The Michael McCorkle "Mac" Jones Thread

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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It’s because you do Baghdad Bob style apologetics in these Mac Jones conversations that people respond this way.

He is playing for a guy that was 11-5 with Matt Cassell and 7-9 with a Cam who could no longer throw a forward pass so saying Mac “led” a team to the playoffs is a bit much. He won 3 more games and the season was one game longer than a man who legitimately can no longer throw a football.
I don't know what "Baghdad Bob style apologetics" are. I have a higher opinion of Mac than most here. That's no secret. I was one of the ones hoping the Pats would draft him. But I've been fair in my criticism of him, I think.

What's unfair is when people say I should watch the games instead of just looking at the box score. As if there's only one way to view Mac and any other view is uneducated and stupid and proof that the opinion holder doesn't know anything about football.

You know who seems to have a pretty decent opinion of Mac Jones? Bill Belichick.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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I'm 52. Might be older than you. I know who Baghdad Bob is, but I don't know what the term "Baghdad Bob apologetics" means.
 

luckiestman

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I'm 52. Might be older than you. I know who Baghdad Bob is, but I don't know what the term "Baghdad Bob apologetics" means.
It means no matter what people are seeing with their own eyes you have a story for why “Mac was excellent, actually”. It leads to very bad boring dialogue and is like partisan politics. I mean, we all watched the Jets game, man. We saw it.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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It means no matter what people are seeing with their own eyes you have a story for why “Mac was excellent, actually”. It leads to very bad boring dialogue and is like partisan politics. I mean, we all watched the Jets game, man. We saw it.
That's a mischaracterization of my take on the Jets game, but hey....whatever.

:fonz:
 

Eddie Jurak

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He is playing for a guy that was 11-5 with Matt Cassell and 7-9 with a Cam who could no longer throw a forward pass so saying Mac “led” a team to the playoffs is a bit much. He won 3 more games and the season was one game longer than a man who legitimately can no longer throw a football.
Mac would be doing a whole lot better now if his line was Light-Mankins-Koppen-Neal-Kaczur and his top receivers were Moss, Welker, and (out of the backfield) Kevin Faulk.
 

Super Nomario

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Mac could shut a lot of us up if he had a defining moment in a meaningful game, e.g. winning a game the Pats should have lost, leading a game winning drive, etc. For better or worse, it seems like he’s “OK” in wins with the whole team playing well, and unspectacular or very bad in losses, unable to pick up the D or Special Teams. That’s a guy that’s going to catch criticism a lot in a league where one or two plays often decides a game.
Wasn't Thursday an encouraging step then? Mac was very good in a loss. Most of his other quality performances (all last season) came in blowout wins (CLE, JAX, TEN, the second Jets game).
 

Cellar-Door

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My take on Mac is the same as it's been... if he gets no pressure he's good, if he gets pressured he's not that good, if he gets a lot of pressure he's horrific.

Now what can you do about it..... build up the line, invest in skill position players, then draft a potential replacement after year 3 or 4, because he's not a guy you give a 2nd contract likely, but all the things that will help make him look good will be really useful for the rookie you bring in when Mac is about to get expensive.
 

BaseballJones

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In the last ten seasons(2012-2021), there have been many, many, many dozens of guys that have been starting quarterbacks in the NFL. And in those ten years, only these guys have won a SB title:

Joe Flacco
Russell Wilson
Tom Brady (4x)
Peyton Manning
Nick Foles
Patrick Mahomes
Matthew Stafford

The point being that out of dozens and dozens and dozens of guys who have been starting quarterbacks (and not just backups who have been in there in emergencies) in the NFL over the last ten years, just seven guys have won SBtitles, meaning the vast vast majority have not. Think about the high level QBs in that time frame who haven’t won a title.

Meaning that it’s far more likely than not that Mac Jones won’t win a SB title.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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The better question might be “Can Mac Jones play at a SB-level?” Josh Allen hasn’t won a SB but obviously can play at that level. Same with Burrow. Herbert perhaps. Tua is moving in that direction.

Mac is rather obviously nowhere near those guys yet.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Of course. Nobody - not even his biggest supporters - has ever said that Mac is anywhere near those guys at this point.
 

Cellar-Door

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The real question with Mac shouldn't be... can he win a SuperBowl. It should be... does he improve your chances of winning a SuperBowl enough to be worth a second contract.

Flacco won his SB in the last year of his rookie deal (finished top 2 in their division all 5 years), signed a big 2nd contract and the Ravens made the playoffs twice during that 6 year stretch.
Foles split that year with Wentz (on a rookie deal)
Wilson made the SB twice during his rookie deal, didn't come particularly close after that.
Mahomes got his on his rookie deal (we're about to see how his 2nd contract goes).
Brady, Manning and Stafford only guys on that list to win a SB on a non-rookie deal.

