‘Dream’ Trade Has Mac Jones Replacing $121 Million QB

New England Patriots

Getty New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones.

The 2022 regular season didn’t treat the New England Patriots or Mac Jones, leaving one writer to envision team and the quarterback getting a fresh start with a new QB and new scenery, respectively.

In a February 23 opinion piece, Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox wrote that it would be a “dream scenario” for the Las Vegas Raiders to replace Derek Carr by acquiring Jones.

“After releasing Derek Carr, the Las Vegas Raiders are looking for a new franchise quarterback,” Knox wrote. “They’ll undoubtedly be linked to Aaron Rodgers during the offseason, as they employ his former No. 1 receiver, Davante Adams. However, Rodgers is 39 years old and is not a great long-term fit for a franchise that isn’t only a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention. Las Vegas needs a young quarterback around whom it can build, such as New England Patriots signal-caller Mac Jones.”

Jones, 24, will be heading into his third season with two years left on his rookie contract. A Pro Bowler and runner-up in the Associated Press’ Offensive Rookie of the Year voting in 2021, he regressed last season, throwing for less than 3,000 yards and 14 touchdowns while also throwing 11 interceptions.

The Raiders released Carr, who will turn 32 in March, just one year into the three-year, $121.5 million deal he signed in 2022.

The New England Patriots Might Not Receive a 1st-Round Pick in Exchange for Mac Jones

The Patriots used a first-round pick to drafted Jones, but Knox wrote that New England could not command a 2023 first-rounder if in exchange for him.

“In a dream scenario, the Raiders could acquire Jones without surrendering the seventh overall pick — perhaps by offering a few second-rounders or a future first-rounder,” Knox wrote. “That would allow the Raiders to still land a blue-chip prospect in the 2023 draft while replacing Carr with a quarterback who has already proved he can play at a Pro Bowl level. The fact that Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was Jones’ offensive coordinator during the 2021 season can’t be overlooked, either. McDaniels knows that he can win with Jones, and while a trade for the 24-year-old might not be as spicy as a Rodgers deal, it would be a much better play for the Raiders long-term.”

A New England Patriots Insider Doesn’t Believe a Mac Jones Trade Will Happen

NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran said there’s no way the Patriots would trade Jones.

“Absolutely, positively not,” Curran said on the February 22 episode of “The Rich Eisen Show.” “That would happen over [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft’s dead body. We’ll talk about that in 2024 if it’s another mediocre season.”

Curran did not elaborate on what a “mediocre season” for Jones would entail. According to ESPN’s QBR rankings, Jones was 28th out of 32 starting quarterbacks, ahead of only Davis Mills, Carson Wentz and Baker Mayfield, three quarterbacks who were benched by their teams in 2022.

“If [head coach Bill Belichick] walked to Robert Kraft and said, ‘Yeah I’m thinking of moving on from Mac here, he was really surly.’ I think Robert Kraft would say, ‘Are you out of your mind? He’s making $4 million,” Curran added. “He was a good player last year, he’s a bad player now. You want to move on from him? Why is that?’ And [Belichick] would have to say, ‘Well, because we did nothing to help him.’”

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