Why a former rival executive views Patriots’ Mac Jones as having a ‘legitimate chance’ at being in the MVP conversation

"They're going to go to the playoffs and they're going to exceed expectations."

Mac Jones took the first game snaps of his sophomore NFL season on Friday. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

A former rival executive of the Patriots is a big fan of Mac Jones.

Mike Tannenbaum, who once worked as a lead executive for the Jets and Dolphins, said on ESPN’s “Get Up” that Jones has the best chance to be in the MVP conversation out of all the quarterbacks selected in the 2021 NFL Draft class.

“He had a great year last year,” Tannenbaum said. “He went toe-to-toe with Tom Brady, got his team to the playoffs. He played well in the playoff game.

“They have a great offensive line, two really good running backs, two excellent tight ends, and an underrated receiving corps. They brought over DeVante Parker [and have] Jakobi Meyers. They’re going to be better at receiver than people think. I do think the playcalling situation, which we’ve made a lot out of, will work itself out led by Matt Patricia.”


“Mac Jones is the second-best quarterback in the AFC East. They’re going to go to the playoffs and they’re going to exceed expectations.”

Those are very lofty views of the Patriots from Tannenbaum.

However, Tannenbaum has a point though that Jones has the edge so far compared to the quarterbacks drafted in his class. Jones led all rookies in passing touchdowns (22), passing yards (3,801), and passer rating (92.5).

Jones was also the only rookie quarterback last season to lead his team to the playoffs. He helped the Patriots go 10-7 to earn a wild card spot before getting blown out by the Buffalo Bills in the opening round of the playoffs.

The loss is part of the reason though that many prognosticators aren’t too high on the Patriots for the 2022 season. Their 8.5 win total on DraftKings Sportsbook is the third-best in the AFC East while they’re tied for the 11th-best odds to win the AFC.

Despite having the best season among rookie quarterbacks last season, Jones doesn’t hold the best odds among the quarterbacks from his draft class to win MVP this season. 49ers quarterback Trey Lance holds that honor at +4000 to win the award on DraftKings. Lance has also been one of the popular betting picks to win the award prior to the start of the season.


Jones is tied for the 21st-best odds to win the award at +6000. Certainly, the narrative mostly seems to be set that the Patriots will have a tough time at the very least to make the playoffs in 2022, so overperforming those expectations could earn Jones some MVP buzz.

The Patriots’ second-year quarterback got his first game snaps of the 2022 season on Friday, completing 4-of-8 passes for 61 yards in three drives against the Panthers.


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on