Patriots Players Preferred Rookie QB Over Mac Jones According to Devin McCourty

The 2022 regular season was a rough one for the New England Patriots under center and it appears that players were split on who should be leading the team at quarterback.

The recently retired Devin McCourty appeared on WEEI recently and the former safety admitted that some players wanted Bailey Zappe to play over Mac Jones.

“I think player-wise there was enough trust that we’re going to put the best guy out there,” McCourty said. “But the struggles on offense, I think there were some guys in the locker room that were like, ‘Let’s go with Zappe.’ Or, ‘No, Mac looked good today.’ It was just a back-and-forth, which to me, spoke more about what we had on offense than the quarterback. We never were solidified as an offensive group that guys had full confidence in anything we were doing. There was never true hope.”

Jones struggled in 2022 after making the Pro Bowl in his rookie season. In his second NFL season, the quarterback threw for under 3,000 yards along with 14 touchdowns and 11 interceptions per Pro Football Reference.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Zappe showed promise in his limited playing time in his rookie season. The 23-year-old appeared in four games (two stars) and threw for 781 yards while tossing five touchdowns and three interceptions per Pro Football Reference.

There Isn’t a Large Gap Between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe

It isn’t just the players who think that Zappe can compete with Jones. According to NFL insider Albert Breer, individuals within the Patriots organization believe that there isn’t a large gap between the two quarterbacks.

“I think they would (entertain a trade),” Breer said on 98.5 The Sports Hub. “Internally, I don’t know if they see this massive gap between Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe. I’m not saying they think Bailey’s as good as Mac, but there was some element of Bailey doing what he was coached to do last year that I think gave Bailey the edge to some degree for a little while there.

“So I think it’ll be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer came along,” Breer added. “I don’t think a real offer is going to come along, but it’d be interesting to see what would happen if a real offer did come along.”

New England Patriots Players Upset Over Jakobi Meyers Departure

While the Patriots have made some acquisitions in Mike Gesicki and JuJu Smith-Schuster, New England decided to not bring back Jakobi Meyers. The wide receiver signed with the Las Vegas Raiders and reunited with former Patriots coach Josh McDaniels.

According to Mike Giardi of the NFL Network, Patriots players were upset by Meyers’ departure.

“Universally panned by everyone I talked to,” Giardi said. “And some people offered their comments to me — players — without me prompting them. I just got a text.

“The idea that you reward one of your own who came from undrafted free agency, built himself up, and when you go back two years ago in the Josh McDaniels offense, caught 83 passes,” Giardi added. “And actually, even go back a year before where I think 57 of his 58 catches came in the final 10, 11 weeks of the season when they said, ‘We gotta roll this guy out there, we gotta trust his instincts to play football.’”

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