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It was clear from watching the New England Patriots offense last season that things were not going well with the quarterback position, but the situation may have been worse than it originally seemed. Former No. 15 overall pick Mac Jones struggled in his third season, and those struggles came with drama.

Jones went from the starter, to being benched at halftime, to eventually being cast aside in favor of backup Bailey Zappe. The worst of it came when Jones ended the season as the emergency quarterback, falling behind Nathan Rourke, who had no real NFL experience, and reportedly not being told about the demotion until right before the game.

In 2023, the Patriots went 2-9 with Jones starting, giving them a record of 8-17 with No. 10 as a starter over the past two seasons. 

Towards the end of the season, then-head coach Bill Belichick would not even name a starter ahead of games. It all accumulated to what was reportedly a broken relationship between Belichick and Jones, with "nonexistent" communication, per

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Belichick and the Patriots have parted ways, but just because there is a new head coach in Jared Mayo, does not mean Jones will get a fresh start in New England.

According to Sports Illustrated, Jones was "well-liked" when he first arrived, but "lost support of the building" when his promising rookie season did not carry over into his second or third year. The report described the situation as "toxic," saying there were times when, as a rookie in 2022, Zappe would watch tape in the receiver room, because the quarterback room was such a mess.

Jones' future in the NFL is not necessarily over, as a team could utilize him as a backup, but returning to a franchise that reportedly lost faith and to a fandom that chanted for your backup to come in does not seem likely.

Jones finished the 2023 season with a 64.9 completion percentage, 2,120 yards, 10 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 11 games. Zappe was far from the answer, either, going 2-4 in his six starts, with a 59.9 completion percentage 1,272 yards, six touchdowns and nine interceptions. 

Mayo certainly has many changes to make as he brings the Patriots into a new era, and the needs on offense extend far beyond the quarterback, with issues at other positions as well. 

The Patriots are not expected to pick up Jones' fifth option and are open to a trade, according to