Recently retired former Patriots safety Devin McCourty recently suggested replacing Mac Jones under center in New England with 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson, whose future in Baltimore is uncertain with one year left on his deal and his name being mentioned in both trade talks and contract negotiations with the Ravens.
While speaking on the March 22 edition of the Green Light with Chris Long podcast, McCourty said he’d be interested in Bill Belichick bringing on the former first-round draft pick because the Patriots coach could play to Jackson’s strengths — which don’t tend to be highlighted by analysts when discussing the No. 8.
“A guy like Lamar Jackson … everyone always sees and always talks about his limitations. In New England, it’s all about, ‘Let’s play to your strengths,” McCourty said. “I will be very interested. And if Bill really had him, he would be like. ‘Hey, let’s do this with him, let’s do that with him, let’s actually go play to his strengths,’ which will be pretty cool to see.”
Patriots Went Back and Forth With Mac Jones, Bailey Zappe
McCourty appeared two days earlier on WEEI and revealed that Patriots players were constantly going back and forth during the 2022 season having confidence in either Jones or rookie Bailey Zappe.
“I think player-wise there was enough trust that we’re going to put the best guy out there,” McCourty said. “But the struggles on offense, I think there were some guys in the locker room that were like, ‘Let’s go with Zappe.’ Or, ‘No, Mac looked good today.’”
McCourty said that such confusion on who was the top quarterback option was actually more of a sign that the offense was collectively unsure of itself.
“It was just a back-and-forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback,” McCourty said. “We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.”
Analyst Believes Patriots Could Consider Mac Jones Trade
Albert Breer shared on 98.5 The Sports Hub that he believes the Patriots would consider a Jones trade if one was offered.
“I think they would (entertain a trade),” Breer said. “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.”
Jones isn’t likely to garner a “real offer” according to Breer, but the Sports Illustrated reporter is interested in what would happen if an NFL general manager did seriously aim to pray the former College Football Playoff championship quarterback at Alabama out of New England.
“I think it’ll be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer came along,” Breer prefaced before saying, “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.”