So he has probably 1 more year to show what he has before you start looking at who is next (and maybe trading him to a team that would extend him)
 

BaseballJones

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All depends on what he’d cost on a second contract, right? If he makes anywhere near what the top guys are getting then almost certainly he won’t be worth it. But if he gets paid just a modest to small amount for a starting QB not on a rookie deal…. Then maybe he is. But I agree basically with what you said there.
 

SMU_Sox

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The better question might be “Can Mac Jones play at a SB-level?” Josh Allen hasn’t won a SB but obviously can play at that level. Same with Burrow. Herbert perhaps. Tua is moving in that direction.

Mac is rather obviously nowhere near those guys yet.
Before this season started I had Tua and Mac around the same level and Mac with the edge on him. Tua with a better OL and some really good receiving options has turned into a fantastic QB this year. Scheme helps too of course and right now Tua has better coaching/scheme. Not disagreeing or agreeing with you just noting how things have changed for Tua.
 

SMU_Sox

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Honestly I don't think looking at just SB winners vs like conference game appearances or final 8 appearances is more helpful. There is a lot of randomness in the playoffs. Getting to the divisional round is hard to do and a good representation of who has had a good year.
 

dirtynine

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Would it be more fair to expand the pool to QBs who’ve made the Super Bowl? I feel like getting there is the real goal - not the ultimate goal, but it’s the standard we’re really talking about.
 
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Wasn't Thursday an encouraging step then? Mac was very good in a loss. Most of his other quality performances (all last season) came in blowout wins (CLE, JAX, TEN, the second Jets game).
I would say so, yes. And with a few breaks (Henry catch, Pierre Strong takes a better angle, Agholor doesn’t get knocked off his route) he could have taken a leap in many fans’ eyes without really doing anything different. Similar in some ways to how opinions changed on him after the throw to Bourne in the Dallas game last year (even though that ultimately ended in a loss as well).

Or, to put it differently, he could use a Bledsoe/Minnesota moment.
 

Reverend

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The real question with Mac shouldn't be... can he win a SuperBowl. It should be... does he improve your chances of winning a SuperBowl enough to be worth a second contract.

Flacco won his SB in the last year of his rookie deal (finished top 2 in their division all 5 years), signed a big 2nd contract and the Ravens made the playoffs twice during that 6 year stretch.
Foles split that year with Wentz (on a rookie deal)
Wilson made the SB twice during his rookie deal, didn't come particularly close after that.
Mahomes got his on his rookie deal (we're about to see how his 2nd contract goes).
Brady, Manning and Stafford only guys on that list to win a SB on a non-rookie deal.

So he has probably 1 more year to show what he has before you start looking at who is next (and maybe trading him to a team that would extend him)
All depends on what he’d cost on a second contract, right? If he makes anywhere near what the top guys are getting then almost certainly he won’t be worth it. But if he gets paid just a modest to small amount for a starting QB not on a rookie deal…. Then maybe he is. But I agree basically with what you said there.
Do we start to wonder if quarterbacks are overpaid?
 

tims4wins

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The real question with Mac shouldn't be... can he win a SuperBowl. It should be... does he improve your chances of winning a SuperBowl enough to be worth a second contract.

Flacco won his SB in the last year of his rookie deal (finished top 2 in their division all 5 years), signed a big 2nd contract and the Ravens made the playoffs twice during that 6 year stretch.
Foles split that year with Wentz (on a rookie deal)
Wilson made the SB twice during his rookie deal, didn't come particularly close after that.
Mahomes got his on his rookie deal (we're about to see how his 2nd contract goes).
Brady, Manning and Stafford only guys on that list to win a SB on a non-rookie deal.

So he has probably 1 more year to show what he has before you start looking at who is next (and maybe trading him to a team that would extend him)
I think this nails it, although it's probably a little unfair to Wilson. He was elite on the 2nd contract. You can argue that his contract led to some other units deteriorating, that would be fair. Same may happen in KC, we shall see.

Regarding Mac, this from Reiss today: 9-12 for 220 and 2 TDs against the Vikings on throws that traveled more than 10 yards in the air.
 

BaseballJones

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Ok so what are we saying is the level Mac needs to be at in order for us to be happy and/or the pick to have been a good one?

Is it: the team makes the playoffs regularly and once in a while makes a deep run, even if they may not win the SB?

Is it: at least one SB title or it’s not a success?

Is it: Mac can play well but the team doesn’t experience much playoff success and that still counts as a good pick and we’ll be happy?

Is it: the team does well and Mac does enough to not screw that up but he isn’t exactly All Pro material (I.e. he’s “just a game manager” but they do well thanks mainly to good defense and running and special teams)?

Or is it that the team has to win a ton and win championships (at least one, preferably more) AND Mac has to be a legit pro bowl player during all that?

