Entering the summer of 2023, the New England Patriots have had a relatively quiet offseason. After selecting corner back Christian Gonzalez with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Patriots made no major moves on the offensive side of the ball and have yet to make any big splashes on the trade market. This could all be part of the plan for head coach Bill Belichick and his staff as they trust in their current roster and look to improve from within through free agency and camp competition.
However, the stakes got a little higher this offseason when they selected Mac Jones in the first round of the 2021 draft as their starting quarterback for the foreseeable future. Jones showed promise in his rookie year, completing 65.6 percent of his passes for 4,204 yards and 21 touchdowns. But he did experience some regression in his second season, throwing 11 interceptions and taking a total of 29 sacks.
The Patriots went into the 2021 offseason knowing that they needed to bolster their offensive production and give Jones more help if they wanted to continue competing for a championship. The team did select four offensive players — three wide receivers and a tight end — but none of those acquisitions are likely to drastically improve the overall performance.
If the Patriots want to truly signal their confidence in Mac Jones and their offense heading into training camp, they should make a bold move on the trade market. This could mean targeting one of the league’s top playmakers, like Pro Bowl wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, or even acquiring a veteran quarterback like Jimmy Garoppolo to provide competition for Jones. While neither of these moves would be cheap, both would signal the team’s commitment to creating an explosive offense and potentially making a deep playoff run in 2023.
Though it’s still early in the offseason, the Patriots could benefit from making a big move that would solidify their confidence in Mac Jones and the rest of the playmakers on offense. Doing so would indicate to the football world that the team is serious about making a deep run this season and set them up for success down the line.