One of the main storylines of the 2023 offseason for the New England Patriots has been whether they should keep Mac Jones as the starting quarterback for next season or trade him and find a different player to lead the offense.
If you were going to make a move of that magnitude, the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft would be a good time.
So, what are the chances the Patriots could actually trade Jones during Round 1 on Thursday night?
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"After speaking to people today -- I've said previously that over Robert Kraft's dead body would Mac Jones be traded -- we could probably also include Bill Belichick," NBC Sports Boston's Patriots insider Tom E. Curran said Thursday evening on "Arbella Early Edition."
"I was told today that Bill Belichick does not want to trade Mac Jones. Robert Kraft, we already know, does not want to trade Mac Jones. The Patriots will not be trading Mac Jones in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. Mac Jones will be here and the Patriots will not draft a quarterback."
The Patriots bringing in Kentucky quarterback and likely top 15 pick Will Levis for a pre-draft visit earlier this month led to some speculation over Jones' future with the team. The Lamar Jackson situation in Baltimore also ignited debate over whether the Patriots should get rid of Jones and pursue the Ravens quarterback. However, that's no longer an option after the Ravens and Jackson agreed to a massive five-year contract Thursday.Going into the 2023 season with Jones wouldn't be a bad situation for the Patriots.
They hired a real offensive coordinator in Bill O'Brien back in January. He's a brilliant offensive coach and an experienced play-caller. O'Brien is more than capable of putting Jones into positions to succeed and helping him rediscover the potential he showed during his impressive 2021 rookie campaign.
New England Patriots
The Patriots also should have more talent around Jones next season. They signed wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and tight end Mike Gesicki in free agency, and they'll likely draft a few offensive players this week.
The Patriots can be a playoff-caliber team with Jones as the starting quarterback, and it would be a mistake to give up on him after just two years when the team invested a first-round pick (No. 15 overall) in him.