Signs point to the New England Patriots making a bold move at quarterback for the NFL Draft on Thursday, April 27.
It ramped up with NBC Sports’ Michael Holley saying it’s “hiding in plain sight” that the Patriots will trade quarterback Mac Jones. Then, rumors surfaced on Reddit regarding a blockbuster trade involving Jones and the Houston Texans, which 98.5 The Sports Hub explored. Lastly, WEEI’s Adam Jones backed Holley’s take and concurred that the Patriots are leaning toward trading the former Alabama star.
“Holley thinks they’re going to trade him for the same reason I do,” Adam Jones said on WEEI’s “Jones & Mego with Arcand” on Wednesday, April 26. “He’s just looking at all of it. Bill [Belichick] won’t commit to him. Again, [Bill] O’Brien won’t say his name.”
WEEI’s Meghan Ottolini interjected with the note that O’Brien, the offensive coordinator, significantly downplayed his brief relationship with Jones before joining the Patriots. Adam Jones added the prior trade rumor from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio as another reason. Florio previously reported that Belichick, the team’s head coach and general manager, “shopped” Mac Jones to four teams, including the Texans, earlier in the offseason.
New England also invited top quarterback draft prospect Will Levis of Kentucky for a visit this week, which Holley noted as a reason for the credibility of the Mac Jones trade rumors. Patriots insider Mike Giradi reported that the Patriots have “real interest” in the polarizing prospect, who could go as high as number one in the draft, or plummet to the second half of the first round.
The quarterback questions for the Patriots began after a subpar 2022 season where Mac Jones fell short of matching his stellar rookie season. Bailey Zappe emerged as a challenger for the starting job, and Belichick didn’t commit either as the starter during the NFL annual meeting in late February before the trade rumors surfaced.
Patriots-Texans Trade Trade Rumor a ‘Big Price’
A Reddit draft rumor on Wednesday claimed that the Patriots and Texans have “parameters of a trade in place”, but 98.5 The Sports Hub deemed a “big price” for Patriots.
The Redditt rumor author claims the trade would involve the Patriots receiving the No. 2 pick “in exchange for” the Jones, the No. 14 pick, a fourth-round pick, and a 2024 first round pick to the Texans. The rumor came from a person who learned of it from a coworker who is “friends with a former director of player personnel for the Alabama football program” and held “other positions in college football with major programs” in the past.
“Doesn’t sound like Bill [Belichick]. Anything he’d ever do,” The Sports Hub’s Jim Murray said about the Patriots head coach and general manager.
Tony Massarotti of The Sports Hub floated Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud as a wiser choice at No. 2 than Levis if the Patriots actually make that move. With that said, The Sports Hub analysts only concurred that Jones isn’t the guy going forward amid the rumor.
Patriots Trade Hinges on Robert Kraft’s Approval
Holley drew a “heat check” with his emailed comments, read on the NBC Sports Boston show, about the Patriots plans to trade Mac Jones. It will come down to owner Robert Kraft’s approval, Holley noted in the email, dated January 9. Kraft previously backed Jones at the NFL annual meeting.
“If football ops can convince the owner, Mac Jones will be traded or will be joined by someone from the first round of the draft on Thursday night,” NBC Sports Boston’s Mike Fleger read.
Holley defended his comments with “this has been hiding in plain sight” this offseason.
“Bill Belichick could not even fix his mouth to say, ‘hey, Mac Jones is a good quarterback,'” Holley said. “Then, he’s had many other opportunities to say nice things about Mac Jones, and he hasn’t.”
“Even for the Patriots, this is unusual,” Holley added. “The internet is undefeated, but I bet you can find Bill Belichick saying ‘Cam Newton is our quarterback’ more than he said [about Jones].”