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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Bryan Manning

Patriots reportedly shopping QB Mac Jones, Commanders named as potential fit

Five quarterbacks went in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, all within the first 15 picks. Of those five, No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence is the only one who has solidified himself as a franchise quarterback. Justin Fields, who went No. 11 overall to the Chicago Bears, is next in line.

Mac Jones [No. 15 to New England] has shown flashes but took a step back in 2022. Zach Wilson [No. 2, Jets] looks like a bust, while Trey Lance [No. 3, 49ers] can’t seem to get on the field — and stay on the field.

While there have been rumors of the 49ers potentially shopping Lance — none of which came from the 49ers — a report came out this week that Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has shopped Jones. In fairness to Jones, New England’s offensive coaching staff was dreadful last season, using a former defensive coordinator and special teams coach as his offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, respectively.

With that, owner Robert Kraft has supported Jones, believing the coaching staff let him down in 2022.

With Jones potentially on the block, Cody Benjamin of CBS Sports named five potential fits for him, with the Commanders coming in at No. 3.

Here’s what Benjamin said about a hypothetical Jones trade to Washington.

Despite annual laments from coach Ron Rivera about their failure to identify a sustainable signal-caller, Washington has settled for middling 2023 options up to this point, betting on 2022 rookie Sam Howell to beat out journeyman No. 2 Jacoby Brissett. Picking 16th overall in the draft, they’d likely need a big jump to land an elite prospect under center. Jones would at least give them added competition, and he’d also be under team control for at least three more seasons.

Benjamin calls Howell and Brissett middling options. What is Jones? Let’s ignore draft positioning for any of these players and look at their body of work. You could make the argument that Howell has the highest ceiling of the three [Howell, Jones & Brissett], while Brissett has the highest floor.

Therefore, trading for Jones makes no sense for Washington. If it wants to add another young quarterback to the mix, then draft Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker.

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