Today is a day of high drama on a historical level, the likes of which we have never seen before in the almost 250 years of this Republic. Allegations. Denials. Accusations of an agenda-driven witch hunt. At the center of which is a successful, if polarizing figure who has made headlines and courted controversy wherever he's gone. Whether you see it as wrongdoing or the system working as the people who created it intended it to operate is a matter of where your loyalties lie.
And when it's your job to provide coverage and analysis of this historic drama, the news comes at you fast, and you've got to keep up with it as events unfold.
Of course I could only be talking about one thing. You'd have to be living in a cave to not be aware of it. And that is the reported tensions between Bill Belichick and Mac Jones.
Well we have a breaking development on the case, courtesy of Patriots insider Greg Bedard of Boston Sports Journal. While acknowledging his belief that there is some friction between Mr. Kraft and Belichick, with the owner publicly expressing his frustrations over last season and talking to reporters at the owners meetings about Jerod Mayo as perhaps his next head coach, he claims this business of GM Bill trying to swing deals for HC Bill's starting quarterback are a total fiction.
Source (paywall) - There's a report today that says Belichick has shopped Jones to at least four teams. I'm not linking to the report because no one else has confirmed it, and that outlet refused to credit me for the Patriots being out on Lamar Jackson despite reporting it some 15 hours before anyone else.
That report is dubious, at best. One of the named teams told me they were not aware of any trade talks about Jones league-wide and "certainly not with us."
Patriots sources said "that's news to us" and termed it a lot of smoke, no fire."
Writer's note: I left in the part about Bedard not linking to Pro Football Talk's report because Mike Florio wouldn't credit his reporting about Lamar Jackson just for the color. Because when there's Journo-on-Journo crime being committed, regardless of who's right or who's wrong, it's always the public who wins.
That said, I'm on Team Bedard on this one. Like I said earlier today, and several times before, it doesn't make sense that you'd be moving on from Mac Jones now, after you just rearranged your offensive coaching staff to suit his needs. (Again, for the people who reached out to correct me earlier, when I said Mac and Bill O'Brien worked together at Alabama, I know O'Brien wasn't a coach when Jones was playing. O'Brien was hired to replace Steve Sarkasian after Bama won the BCS championship. But the two met so Jones could bring him up to speed on the system. We've been over this. That ground has been trampled under by now.) Or that you'd hold Jones accountable for a shit season when the coaches you put in charge were in way over their heads.
Belichick's core philosophy is accountability, not making excuses and passing off blame on someone else. In this case, it goes to the guy who hired the guys who out of their element and treated 3rd & longs like they were a piece of furniture from IKEA. I'll add too that Jones is still on his rookie contract for another two and possibly three seasons. Given that all their free agent additions were the sorts of value picks Belichick feels have been the foundation of his 20-plus years of deep playoff runs, it doesn't add up that he'd be shipping off a promising, inexpensive QB he's had success with and have to go back into the unknown to find his replacement. Not even if you fell in love with Bailey Zappe in those two games before he started throwing picks like the rookie out of Western Kentucky that he was.
And if there was anything to this story about them shopping Jones around, you'd have to assume the teams he was shopping him to would know about it. Or that someone who isn't Chris Simms - one of the most vocal figures in the Belichick Hater Industrial Complex - would be confirming it. As the Patriots source said, "a lot of smoke, no fire."
This daily drama out of Foxboro can end any time now. Making history isn't so much exciting as it is exhausting. So let's quiet things down for a few days, huh? America deserves a break from all this.