Mac Jones trade rumors are heating up amid reports the Patriots are shopping the former first-round pick, and the Buccaneers are caught in the middle.
From one former Patriots quarterback to another, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are once again linked to a guy who used to play for Bill Belichick.
Technically Mac Jones still plays for the Patriots, but the writing isn’t so much written on the wall as it is etched into it. All signs are pointing toward a breakup between New England and Jones, with the latest nail in his coffin being reports that Belichick is shopping him to quarterback-needy teams around the league.
Most folks could see this coming from a mile away, as the honeymoon came to a quick end after Jones was drafted and rumors of a potential split intensified after a poor season last year. For whatever reason, it seems that Jones is resistant to the Patriot Way, and Belichick doesn’t seem interested in waiting around for him to buy in.
New England missed the playoffs last season and most of the blame was placed on Jones for not seemingly giving the team his all. That lack of effort is oil in water with the philosophy of Belichick and it now appears as though he’s trying to dump the former first-round pick elsewhere in the league so he can start over with someone else.
One of those teams Belichick reportedly shopped Jones to was the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Buccaneers named as potential destination in Mac Jones trade rumors
According to Mike Florio at ProFootballTalk, the Patriots are shopping Mac Jones ahead of the NFL Draft and Bill Belichick reportedly gave his old pal Jason Licht a call about a potential trade.
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Belichick has shopped Jones to multiple teams during the 2023 offseason,” Florio reported. “The full list of potential destinations isn’t known. The teams mentioned as potential destinations were the Raiders, Texans, Buccaneers, and Commanders.”
The Bucs trading for Mac Jones was a bad idea when the notion was first floated in the wake of Tom Brady’s retirement and it’s just as bad now.
Both Baker Mayfield and Kyle Trask are expected to compete for the starting job in training camp, and both seem like immensely better options than Jones. Even at the cost of a late-round pick, Jones doesn’t seem like he fits in with the Bucs strategy for finding a franchise quarterback, nor has he shown anything to suggest he’s further along than either Baker or Trask.
That’s quite the indictment on Jones, as Mayfield is trying to revive his career and Trask has played less than 10 snaps in his career. Ask any Bucs fan, though, and they won’t be able to say with a straight face that Jones is worth the gamble.
Zooming out, the best option might be in Las Vegas. Belichick dumping his garbage on the stoop of an eager McDaniels seems like the way this sort of thing plays out, but Jones landing in Tampa Bay is both a bad idea and something that is unlikely to happen.