That’s a serious question. What’s the level you want/need to see for you (this is a general question for SOSH, not singling anyone out) to ultimately be happy with Mac as the QB?
 

tims4wins

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Ok so what are we saying is the level Mac needs to be at in order for us to be happy and/or the pick to have been a good one?

Is it: the team makes the playoffs regularly and once in a while makes a deep run, even if they may not win the SB?

Is it: at least one SB title or it’s not a success?

Is it: Mac can play well but the team doesn’t experience much playoff success and that still counts as a good pick and we’ll be happy?

Is it: the team does well and Mac does enough to not screw that up but he isn’t exactly All Pro material (I.e. he’s “just a game manager” but they do well thanks mainly to good defense and running and special teams)?

Or is it that the team has to win a ton and win championships (at least one, preferably more) AND Mac has to be a legit pro bowl player during all that?

That’s a serious question. What’s the level you want/need to see for you (this is a general question for SOSH, not singling anyone out) to ultimately be happy with Mac as the QB?
Answering for myself, I already think the pick was a good one even if they move on after his rookie deal. They gave up no additional draft capital and are likely to at least get 4-5 years of ok QB play at a minimum price. Plenty of value in that.

In terms of ultimate happiness, this is kind of the easy way out, but it's kind of like porn - you know it when you see it. If he's a top 10-15 guy who you think you can win with, that's good enough for me (even if he never wins an AFC title, for instance). Something like a Matt Ryan type of career.
 

mikcou

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Answering for myself, I already think the pick was a good one even if they move on after his rookie deal. They gave up no additional draft capital and are likely to at least get 4-5 years of ok QB play at a minimum price. Plenty of value in that.

In terms of ultimate happiness, this is kind of the easy way out, but it's kind of like porn - you know it when you see it. If he's a top 10-15 guy who you think you can win with, that's good enough for me (even if he never wins an AFC title, for instance). Something like a Matt Ryan type of career.
That seems like selling Ryan short... by a lot. He aged somewhat earlier than a lot of the other top guys, but he was a fringe top 5 guy for a 5+ year period and won a MVP one of those years. Think you're more thinking of the Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr or even Jimmy G - guys who clearly start and are good, but not only never win a MVP, theyre never in the discussion for one. They're right at that level where they're good enough to win with if the right team is in place, but not good enough that you're not wondering about what else is out there because the margin to go deep into the playoffs with them is incredibly small.

Personally, a souped up Kirk Cousins is probably a reasonable reachable ceiling (say 75th-80th percentile) and would be a really good outcome. I thought about Ryan some, but that has to be like a 98th percentile outcome given where Mac is. Ryan was a solid QB from day 1 at a time when most QBs were given a full year and quite good from year 3.
 

tims4wins

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That seems like selling Ryan short... by a lot. He aged somewhat earlier than a lot of the other top guys, but he was a fringe top 5 guy for a 5+ year period and won a MVP one of those years. Think you're more thinking of the Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr or even Jimmy G - guys who clearly start and are good, but not only never win a MVP, theyre never in the discussion for one. They're right at that level where they're good enough to win with if the right team is in place, but not good enough that you're not wondering about what else is out there because the margin to go deep into the playoffs with them is incredibly small.

Personally, a souped up Kirk Cousins is probably a reasonable reachable ceiling (say 75th-80th percentile) and would be a really good outcome. I thought about Ryan some, but that has to be like a 98th percentile outcome given where Mac is. Ryan was a solid QB from day 1 at a time when most QBs were given a full year and quite good from year 3.
All very good points and I agree with your comps.
 

j44thor

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Tough to compare Mac to Cousins when Cousins has an all world WR to throw to. The problem Mac faces is he may never have a better than average WR to throw to during his time in NE given how bad NE has been at drafting WRs the last several years. Even someone like Amron St Brown would be significantly better than Jakobi and friends.
 

joe dokes

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The better question might be “Can Mac Jones play at a SB-level?” Josh Allen hasn’t won a SB but obviously can play at that level. Same with Burrow. Herbert perhaps. Tua is moving in that direction.

Mac is rather obviously nowhere near those guys yet.
Neither was Josh Allen, until he was. The Dolphins were ready to move on from Tua (if reports are to be believed).
Given the lengthy list of QBs who have and haven't won SBs, I dont even know what "SB-level" is any more. Russell Wilson? Jared Goff? (led to; not win); Stafford. I used to think that a successful team needs a QB that has "good games" 3 out of 4 times or 4 out of 5. Jones certainly hasn't done that so far.
I think all anyone can really say with any degree of confidence is that Jones's performance this year has been worse than last year. Most of the predictions for his future seem closer to talk-show angertainment than anything else.

Even being in the "too soon to tell" camp, I think the idea that the game against the Vikings portends anything other than "its better to play good" is kind of silly.
 

