hile the New England Patriots quarterback controversy appears to be over, the team still has some decisions to make before the trade deadline.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, Mac Jones will be starting when the Patriots play the New York Jets in Week 8. The report lines up with what Bill Belichick told reporters on Thursday.
“Mac took a full workload yesterday, and I expect him to be fully available for the game and ready to go,” head coach Bill Belichick said. “He was ready to play last week, but just didn’t feel it was the full game. This week is a different situation.”
While these comments came before the news of Jones starting, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora believes that there will be a trade market for the Patriots quarterback and that he could be traded before the start of the 2023 NFL season.
“There will be a market for him,” La Canfora said on the “Inside The Huddle” podcast. “There are a lot of bad quarterbacks in the league right now.
“That’s where I think it’s headed,” he added. “I talked to a GM this morning. He was pretty adamant that, ‘I think Mac Jones will be available by the combine one way or the other, whether Bailey Zappe looks like he’s the answer or whether Bailey Zappe doesn’t.”
Are the Patriots Setting Jones Up to Fail?
In three drives against the Chicago Bears in Week 7, Jones threw for 13 yards and an interception before being pulled in favor of Zappe.
Former NFL quarterback and current NFL analyst Dan Orlovsky called out the Patriots for changing their play calling based on who is under center.
Mac Jones,” Orlovsky said, in audio tweeted out by The Boston Sports Journal’s Greg Bedard. “You put Mac Jones under the center once in the first quarter. He ran one play-action pass all game. What has made your offense better over the past three weeks with Bailey Zappe is you have put him under center, you have lived in play-action, you have dominated on the ground and you have max protected. Don’t change, just because Mac Jones is in there. That’s my challenge to them now that he’s your starting quarterback.
“Run what’s best for the offense as a whole not just the QB,” Orlovsky said in a follow-up tweet.
What Did Matthew Slater Think of Patriots Fans Booing Mac Jones?
While Jones may still be the starter, it will be difficult for him to forget the treatment he received from Patriots fans in Week 7 when they were chanting for Zappe and booing the second-year quarterback.
Team captain Matthew Slater was asked about the fans booing Jones.
“I would imagine that that is going to impact those two guys in their own way. And that’s certainly something that I don’t want to speak to. It’s challenging, and we’re humans as we play this game,” Slater said. “It is very challenging, but I have an understanding of the city that I play in and I have an appreciation for our fan base. Though they may be tough at times, they understand the game. They’re passionate. I feel like they respect what we do and they want to see us do well.
“Our fan base is entitled to feel any way they want to feel, cheer any way they want to cheer,” he continued. “That’s their right as a fan base. And you know, as an athlete, you have to understand that. It’s not always easy at times, but you have to understand that you can’t control the way the fans feel, or what they’re going to do on game day. So you know, my feelings for our fans are what they’ve always been. There’s respect, there’s admiration, there’s appreciation for how in touch they are with their teams and their athletes, and how much they appreciate what we do. And I know they’re hard on us at times, but you know, I think it’s just because they love their team.”