Getty Broncos HC Sean Payton could be looking for a new quarterback in 2024.
The Denver Broncos have several questions to answer before the 2024 season. Head coach Sean Payton will likely consider a potential Russell Wilson upgrade in the offseason.
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones needs a change of scenery and a move to the Mile High City could be just what he needs to get his derailed career back on track. Jones could be a reclamation project for Payton, as Predominantly Orange’s Lou Scataglia suggested in his November 10 article.
The New England Patriots are a lost team that needs so much to become a competent team again. Well, Mac Jones has clearly shown that he is not the answer, and I think the Patriots are poised to take a top QB pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. Given the way Jones’ tenure in New England has gone, I don’t think he would hate a fresh start somewhere.
Well, Jones could be perfect for Sean Payton’s offense. Payton worked with a QB in Drew Brees, who Jones shares some similarities with. Both passers-by are not mobile at all; They had good but not great weapons, often relying on their foresight and knowledge of the attack they intended to launch. Jones has one year left on his contract should the Broncos decline his fifth-year option.
Things are going downhill for Mac Jones after the 2021 rookie campaign
The Patriots selected Jones with the 15th overall pick out of the University of Alabama in the 2021 NFL Draft. Jones was the only rookie quarterback to lead his team to a winning record and a playoff appearance. His highlight this season was the duel with Patriots legend Tom Brady in a 19:17 defeat against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Patriots finished 10-7 as the Alabama product was named to his only Pro Bowl after throwing 22 touchdown passes. The last two seasons have been downhill for Jones and the six-time Super Bowl champion.
New England has gone 8-15 in Jones’ 23 career starts since 2021. Offensive instability was the main reason for his regression.
After the 2021 season, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels left to become the head coach of the Las Vegas Raiders. Bill Belichick hired former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and former special teams coordinator Joe Judge to run the offense. The results were roughly as expected.
Jones threw 14 touchdowns as the Patriots missed the postseason at 8-9.
Then, in 2023, Jones experienced another change at playcaller when offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien returned to New England.
Jones is tied for the lead with nine interceptions in nine games. He pitched four consecutive weeks against the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints, with the Patriots losing 72-3.
“Mac Jones would have stability under Sean Payton in Denver”
Although the Broncos are 3-5 entering Week 10 against the Buffalo Bills, their future is bright under Payton. That bodes well for Jones, as he needs a stable environment to regain the promise he showed as a rookie.
The problem for Jones in New England, in addition to coaching changes, was the lack of pass catchers at his disposal. Jones has never had a receiver reach 1,000 yards.
Wide receiver Jakobi Meyers led the Patriots in rushing during Jones’ first two seasons. However, Meyers failed to reach the breakeven point of 900 yards. He signed a three-year contract with the Raiders during the 2023 free agency period.
In Denver, Jones will throw against Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton, Greg Dulcich and, when healthy, Tim Patrick. The third-year quarterback already has a connection to Jeudy. Both players were teammates at Alabama from 2018 to 2019.
Remember, Drew Brees didn’t become a Hall of Fame player overnight. Payton played a major role in getting him there.
With better pass catchers and an offense that works around his limitations, Jones could be the ideal player in Payton’s offense.
Evan Craig covers the NFL for Heavy.com, with a focus on the Denver Broncos. Since 2021, he has also covered the NFL for SB Nation’s Turf Show Times. More about Evan Craig
Take the quiz now
Like heavy but hate the ads?
Subscribe now for an ad-free experience
More Broncos news
More stories are loading