Super Nomario

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All depends on what he’d cost on a second contract, right? If he makes anywhere near what the top guys are getting then almost certainly he won’t be worth it. But if he gets paid just a modest to small amount for a starting QB not on a rookie deal…. Then maybe he is. But I agree basically with what you said there.
These kind of contracts basically don't exist. Your top guys (Rodgers, Watson, Mahomes, Allen) all make north of $40 MM, but so do Kyler Murray and Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford. There's like a couple mil discount for guys that aren't as good, that's it. All the non-rookie-contract solid starters (i.e. not fringey competition guys like Jameis, Geno, and Mariota) make at least $30 MM except Tannehill ($29.5 MM) and Brady ($25 MM).

Do we start to wonder if quarterbacks are overpaid?
My read is the top of the market is guys are some of the best values in sports and the middle class some of the most overpaid. If Mac plays like an averageish QB the next couple years, he'll get a contract in striking distance of Josh Allen ($43 MM APY) and we'll need to have great pieces 2-55 to make up the difference in QB play for similar price.

The top of the market is depressed by the franchise tag (and threat of) and the bottom of the market is propped up by no one wanting to be the Carolina Panthers. The QB salary scale is pretty flat. It leaves a tough decision for a team like the Pats with a QB that's probably mid - if you try to replace Mac, you probably get someone worse, but if you pay him, you're eating a huge chunk of the cap on a guy that doesn't move the needle. Plug in Tua for Mac (or Carr for a historical example) if you like, to get the same idea without the emotional "how can you say Mac is probably mid after 25 starts blah blah."
 

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That seems like selling Ryan short... by a lot. He aged somewhat earlier than a lot of the other top guys, but he was a fringe top 5 guy for a 5+ year period and won a MVP one of those years. Think you're more thinking of the Kirk Cousins/Derek Carr or even Jimmy G - guys who clearly start and are good, but not only never win a MVP, theyre never in the discussion for one. They're right at that level where they're good enough to win with if the right team is in place, but not good enough that you're not wondering about what else is out there because the margin to go deep into the playoffs with them is incredibly small.

Personally, a souped up Kirk Cousins is probably a reasonable reachable ceiling (say 75th-80th percentile) and would be a really good outcome. I thought about Ryan some, but that has to be like a 98th percentile outcome given where Mac is. Ryan was a solid QB from day 1 at a time when most QBs were given a full year and quite good from year 3.
Here's another comp: Eli Manning. Basically a guy who lived most of his career in that 10-20 range, some years closer to 10, some closer to 20. But got hot at the right time (twice) with a good defense, and thus able to win 2 Super Bowls.
 

SMU_Sox

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I was remembering some things about Mac from Waldman including his decision-making, processing, and vs pressure components:

58192

58193

Senses Pressure:

58194

58195

Processing:

58196

Ok to me this next part still reads like Mac Jones today! He still struggles with the same post-snap issues as he did before.

58198
 

SMU_Sox

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The hardest things to improve are the mental aspects to the game. They require a lot of time and patience. It worries me a little that he still misses things post snap but at the same time he might not improve on that until years 3-4-5+. Or, he could be like Kirk Cousins and never see much improvement there.

Waldman also noted that Mac would need a creative offensive mind or he would be too predictable. A baker not a chef. Not someone super creative. Just going to leave that there with Matty P. Matt Patricia has had some bright moments too. He hasn't been as bad as he could have been but he's definitely in the lower third of NFL offensive coordinators (IKIK it's not his title).
 

Toe Nash

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That’s a serious question. What’s the level you want/need to see for you (this is a general question for SOSH, not singling anyone out) to ultimately be happy with Mac as the QB?
I have been consistent. It is all about showing enough to be "worth" a second contract which basically means top 5-10 QB caliber. And that's because it's all about maximizing your chance at SBs. The rest of the team can be rebuilt surprisingly quickly and it usually is even if you have a Tom Brady, but if you get stuck with an average QB who doesn't improve that's the worst place to be. You're basically always wondering what the team would be like if they had that guy behind center.

As others have said second QB contracts are so huge no matter who the player, and the position so valuable, that if you don't think he can crack the top 10 consistently it's a better idea to go back to the draft and try to find a different QB with that upside than it is to commit multiple years at a huge percentage of your cap to an average guy without big upside. This is especially true with Allen / Mahomes / Burrow / Jackson in the same conference. Even if you have mediocre or average QB play from a player on his rookie deal at least you're not paying much to him and you can fill out the rest of the team. If you find yourself with a great team other than QB, well we've seen guys move late in their careers so you can look at that (and hope it looks more like Stafford than Russell Wilson).

