Reported Jack Jones suspension details should concern Patriots fans


The New England Patriots' season ended unceremoniously Sunday afternoon. Apparently there was some strife behind the scenes, as well.

The Patriots recently moved punter Jake Bailey and cornerback Jack Jones to the reserve/injured list, and both players appeared to take issue with that decision; Bailey is filing a grievance with the team via his agent, while Jones' agent called his client's situation a "miscommunication."

Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer provided more insight on Jones' suspension on NBC Sports Boston's "Sports Sunday" -- suggesting that the rookie cornerback openly challenged Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.

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"My understanding of the way that went is, (Jones) was late to rehab sessions, he missed rehab sessions, and I think he even talked back to Bill a little bit about it, to the point where Bill felt like he had to address it in a team meeting two Fridays ago," Breer said.

If you're wondering how uncommon it is for a Patriots player -- much less a rookie -- to go back-and-forth with arguably the greatest head coach of all time, former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson summed it up with his reaction.

"That's amazing," Johnson said in response to Breer's insight. "The ecosystem is so different now. That's an amazing story to me. Like, you're a rookie, and you're going toe-to-toe with Bill in a meeting?

"He's just lost some of his cache, it feels like. They don't respect him the way they used to. And for rookies to be challenging Bill like that in front of everybody is unbelievable to me."

Breer spoke Sunday of a potential "disconnect" between New England's young players and coaching staff, and Jones' defiance of his head coach certainly illustrates that. And the fact that Belichick held a team meeting to address the Jones situation could be a sign that he views the locker room dynamic as a real issue.

The Patriots need to make plenty of changes to improve their roster and coaching staff in 2023, but those changes won't matter much if players aren't on the same page as their coaches. According to Breer, it sounds like there's work to be done in that department.

"I think there's a lot of 'why' going on in the building right now when it comes to the players," Breer added, "And it's all well and good to say, 'Because I said so' when you're 14-3 and going to the AFC Championship Game every year, it doesn't fly the same way when you're 8-9."

Check out the video below to hear more from Breer, Johnson and host Michael Felger on Jones and Bailey's suspensions.

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