Bill Belichick wanted to send message to Mac Jones?
If New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has discussed the possibility of trading Mac Jones this offseason, the coach may have done so to send a message to his quarterback.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported this week that Belichick has shopped Jones in trade talks to quarterback-needy teams. That has since been shot down by numerous people who cover the Patriots, but SI’s Albert Breer was told there is truth to the report.
During a Wednesday night appearance on NBC Sports Boston, Breer said he has it on “good authority” that Jones’ name came up in trade discussions earlier in the offseason. The longtime NFL insider compared the situation to when former New York Giants coach Bill Parcells put quarterback Phil Simms on notice by shopping him around.
“This feels like the stories you hear about Bill Parcells and Phil Simms back in the day. I think this is just an old-school way of handling things, where he’s sending a message to (Jones) that he’s not on scholarship,” Breer said. “I think what happened was — and I have this on good authority — that while those calls are being made during the combine, before free agency, when teams are talking about names back and forth, Mac Jones’ name came up a few times. … I do know his name came up in trade discussions with a couple teams. I think part of the issue is you wouldn’t get great value for him.”
You can hear more from Breer below:
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) April 6, 2023
There is a big difference between Belichick actively shopping Jones and Jones’ name coming up in trade talks. Belichick would likely listen to any offer, especially for a quarterback he refuses to name his starting quarterback heading into 2023.
It is certainly possible that Belichick is trying to motivate Jones, especially after the Patriots brought in Bill O’Brien as offensive coordinator. Jones has the full support of some important people within the organization, but that could change quickly if he struggles again next season.