Seeing as he spent nine seasons as a member of the Patriots, former tight end Rob Gronkowski knows a thing or two about how things are run in New England. On Wednesday, he made some explosive statements about the future of the franchise — and offered his opinion that its first-string quarterback should leave it all behind following a difficult season.
Gronkowski told Kay Adams that the situation in New England is “beyond repair” for quarterback Mac Jones and head coach Bill Belichick — and that Jones, a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie in 2021, should ask for his release and sign with a new team for the rest of the season.
Gronk thinks Mac should join…the Browns!
During his appearance on the “Up and Adams Show,” Gronkowski said he doesn’t believe Belichick will leave New England — by mutual consent or otherwise — after the 2023 season, which is on course to be the Patriots‘ worst in over two decades. And if that’s the case, Jones has to be on the move, as the quarterback is “not respected” in Foxborough.
“Bailey Zappe isn’t even close to being on Mac Jones’ level,” Gronkowski said of the backup who replaced Jones during New England’s 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. “I think Mac Jones should ultimately, even right now, should just go ask for his release. And then, if it’s granted, he should go sign with the Cleveland Browns.”
As it happens, the Browns have a void at quarterback following the news Wednesday morning that Deshaun Watson will undergo a season-ending shoulder procedure. Such a sequence of events would be chaotic, and Jones would immediately drop into the AFC‘s heated playoff race. But he would also become Cleveland‘s instant starter in what would amount to an audition for another gig once Watson returns to health in 2024.
“I think (Jones) is gonna have a career,” Gronkowski said about Jones’ future NFL prospects. “But it’s tough. … All that pressure, with the fans, with Coach Belichick and the team. I don’t think he has that many weapons around him, either. They’re dropping easy passes on him.”
Has Jones lost the locker room?
Gronkowski‘s takes come at a particularly delicate time in Jones‘ NFL career, as a new report this week has stated that the former Alabama Crimson Tide star has lost too much credibility in the New England locker room.
The majority of Patriots players seem to be “done” with Jones, who has tossed as many interceptions as touchdowns this season and bears some responsibility for New England’s 2-8 record. And Belichick does seem intent on getting a close look at Zappe — some could point to Belichick’s reluctance to name his starter going forward as evidence that the coach no longer supports the quarterback he once drafted 15th overall.