The New England Patriots are looking to find their next franchise quarterback three years after the departure of the legendary Tom Brady.
Their starter under center is Mac Jones, who had a fine rookie season in 2021 but fell down to Earth last year.
He missed three games in 2022 with an ankle injury, and during that time, rookie Bailey Zappe stepped in and showed some promise.
Patriots analyst Paul Perillo says that Jones and Zappe don’t really have a relationship and don’t communicate much with each other while on the field, via NBC Sports Boston.
"I don't think it's a great one… it doesn't seem overly friendly on the practice field."@pfwpaul & @TonyMassarotti talk Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe relationship, and if it's important pic.twitter.com/8KpSmkHBR9
— NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Coverage (@NBCSPatriots) August 14, 2023
At this time last year, Jones’ stock was so high that some were talking about him being a dark-horse candidate for the regular-season MVP award.
But a year after posting 3,801 passing yards and 22 passing touchdowns while making the Pro Bowl, he mustered just 14 touchdown passes while also throwing 11 interceptions.
His passer rating also fell from 92.5 to 84.8, and there is now legitimate doubt that he can be New England’s QB of the future.
Zappe was a fourth-round draft pick last year by the Patriots after a 2021 season at Western Kentucky University during which he threw for 5,967 yards and 62 touchdowns.
This season, both he and Jones will have some help, as they will be able to throw the ball to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who won a Super Bowl last season with the Kansas City Chiefs as their most productive wideout.
On Monday, the Patriots also signed running back Ezekiel Elliott, a three-time Pro Bowler who spent his first seven seasons with the Dallas Cowboys.NEXT: Analysts Point Out 1 Major Issue For The Patriots This Season