One QB Can Come Off the Vikings Rumor Mill

Dec 24, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) checks with head coach Bill Belichick, left, and senior football advisor Matt Patricia, second from left, during the second half against the Cincinnati Bengals at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason has been filled with lots of QB theories in the Vikings rumor mill.

One of the wilder theories has connected Mac Jones as a potential target for Minnesota in the trade market this offseason. Well, that idea can officially be crossed off the board as the New England Patriots sent Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

One QB Comes Off the Vikings Rumor Mill

Vikings Rumor Mill
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (10) arrives to a press conference held at Gillette Stadium to announce the team’s hiring of new head coach Jerod Mayo (not pictured). Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the news on Sunday morning, tweeting, “Trade: Patriots are finalizing a deal to send QB Mac Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars, sources tell ESPN. The trade cannot be processed until the new league year begins Wednesday and he passes a physical. The two sides were discussing a 6th-round pick, per sources. Jones was born in Jacksonville; now he has the chance to go home.”

Of course, the Patriots selected Jones with the 15th overall pick in the 2021 Draft, making him the fifth QB to come off the board after Trevor Lawrence (No. 1), Zach Wilson (No. 2), Trey Lance (No. 3), and Justin Fields (No. 11).

Ironically, Jones now becomes the backup QB to Lawrence in Jacksonville, who very well could be the only QB among these first five to not be traded by the time this offseason ends. Lance was traded to the Cowboys last year while both Fields and Wilson could be set to suit up in different uniforms for 2024.

Oct 8, 2023; London, United Kingdom; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) leaves the field after an NFL International Series game against the Buffalo Bills at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

After helping lead the Patriots to the playoffs during his rookie season, Jones has struggled over the past two years. This past season, Jones started 11 games, and New England went 2-9 in those games, completing 64.9% of his passes for 2120 yards, 10 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

This trade could impact the Vikings in a couple different ways. Obviously, they are no longer going to be in the market for Jones, but it also means that the Patriots are officially in search of a new QB. They could approach that search in a couple different ways.

New England could target a top player on the free agency market, and Kirk Cousins appears to be at the very top of that list. It would take a large contract to sign the veteran QB, but the Patriots currently have $82.7 million in cap space, which ranks second in the entire NFL. If things fall through with either Atlanta or Minnesota, the Patriots could be next on the list for Cousins.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings
Oct 23, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) signals his team against the San Francisco 49ers in the third quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Additionally, the Patriots could focus their spending powers elsewhere and target another quarterback in the first round of the draft. They hold the third overall pick in this year’s draft, behind the Chicago Bears and Washington Commanders.

With Jayden Daniels, J.J. McCarthy, Drake Maye, and Caleb Williams looking like the top four prospects this spring, options abound for New England at the position. However, if New England is indeed going to take a shot at a young quarterback, it could impact Minnesota’s ability to do so as well.

The legal tampering period of free agency officially begins on Monday, so answers could become clear very shortly.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via Pro Football Reference.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.