That's why Mac's year has been so frustrating; he hasn't shown consistent improvement which you would expect from having a whole year and an offseason in the NFL. Maybe he shows that down the stretch, maybe not, and he's only in his second year so there is a long way to go. But that's the major decision upcoming and it's Mac's deadline.
 

sezwho

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These kind of contracts basically don't exist. Your top guys (Rodgers, Watson, Mahomes, Allen) all make north of $40 MM, but so do Kyler Murray and Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford. There's like a couple mil discount for guys that aren't as good, that's it. All the non-rookie-contract solid starters (i.e. not fringey competition guys like Jameis, Geno, and Mariota) make at least $30 MM except Tannehill ($29.5 MM) and Brady ($25 MM).


My read is the top of the market is guys are some of the best values in sports and the middle class some of the most overpaid. If Mac plays like an averageish QB the next couple years, he'll get a contract in striking distance of Josh Allen ($43 MM APY) and we'll need to have great pieces 2-55 to make up the difference in QB play for similar price.

The top of the market is depressed by the franchise tag (and threat of) and the bottom of the market is propped up by no one wanting to be the Carolina Panthers. The QB salary scale is pretty flat. It leaves a tough decision for a team like the Pats with a QB that's probably mid - if you try to replace Mac, you probably get someone worse, but if you pay him, you're eating a huge chunk of the cap on a guy that doesn't move the needle. Plug in Tua for Mac (or Carr for a historical example) if you like, to get the same idea without the emotional "how can you say Mac is probably mid after 25 starts blah blah."
I like the bolded: more nuanced than my initial reaction. Mac having only one differentiated skill (theoretically high ceiling decision making ) means he likely only makes sense to Bill at a substantial discount to elite QB money. I think this is very compelling to Bill, and if he can get a B/B- QB for a decent discount to market, say 20-25m after expiry, it allows him to peanut butter the money around.
 

Devizier

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Answering for myself, I already think the pick was a good one even if they move on after his rookie deal. They gave up no additional draft capital and are likely to at least get 4-5 years of ok QB play at a minimum price.
I think the problem that you’re confronted with as an NFL team is that you either need a high tier quarterback or you need to hit on everything else. Mac’s comparatively low salary means that the Patriots could go the second route but they whiffed on a few expenditures and so they’re just not quite at the level of contention.
 

Salem's Lot

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I like the bolded: more nuanced than my initial reaction. Mac having only one differentiated skill (theoretically high ceiling decision making ) means he likely only makes sense to Bill at a substantial discount to elite QB money. I think this is very compelling to Bill, and if he can get a B/B- QB for a decent discount to market, say 20-25m after expiry, it allows him to peanut butter the money around.
I agree with your post, with the exception that I would lower that money number to 10-15 million. If he wanted to pay a B/B- QB $25 million, he would’ve made that trade for Garoppolo without trying to get him to re do his contract at a lower number first. I just don’t think he values the position as much as many fans do.
 

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We'll also have to accept the very likely conclusion that we may never know if Mac is good enough; I think of the Kirk Cousins discussion about his actual quality which still hasn't been resolved to this very day despite a substantially longer career.

It's a frustrating spot to be in.
 

Cellar-Door

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I agree with your post, with the exception that I would lower that money number to 10-15 million. If he wanted to pay a B/B- QB $25 million, he would’ve made that trade for Garoppolo without trying to get him to re do his contract at a lower number first. I just don’t think he values the position as much as many fans do.
I think it's highly unlikely Mac's next deal starts anywhere near that if he is the starter until then.
Here are the opening day starting QBs who made less than $25M on a non-rookie deal:
Jameis Winston ($14M)
Marcus Mariota ($9.4M)
Mitchell Trubisky ($7.4M)

So all guys who were backups brought in to hold down a year while the team figured stuff out, and except Jameis the other two teams had rookie draftpicks they were planning to develop. If Mac makes it through his 5 years as a starter he'll be looking at $25-$40M a year.
 

sezwho

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We'll also have to accept the very likely conclusion that we may never know if Mac is good enough; I think of the Kirk Cousins discussion about his actual quality which still hasn't been resolved to this very day despite a substantially longer career.

It's a frustrating spot to be in.
Agree its frustrating, but I think we will almost certainly get the chance to find out. Sometime in the next 1-2 years (maybe switch went on Thanksgiving?) BB will produce a stable enough 0-line and the 0-coaching should develop to be an advantage instead of just a work in progress. I don't think this is too hot a take, but if we still don't know by the end of Mac's contract then it might be the end of Bill's too because he wouldn't have shown the ability to get the train back on the tracks.
 

tims4wins

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I think the problem that you’re confronted with as an NFL team is that you either need a high tier quarterback or you need to hit on everything else. Mac’s comparatively low salary means that the Patriots could go the second route but they whiffed on a few expenditures and so they’re just not quite at the level of contention.
Very good point. For a team with a QB on such a low salary, you’d hope for more surrounding talent. Unfortunately the 2021 spending spree largely looks like a bust.
 

