The New England Patriots have established themselves as a no-nonsense organization.
Though they tend to sign former castaways, we’ve seen them draw the line at rostering players who have character issues or off-field demons.
Taking that into account, fans who couldn’t help but scratch their heads with the team’s first three selections in last month’s draft (quarterback Mac Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and edge rusher Ronnie Perkins) were fully justified in doing so.
While all three players have reasonably high ceilings, each of them have off-field issues, which really flies in the face of the Patriots’ culture and roster-building philosophy.
Sticking with this narrative, have you noticed that Barmore’s and Perkins’ baggage has been getting far more attention compared to Jones‘?
In fact, you could even argue that the rookie quarterback’s former troubles haven’t received a sniff of publicity.
Why haven’t Mac Jones’ off-field issues gotten as much attention as some of the Patriots’ other draft picks?
We hate to come down on Jones, but somebody has to have this conversation, right? As a freshman at Alabama, Jones was arrested for driving under the influence and subsequently suspended one game. That’s a pretty big deal in and of itself, but the details of the ordeal and Jones’ altercation with police are seriously troubling.
According to reports, Jones hit another vehicle while driving and failed a breathalyzer test. The former Alabama star also allegedly lied to authorities and handed them a fake identification. Those details suggest he was entirely incoherent and in no position to be behind the wheel.
Given the lack of attention this storyline received, we wouldn’t be surprised if this was the first time some Patriots fans were learning of it. The same simply cannot be said for the likes of Barmore and Perkins, whose respective draft stocks suffered as a result of their off-field issues.
The crazy thing about Barmore is that he doesn’t (to the best of our knowledge) have nearly as shady of a past as Jones and Perkins. Leading up to the draft, there were a number of teams who expressed concerned about Barmore’s “resistance to coaching.” While we get why teams viewed that as a potential red flag, it really pales in comparison to Jones’ run-in with the law.
Perkins, on the other hand, was suspended prior to the Peach Bowl semifinal against LSU, and the first five games of this season, due to a failed drug test (marijuana). An appeal ultimately allowed him to return one game early, which makes sense given the overall seriousness of the suspension was overblown by the Sooners program.
Again, we have no pleasure portraying Jones in such a negative light, but even his biggest apologists would admit his DUI is considerably more concerning than Barmore’s alleged slow-moving maturity or Perkins getting popped for smoking marijuana, legal in many states.
Despite that, Jones spent most of the month leading up to the draft as a real candidate to be selected third overall by the 49ers before ultimately landing with the Patriots at No. 15 overall, whereas Barmore and Perkins were forced to wait until Day 2 to hear their names called.
Whether it’s a matter of race or teams insisting on moving the goal posts for quarterbacks because of the position’s importance (or both), it’s downright unfair that Barmore and Perkins received as much slander as they did while Jones’ issue was virtually swept under the rug throughout the pre-draft process.