Shortly after selecting him 15th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Patriots decided to try their luck with Mac Jones as their starting quarterback. In his very first year in the league, the Alabama Crimson Tide product gave reasons for optimism.
Having led the team to the playoffs, Jones looked like the type of quarterback Bill Belichick was looking for since Tom Brady left. Jones understood the playbook, he did what he's been asked to and also had little mistakes for a rookie.
His second year, however, didn't start as expected. Jones has thrown five interceptions in only three games, while New England is bottom of the AFC East (1-2). Many are already questioning Jones' ceiling, and former Patriots assistant Michael Lombardi even claims that turnovers could cost Jones the job.
Former Patriots assistant questions Mac Jones' job security
“New England is not doing anything they stand for,” Lombardi said on “The GM Shuffle” podcast, via Mike Reiss of ESPN. “They want to avoid losing before they win. As much as I like Mac Jones, I thought Mac Jones would protect the ball and play smarter than he’s played.
"Now he’s hurt with the high ankle [sprain]. To me, he was in danger of either changing what he did, or he is going to lose his job. You’re not going to play in the NFL if you keep turning the ball over the way he was.”
Bill Belichick praises Patriots backup QB Brian Hoyer
Jones is expected to miss games after suffering a high ankle sprain during the Patriots' loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 3. Belichick refused to rule him out yet, but he did praise Brian Hoyer, who would take over if Jones is out.
“He knows [the offense] better than anybody. I mean, from an overall experience standpoint,” Belichick said, via ProFootballTalk. “This year is this year. But, yeah, Brian’s had a lot of experience. He’s been in a lot of different systems. Seen a lot of football. Taken a lot of snaps for us in various capacities. Thought he played well in the preseason. If we need him to go, he’ll be ready to go."
Needless to say, there are too many games left this season to start questioning Jones' job security. Besides, we have to keep in mind that this is just his second season in the NFL. Unless Hoyer does extraordinary things while (or if) he's out, Jones shouldn't be worried about his job - yet.