye (UNC) and Bo Nix (Oregon), and mold a homegrown youngster from there. Seemingly, that’s the best option available for the Patriots, who already tried getting creative with Cam Newton four years ago, failed with Jones and Bailey Zappe and won’t be reaching out to Brian Hoyer for a fourth career stint.

In free agency, options like Jacoby Brissett, who New England drafted as a third-rounder in 2016, Joe Flacco and Ryan Tannehill could be short-term bridge options to mentor a first-year prospect. That doesn’t position the organization to instantly jump back into contention next season, but the Patriots aren’t working under a dynasty anymore.

Featured image via Jamie Sabau/USA TODAY Sports Images