BaseballJones

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We'll also have to accept the very likely conclusion that we may never know if Mac is good enough; I think of the Kirk Cousins discussion about his actual quality which still hasn't been resolved to this very day despite a substantially longer career.

It's a frustrating spot to be in.
How many teams "know" that they have *the guy* though? Are we even really sure about a guy like Herbert? I mean, I think he's pretty darned good, yes? But...

In his third year, on a rookie contract, and while he's put up some really good numbers, here's what we've got so far...

Year 1: 6-9, 66.6%, 4,336 yds, 31 td, 10 int, 7.3 y/a, 98.3 rating
Year 2: 9-8, 65.9%, 5,014 yds, 38 td, 15 int, 7.5 y/a, 97.7 rating
Year 3: 6-5, 67.4%, 3,004 yds, 19 td, 7 int, 6.5 y/a, 92.7 rating
TOT: 21-22, 66.5%, 7.1 y/a, 88 td, 32 int, 96.5 rating

His numbers as it turns out are good but not earth-shattering, and the team results haven't been there, despite the fact that he's on his rookie deal and they should be able to build a really good team around him. But he's got a losing record. How does a guy this good, with this kind of receiving corps (Allen and Williams are terrific) and running back (Ekeler is awesome).

Now, their defense isn't good (ranked #23, #29, #29 in points allowed the last 3 years), but their offense even with Herbert and those skill players hasn't exactly been 2007 Patriots-level. Ranked #18, #5, #13 in points scored the past 3 years.

So is Herbert THE MAN? I mean, he's good, but how good is he, really? Since the name of the game is WINNING, not just compiling stats. Because Kirk Cousins can compile stats.

(Don't misunderstand: I'd take Herbert here as NE's QB in a heartbeat. I'm just not 100% sure HOW good he REALLY is.)
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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How many teams "know" that they have *the guy* though? Are we even really sure about a guy like Herbert? I mean, I think he's pretty darned good, yes? But...

In his third year, on a rookie contract, and while he's put up some really good numbers, here's what we've got so far...

Year 1: 6-9, 66.6%, 4,336 yds, 31 td, 10 int, 7.3 y/a, 98.3 rating
Year 2: 9-8, 65.9%, 5,014 yds, 38 td, 15 int, 7.5 y/a, 97.7 rating
Year 3: 6-5, 67.4%, 3,004 yds, 19 td, 7 int, 6.5 y/a, 92.7 rating
TOT: 21-22, 66.5%, 7.1 y/a, 88 td, 32 int, 96.5 rating

His numbers as it turns out are not bad but not earth-shattering, and the team results haven't been there, despite the fact that he's on his rookie deal and they should be able to build a really good team around him. But he's got a losing record. How does a guy this good, with this kind of receiving corps (Allen and Williams are terrific) and running back (Ekeler is awesome).

Now, their defense isn't good (ranked #23, #29, #29 in points allowed the last 3 years), but their offense even with Herbert and those skill players hasn't exactly been 2007 Patriots-level. Ranked #18, #5, #13 in points scored the past 3 years.

So is Herbert THE MAN? I mean, he's good, but how good is he, really? Since the name of the game is WINNING, not just compiling stats. Because Kirk Cousins can compile stats.
The answer for Herbert is that the rest of the team is absolutely decimated by injuries (their OL is in much worse shape than New England's) and they are terribly coached. That team overall is pretty trash.

It's not really up for debate that Herbert is much much better than Mac. 38 TDs in a season? Mac will be lucky to have that total after 3 full years at his current rate. And I like Mac well enough, but I'm also realistic.

Kirk Cousins was my initial example because yes, he can compile stats. He also has a long and inglorious pattern of continually coming up small in late season and particularly prime time games, where his record is horrific. So stats aren't the tell all and be all. Even at this point in his career, the Vikings still don't know if Cousins is good enough to make a playoff run.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Mac has 6 TD passes this year, tied with Baker Mayfield and one behind Taylor Heinicke. Only 11 QB’s have thrown more INT’s. By QBR, he’s better than only Wentz, Wilson, Mills, and Mayfield. By rating, he looks better, ranking 22nd; in between Stafford and Murray.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Also part of the consternation is that the Patriots (and by association, we as fans) haven't been in this position of wondering about the quality of their QB in 21 years. That's unique in the NFL and we're finally dealing with what every other team in the league has had to deal with.

