December 6, 2023


There’s nothing to salvage this season, and but the Patriots are unlikely to commerce Mac Jones.

Patriots quarterback Mac Jones Barry Chin/The Boston Globe
  • Dolphins response to JuJu Smith-Schuster hit was ‘loopy’ and disrespectful, Christian Barmore says

  • Report: Patriots’ Kendrick Bourne has torn ACL, will miss the rest of the season


Mac isn’t going to Minnesota. 

Nevertheless it in all probability shouldn’t be acquired as an outlandish, “click-baity” thought. 

With Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins within the rear-view mirror, the 2-6 New England Patriots now have a couple of two p.c probability, which appears excessive, to make the postseason with 9 video games remaining. They share the identical odds because the Chicago Bears, who misplaced to the Chargers Sunday evening. 

The one three NFL groups in worse conditions are the 2-6 New York Giants (one p.c) and the one-win Cardinals and Panthers (lower than one p.c, every).

The Patriots are in the identical class because the laughable Chicago Bears and pathetic Carolina Panthers. 

That is actuality. There’s actually no distinction. 

If final weekend’s win over Buffalo urged that this version of the Patriots might need some hearth left in what was amounting to a misplaced season, then the hope for a resurgent second half went up in a cloud of inferiority Sunday afternoon in Miami. Mac Jones’s H.O.R.S.E. shot to Jaylen Ramsey didn’t assist. Dropping Kendrick Bourne for the season didn’t assist, and having the sport officiated by a group of incompetent referees didn’t assist issues both.  

However the Patriots didn’t lose Sunday primarily based on X’s and O’s. They only weren’t adequate. 

They aren’t adequate. 

The rebuilding ought to start previous to Tuesday’s NFL buying and selling deadline, however the cooks within the kitchen aren’t going to prioritize a promote mode that may affect the second half of the season and, extra importantly, their jobs. What’s the impetus for Invoice Belichick to provide Minnesota a quarterback now that Kirk Cousins is finished for the yr after tearing his Achilles? As an alternative of sewing collectively 2-3 extra wins this season and saving some face, Belichick is actually going to show issues over to Bailey Zappe and let it rip for a tank? And is that actually trigger for celebration, wrangling a second-round decide in alternate to your first-round quarterback choice? (I suppose that will depend on how a lot you’ve watched Mac Jones this season.) 

In the event you’re in search of slivers of optimism, the Celtics are at house Wednesday evening. The small window you had for any remaining this season so far as the Patriots are involved simply closed Sunday afternoon. Free brokers to-be Josh Uche, Trent Brown, Hunter Henry, Michael Onwenu, and Mike Gesicki ought to all be out there for affordable draft picks. Kyle Dugger is without doubt one of the handful of gamers the Patriots ought to wish to hold, however with no contract provided so far, that ship has type of sailed. Clearly, Bourne is now not a commerce chip. Ju Ju Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker by no means actually have been. 

The one, actually, daring transfer to make on the deadline, one which signifies to the fan base that possession understands the necessity for drastic change within the group, is to deal Jones to Minnesota. After all, that would depart the Patriots with out a (professional-level) quarterback heading right into a schedule that includes a bunch of winnable video games. Even for this workforce. 

Sure, “winnable.” Invoice simply acquired No. 300. You suppose he’s going to delay the run at Don Shula one other season for the nice of the franchise? That’s awfully optimistic. 

These are your New England Patriots, caught in a recurring purgatory the place it’s going to take years to dig out. The Patriots want expertise in all places, at each place. But, Belichick goes to educate this workforce effectively sufficient to get it to 8-9, and all people will simply type of neglect that month-long interval. Possibly they’ll get one other decide at No. 15. These work out effectively. 

This Patriots workforce could also be dangerous sufficient by itself to not make any tanking a priority. The Commanders, Colts, and Broncos might seem like equals within the standings, however so did the Saints and Raiders, keep in mind? 

The NFL buying and selling deadline is all the time hyped for greater than it delivers. Once in a while you’ve gotten a Christian McCaffrey or an Aqib Talib that breaks the monotony. Most years it passes with out a single transaction of any word. 

That’s most probably how the Patriots will method it, as a substitute of making an attempt to salvage what they will. 

Sunday confirmed there may be nothing to salvage this season. The franchise wants a re-boot. 

However with Belichick now solely 16 wins behind Shula, the long-term well being of the product goes to seemingly take a backseat to the coach. That’s the one motive why the Patriots gained’t promote. 

It’s one of many many the explanation why they need to. 

For that’s additionally the truth, one which’s lots more durable to swallow than the present state of issues on the sphere. The workforce stinks, and it looks like no person in Foxborough desires to acknowledge it. 

Their actions (or lack thereof) will converse for themselves by Tuesday afternoon.