Colin Cowherd Absurdly Suggests Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots May Think About Trading Mac Jones to Keep up With Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills

Mac Jones could not lead the New England Patriots to a playoff win in their first postseason game without Tom Brady since the turn of the century. Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills were just too good.

The Bills won dominantly, 47-17, and in the process, Allen proved to the world why he’s such a great quarterback. The rookie, Jones, just wasn’t on the same planet on that cold Saturday evening at Highmark Stadium, but was the game so lopsided that Bill Belichick would consider trading away his young signal-caller?

According to shock-jock extraordinaire Colin Cowherd, the answer to that question is a resounding yes.

Josh Allen outplayed Mac Jones and the New England Patriots on Super Wild Card Weekend

Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen vs. New England Patriots
Josh Allen #17 of the Buffalo Bills runs the ball for a first down against the New England Patriots during the first quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff game | Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Super Wild Card Weekend matchup between the Patriots and Bills highlighted two quarterbacks at two very different spots in their careers.

Jones was playing in his first-ever playoff game as the heir apparent to Brady, the quarterback who brought six Super Bowls to New England and was famous for his postseason play.

Allen, on the other hand, was the fourth-year quarterback at the height of his powers. He had an up-and-down regular season, but his talent and otherworldly ceiling have never been questioned.

His MVP potential was on full display in the rubber match against the Patriots, as he completed 20 of 25 passes for 308 yards and five touchdowns. He finished with an elite QBR of 98.5 and a passer rating of 157.6. Any quarterback without the last name of Brady, Rodgers, or Mahomes would have struggled to go toe-to-toe with Allen on that fateful night in front of his home crowd, the Bills Mafia.

The Patriots, and specifically Jones, never stood a chance. He didn’t play terribly, but he also wasn’t special. The rookie completed 24 of 38 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns, but he was picked off twice.

Colin Cowherd thinks Bill Belichick will consider trading Mac Jones

The Patriots have dominated the AFC East for most of the Belichick era, but The Hoodie has a new challenge in front of him. Allen and the Bills likely aren’t going anywhere, so how will the Patriots respond as underdogs?

One theory is that it takes fire to fight fire, and that’s the viewpoint Cowherd took while explaining why Belichick and the Patriots are probably mulling over a trade of Jones at this exact moment.

“Bill Belichick has always viewed players as pieces [or] parts. He doesn’t get emotional. He’s moved off great players [and] Pro Bowlers. He wanted to move off [Tom] Brady. He moved off [Jimmy] Garoppolo,” Cowherd explained, setting the scene. “Josh Allen in the last two games has been so devastating, unstoppable, and jaw-dropping, could Belichick be thinking… ‘I’ve got to trade Mac Jones because if this is a gunfight, I’m not sufficiently armed,'” Cowherd wondered aloud.

Cowherd apparently doesn’t believe New England’s youngster has what it takes to outduel Allen at least twice a year for the foreseeable future. To Cowherd, Belichick has proved he’s not afraid to move off popular players, and he is right in that assessment.

Where he may not be right is in his assessment of Jones after just one playoff game, though.

“Good luck being absolutely a tier below,” Cowherd said, making a point that Jones is nowhere near the tier of elite quarterback needed to win Super Bowls in today’s NFL.

He named players like Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert, Joe Burrow, and Allen.

“You can win with Tua [Tagovailoa] and Mac Jones, and for some organizations, that’s what they’re looking at,” Cowherd said. “Belichick wants Super Bowls [though].”

The insinuation is that Jones is not good enough to get the Patriots to a Super Bowl, but again, how is that evaluation fair after one playoff loss?

Cowherd’s take on Belichick thinking about trading Jones is absurd

Bill Belichick, Mac Jones, New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) is pictured walking past head coach Bill Belichick after throwing an interception | Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Cowherd is right that when you think about shrewd roster management, Belichick is the first name that comes to mind. He doesn’t care who you are or what you’ve done. If he can replace you with someone better, or even sometimes just someone cheaper, he’ll find a way to make it work.

That’s where Cowherd’s argument falls apart, though.

One of the advantages of having a young quarterback on a rookie deal is that they are cheap.

Having Jones at quarterback allows Belichick and the Patriots to go out and spend money elsewhere, and making investments anywhere else is how they’ve won in the past. Remember, Brady is the GOAT, but he also took many pay cuts in order to give the Pats the ability to go out and put players around him, especially on defense.

With that in mind, why would Belichick trade away the leverage he currently has in Jones, mainly the tiny pricetag, in exchange for a star quarterback who will want to be paid? Brady was an exception for New England. Most elite quarterbacks want to be paid what they’re worth, and the downside is they end up taking up a ton of cap room as a result.

Just look at the Green Bay Packers, who will spend 23.38% of their 2022 salary cap on Aaron Rodgers if his contract stays as currently constructed. In a vacuum, that may not seem like a lot, but consider this context: The Patriots will only use 2.17% of their 2022 salary cap on the quarterback position, with 1.65% of that coming from Jones.

As an example of a trade he’d like to see, Cowherd brought up Russell Wilson, who may be looking to win a championship somewhere other than Seattle in the near future. Wouldn’t Belichick love the opportunity to package up Jones and receive a future Hall of Famer in return? That would give the Patriots sufficient firepower to compete with Allen and the Bills, right?

Again, that just doesn’t jive with who Belichick and the Patriots are.

If he remains in Seattle, Wilson will take up 16.86% of the Seahawks’ cap in 2022. He is scheduled to have a cap hit of $37 million, and you can bet he’ll want to be paid similarly by a new organization if and when he gets traded. Sure, there’s always an opportunity for a restructured deal, but no matter how it shakes out, he’s going to get paid.

On the flip side, Jones will count for just over $3.5 million on the Patriots’ cap in 2022.

Why would Belichick and the Patriots give those savings up? Especially considering the fact that Jones was extremely impressive in his rookie season.

Ultimately, it’s too early to make any predictions that Jones won’t be able to hang with Allen in the future.

In 12 games during his rookie season, Allen completed 52.8% of his passes for 2,074 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. In his rookie season, Jones started all 17 games for the Patriots, completing 67.6% of his passes for 3,801 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions.

Cowherd needs to cool his jets with this absurd take. The future of the AFC East is far from written in stone.

Stats courtesy of ESPN and Pro Football Reference. 

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