I'm old enough to remember the debates about late-NE career Bledsoe, before the Pats drafted Brady. The injuries were starting to catch up to him after the Super Bowl run and his increasing immobility was beginning to limit his effectiveness. And so we had Michael Bishop debates and if it's all Drew's fault and if only he could get an OL and Pete Carroll stinks as a coach and on and on. And suddenly we got a good QB in there and we realized that all the questions and excuses were silly, because in the end for many reasons, and after years of admirable service, he simply wasn't good enough any more. And after he was traded away he got 6 more years in the NFL proving he was no longer good enough because he never made the playoffs again.

We're in a slightly different phase of the discussion because Mac hasn't had the Bledsoe success yet, but the question remains the same: is he good enough to win in the playoffs? And the answer right now is that we don't know. Mac needs to show more, a lot more, before that type of confidence is gained. Last week was a good game. But he'll need that to continue, and for a long time, before that question is answered in the positive.
 

Fishercat

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Would it be more fair to expand the pool to QBs who’ve made the Super Bowl? I feel like getting there is the real goal - not the ultimate goal, but it’s the standard we’re really talking about.
I feel like that's more reasonable in my view. Yes, the goal is to win the Super Bowl but we want the team in the game as you don't necessarily need to be the better QB to win that game. Looking at that over the past 10 years as a random cut off point (beyond that is Eli, Rogers, Roethlisberger, Brees, and Warner)

Matt Stafford
Joe Burrow
Jimmy Garoppolo
Tom Brady
Patrick Mahomes
Nick Foles
Jared Goff
Matt Ryan
Cam Newton
The Corpse of Peyton Manning
Russell Wilson
Joe Flacco
Colin Kaepernick

I don't feel like Mac's ceiling is a lot lower than some of those players in those particular season(s). Brady, Mahomes, and Wilson are pipe dreams of course - but like, 2012 Joe Flacco? The last season of Peyton Manning? Nick Foles caught on fire but otherwise didn't seem to be there. Ideally, if you want a perennial contender, you definitely want to be better at the QB position but I don't feel like at least a SB Appearance with Mac Jones is a pipe dream...the other 52 matter though.

To that point, taking the past 10 years, here is the leading receiver for those QBs (with their #2)

Cooper Kupp (Van Jefferson)
Jamarr Chase (Tee Higgins)
Mike Evans (Chris Godwin)
Travis Kelce (Tyreek Hill) (x2)
George Kittle (Deebo Samuel)
Julian Edelman (James White)
Robert Woods (Brandon Cooks)
Zach Ertz (Alshon Jeffery)
Rob Gronkowski (Brandon Cooks)
Julian Edelman (Martellus Bennett)
Julio Jones (Mohamed Sanu)
Demaryus Thomas (Emmanuel Sanders)
Greg Olsen (Ted Ginn Jr.)
Rob Gronkowski (Julian Edelman)
Doug Baldwin (Jermaine Kearse)
Golden Tate (Doug Baldiwn)
Demaryus Thomas (Eric Decker)
Anquan Boldin (Torrey Smith)
Michael Crabtree (Vernon Davis)

So, obviously mixed bags there too but outside of the Legion of Boom Seahawks, and Kaepernick's Niners,, that's a lot more offensive talent - whether it's safety blankets or dynamic field stretchers - than Mac has had to work with. Espeically in the last six years or so. A lot of them also had some top flight runningbacks to help out on the ground - which I think Rham can be and how New England won some of their titles of course - but I struggle to compare Mac when he doesn't really have a guy who can steal those catches and plays for him like a lot of those guys at the top can.

Not to make excuses for Mac on the whole - I have no idea how it'll turn out and I trust the team knows if and when they need to move on or what to do - but I do think that we need to consider surrounding talent and coaching for better (Rham is a monster, the defense makes his job a lot easier most days) and worse (the lack of high quality targets for instance).
 

BaseballJones

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The answer for Herbert is that the rest of the team is absolutely decimated by injuries (their OL is in much worse shape than New England's) and they are terribly coached. That team overall is pretty trash.

It's not really up for debate that Herbert is much much better than Mac. 38 TDs in a season? Mac will be lucky to have that total after 3 full years at his current rate. And I like Mac well enough, but I'm also realistic.

Kirk Cousins was my initial example because yes, he can compile stats. He also has a long and inglorious pattern of continually coming up small in late season and particularly prime time games, where his record is horrific. So stats aren't the tell all and be all. Even at this point in his career, the Vikings still don't know if Cousins is good enough to make a playoff run.
Yeah, nobody is saying that Mac is anywhere close to Herbert. That wasn't the point of my post. It was simply: How good is Herbert, REALLY? I think he's pretty good, but over three years the end results have been decidedly mediocre. We can point to other factors, but maybe Herbert doesn't have the ability (yet, anyway) to truly elevate his team and overcome all that?
 

