Mac Jones Can Leave Patriots for ‘Career Reset’ With NFC Move

The New England Patriots and Mac Jones going their separate ways is best for everybody involved this offseason. It will clear the path for new head coach Jerod Mayo to select a potential franchise quarterback third overall in the 2024 NFL draft, while Jones can get a “career reset” if he leaves New England to join the Los Angeles Rams.

That move fits what Jones should be looking for next, according to Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine. He believes Jones needs “a solid organization with a strong coach and an appealing backup job.”

The Rams tick all of those boxes thanks to head coach Sean McVay, who “has a way of getting the best out of his quarterbacks.” As Ballentine noted, Baker Mayfield turned a brief stint with the Rams into a starting job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.

Jones could begin a similar revival by moving to SoFi Stadium. The move would be easier to sell if Mayo and the Pats are confident about finding their next QB1 in the draft.

It won’t be easy, since the third pick could put them out of range of Caleb Williams and Drake Maye. Yet, at least one draft pundit thinks a dual-threat signal-caller should still be on the Patriots’ radar at No. 3.

Rams Can Offer Right Environment for Mac Jones

A Rams team built on the principle of a quarterback-friendly offense could be just what Jones needs. He hardly got the same concessions from the Patriots and Bill Belichick.

The latter almost treated football’s most important position as an afterthought the last two years. It began with letting former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and ex-Special Teams coach Joe Judge call the offense for Jones in 2022.

That experiment yielded predictably dire results. So did middling free-agency hauls that surrounded Jones with struggling pass-catchers like wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Mike Gesicki.

Things would be different with the Rams. McVay surrounds his quarterback with ample talent, including wide receivers Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua.

More than personnel, McVay uses motion and alignment to create quick reads and easy throws for his QB1. It worked when Matthew Stafford connected with Nacua for a touchdown, after motion from Kupp, against the New Orleans Saints in Week 16, per Next Gen Stats.

Sean McVay made the optimal call by keeping his offense on the field on 4th & goal from the Saints 2-yard line according to the NGS Decision Guide (by 3.6% in win probability).

📽️ Stafford-Nacua (2-yd TD)#NOvsLAR | https://t.co/1OMRlplD2C 📺 pic.twitter.com/u7bug6tRpA

— Next Gen Stats (@NextGenStats) December 22, 2023

Plays like this one made the Rams a surprise playoff team this season. They are also why Mayo might want to glean some of the McVay magic for a new-look Patriots offense.

The Pats have already interviewed Rams’s assistants, tight ends coach Nick Caley and QBs coach Zac Robinson for the vacant offensive coordinator job, per The MMQB’s Albert Breer.

Either coach would be likely to bring McVay’s core concepts to Gillette Stadium. Those concepts include “heavy three-receiver sets, condensed formations, outside zone/duo sequencing with play-action, motion at the snap, and the McVay drop-back pass game,” according to Evan Lazar of Patriots.com.

With the #Patriots interviewing two Rams/McVay staffers for their offensive coordinator opening, I wrote a little about the core concepts of McVay’s offense here. Outside zone/play-action, three receiver sets, condensed formations, motion, etc. https://t.co/FrC40R5Ulo pic.twitter.com/0r9t7JjVFF

— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) January 21, 2024

Those things could help the Patriots salvage Jones’ career. Mayo has already defended the quarterback’s talent, believing a lack of confidence is the bigger problem.

That might be true, but Jones represents too much of what’s gone wrong for the Pats in recent years. It makes more sense to move on by drafting an award-winning rookie.

Patriots Tipped to Draft Heisman Trophy Winner

Not being able to beat the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders to Williams and Maye needn’t end the Pats’ hopes of drafting a quarterback in Round 1. Not when Heisman Trophy winner Jayden Daniels is rising up draft boards.

The LSU star “feels like a fit” for Mayo’s rebuild, according to NBCS Boston’s Phil Perry. He describes Daniels as a “down-the-field dart-thrower.”

That’s an apt description of a player who threw for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns in 2023, per 247Sports.

BREAKING: LSU QB Jayden Daniels has been named the 2023 Heisman winner.

Daniels threw for 3,812 yards and 40 touchdowns while also running for 1,134 yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 games. pic.twitter.com/T5dG6mFex1

— 247Sports (@247Sports) December 10, 2023

Daniels’ stats are hard to ignore, and Perry isn’t the only one who believes the Patriots should call the 23-year-old’s name early on draft day. So does NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks, who predicts Daniels “would add some sizzle to an offense that lacked explosiveness.”

Rebuilding around Daniels without the presence of Jones, who’s popularity in the locker room has been questioned, would be a win-win for the Patriots.

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