The Patriots' offseason was flipped on its head following a bombshell report that revealed Bill Belichick had Mac Jones this offseason. This came after the head coach suggested that Jones' starting job with the team and that second-year signal-caller Bailey Zappe could have an opportunity to compete for the role of QB1.
Naturally, this news has engulfed the New England area and it seems to have leaked into the Patriots' locker room with a less-than-warm reception. NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry recently reported that Patriots players are not happy about this news getting out.
"I've spoken to players who are not happy that this is in the news, that the Patriots and their potential interest in trading Mac Jones is out there in the public sphere," Perry said. "They aren't happy on Mac's behalf; they aren't happy, period, on their own behalf. They're not happy that 2022 is bleeding into 2023."
Things soured between Belichick and Jones in part because the quarterbackduring the year amid frustrations with how the offense was operating under Matt Patricia and Joe Judge. That maneuver appears to have been a line in the sand for Belichick that Jones crossed, but Perry notes that there has been "a collective rolling of eyes" by folks inside the organization with Belichick holding this against him so venomously.
"Folks in the building understand he was in an adverse situation, and that is putting it gently," Perry added. "It's really difficult to hold it against him that he tried to fix it on his own. This is how people view this: Mac Jones felt as though he had exhausted all options available to him in the building, so he went out and pursued improvement elsewhere. And he might be punished because of that? He might be traded because of that? That's him writing his own ticket out of town? There's an absurdity to all of this that is not lost on Patriots employees."
New England has seemingly admitted its mistake of placing the offense in the hands of Patricia and Judge as the team has since hired Bill O'Brien to run the unit as the offensive coordinator. The Patriots also revamped the roster to bring aboard players like JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mike Gesicki, who both possess heightened ceilings than the players they're replacing. All that should put Jones in a better position to succeed in 2023, but it will be fascinating to see if that reported insubordination is something that Belichick can get past and have him as his quarterback going forward.