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Yeah, nobody is saying that Mac is anywhere close to Herbert. That wasn't the point of my post. It was simply: How good is Herbert, REALLY? I think he's pretty good, but over three years the end results have been decidedly mediocre. We can point to other factors, but maybe Herbert doesn't have the ability (yet, anyway) to truly elevate his team and overcome all that?
Perhaps, but I think it's hard to overstate how injured the Chargers are this year at least, and how generally poorly coached they are overall. Herbert has thrived in spite of his conditions, not because of them.
 

BaseballJones

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Perhaps, but I think it's hard to overstate how injured the Chargers are this year at least, and how generally poorly coached they are overall. Herbert has thrived in spite of his conditions, not because of them.
Right, but I've given three years' worth of data, not just this year. Like I said, I'd happily take him on the Pats in a heartbeat, but it's *possible* that he is a great numbers compiler (and his passer rating isn't actually all that great, all things considered; it's not bad but not great either), but not the kind of guy that elevates a mediocre team.

I mean, he's in his third year. Probably a lot of improvement left for him, and he obviously has some great tools. But this is to your point that it's not always easy to tell if a guy is THE GUY, really.
 

lexrageorge

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I think it's highly unlikely Mac's next deal starts anywhere near that if he is the starter until then.
Here are the opening day starting QBs who made less than $25M on a non-rookie deal:
Jameis Winston ($14M)
Marcus Mariota ($9.4M)
Mitchell Trubisky ($7.4M)

So all guys who were backups brought in to hold down a year while the team figured stuff out, and except Jameis the other two teams had rookie draftpicks they were planning to develop. If Mac makes it through his 5 years as a starter he'll be looking at $25-$40M a year.
Jacoby Brissett's 2nd contract was for 2/$30M with $20M guaranteed. That was a few years ago, so those numbers need to be adjusted upward. Which further reinforces your point that the floor salary for a starting QB on a 2nd contract is quite high.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Right, but I've given three years' worth of data, not just this year. Like I said, I'd happily take him on the Pats in a heartbeat, but it's *possible* that he is a great numbers compiler (and his passer rating isn't actually all that great, all things considered; it's not bad but not great either), but not the kind of guy that elevates a mediocre team.

I mean, he's in his third year. Probably a lot of improvement left for him, and he obviously has some great tools. But this is to your point that it's not always easy to tell if a guy is THE GUY, really.
True, but like porn, I know it when I see it.

I think Herbert is the type of QB who you can build a team around and win in the playoffs with. That the Chargers haven't done that yet doesn't really nullify that point, as counter-intuitive as it sounds.
 

Cellar-Door

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Right, but I've given three years' worth of data, not just this year. Like I said, I'd happily take him on the Pats in a heartbeat, but it's *possible* that he is a great numbers compiler (and his passer rating isn't actually all that great, all things considered; it's not bad but not great either), but not the kind of guy that elevates a mediocre team.

I mean, he's in his third year. Probably a lot of improvement left for him, and he obviously has some great tools. But this is to your point that it's not always easy to tell if a guy is THE GUY, really.
If I were making the case I'd point to last year. Year 2, he put up huge numbers on both volume and efficiency when his team was relatively healthy. Top 10 in the league for sure, decent case for top 5-7. Now he's had a poor year comparatively this year, but his O-line is decimated, his WRs aren't playing, and he's been playing through a rib injury since about week 2.
Also... he's got insane tools. If you've seen a guy with Crazy tools also show he has the mental side like he has (low INT rates, good accuracy, etc.) then you're less concerned about a down year when the team around him falls apart. They've basically been running a bunch of dump-offs and slow WRs making contested catches. Their situation has been basically the worst Pats games (when Parker and Jakobi and half the line were hurt) but for the whole year.
 

BaseballJones

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True, but like porn, I know it when I see it.

I think Herbert is the type of QB who you can build a team around and win in the playoffs with. That the Chargers haven't done that yet doesn't really nullify that point, as counter-intuitive as it sounds.
Well I think he could be also...but I don't know that he is. He's not only never won in the playoffs, he's never even MADE the playoffs, and his first two years didn't even finish 2nd in his division. And this year, who have they beaten? LV in week 1 when LV was terrible. Houston by 10. Cleveland by 2. Denver by 3. Atlanta by 3. Arizona by 1.

That's not exactly an impressive list. They got rolled by Jacksonville on a day when Herbert completed 56% of his passes and they scored 10 points. They got rolled by Seattle at home.

Again, don't misunderstand - this isn't an argument that he's NOT the guy. It's just that right now it's not clear that we know that he IS the guy. He just might end up being a stat compiler.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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True, but like porn, I know it when I see it.

I think Herbert is the type of QB who you can build a team around and win in the playoffs with. That the Chargers haven't done that yet doesn't really nullify that point, as counter-intuitive as it sounds.
Yeah, he is sort of like Stafford.

There’s also a ton of really good QB’s in the league right now. A lot of them are never going to win, or even make a Super Bowl.