AFC Team May Be Willing to Trade Former First-Round Pick QB to Raiders: Insider

josh mcdaniels

Getty Las Vegas Raiders HC Josh McDaniels.

With Aaron Rodgers still undecided on his future, the Las Vegas Raiders remain in quarterback limbo for now. Derek Carr is gone and not coming back. The team could wait until free agency and look at veterans like Jimmy Garoppolo, Baker Mayfield or Jacoby Brissett. They could also try to get ahead of things and see which quarterbacks outside of Rodgers are available in a trade.

Mac Jones took a big step back with the New England Patriots this season. A big reason for that is due to his former offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels getting hired as the Raiders head coach. Jones looked much better under the coach and was named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. He regressed in 2022 and threw just 14 touchdowns compared to 22 as a rookie. The Patriots might think they’re better off moving on from the quarterback now and trading him to the Raiders so he can be reunited with McDaniels. Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated believes that is possible.

“I think they would,” Breer said on Thursday’s episode of 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Zolak and Bertrand” when asked if Patriots would entertain trading Jones to the Raiders. “Internally, I don’t know if they see this massive gap between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. 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.

“So I think it’ll be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer came along. I don’t think a real offer is going to come along, but it’d be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer did come along.”

Raiders May Not Be Very High on Jones

McDaniels has to be high on Jones. The Patriots wouldn’t have used a first-round pick to draft without his endorsement. The two did have success in 2021 and could recapture that on a much more talented Raiders offense. However, Jones is one of the most physically limited quarterbacks in the NFL. If Las Vegas is going to consider a trade for him, Breer does not believe a first-round pick will be an option.

“I don’t think Bill appreciated the way that Mac handled some of the stuff last year,” Breer said. “There’s a way that I think Bill thinks a franchise quarterback should conduct himself. And for the most part, 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.

“I don’t know how in love the Raiders are with Mac. Like, if you’re talking about getting their first-round pick, I don’t think that’s happening.”

How Much Could Jones Be Worth in a Trade?

The biggest thing working against Jones is that it’s hard to imagine him getting much better. He’s already a very smart football player but lacks the athletic ability of most quarterbacks in the league today. He’s never going to be a great deep ball passer or be able to make plays with his feet.

Though the Patriots used a first-round pick to land him just two years ago, it’s hard to see a scenario where a team is willing to give up more than a third-round pick for the quarterback. The Raiders have high picks in the first and second rounds of the upcoming draft. Those are far too valuable to use on such a low-upside quarterback like Jones. The Raiders would be better off using one of those picks to select a rookie quarterback with some good traits.

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