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Patriots' New Quarterback Jacoby Brissett Better Than Bailey Zappe & Mac Jones?

Signed as a "bridge" to New England Patriots' quarterback of the future Drake Maye or Jayden Daniels, is Jacoby Brissett an upgrade over Mac Jones or Bailey Zappe?

The trading of Mac Jones and subsequent signing 36 hours later of Jacoby Brissett means this for the New England Patriots in 2024: They're willing to drive on a spare tire.

Brissett is the NFL's equivalent of that emergency spare tucked in your car's trunk: Woefully in-equipped. Low-performance. Only to be used in dire situations - driven at speeds no faster than 40 mph until you can find a newer, bigger, better tire. That improved equipment wasn't Jones. The Pats hope it will be a rookie quarterback drafted No. 3 overall next month, either Jayden Daniels or Drake Maye.

Patriots - Jacoby Brissett Mac Jones

Until then, Brissett is the quarterback bridge. The career journeyman neither good enough to keep a starting job nor bad enough to ever go without a backup gig.

At 31, he's on to his fifth team in five seasons, and back where he started as a rookie in Foxboro in 2016. That season he stepped for injured Jimmy Garoppolo - who was stepping in for Deflategate-supsended Tom Brady - and finished two early-season wins. When Brady returned the Pats won the Super Bowl and Brissett, a third-round draft choice, won a LI ring ... and was promptly traded.

The Patriots weren't exactly enamored. Neither have the Indianapolis Colts, Miami Dolphins, Cleveland Browns or Washington Commanders. His first and only year as "the man" in Indy, Brissett went 4-11. He's since served as backup to the likes of Andrew Luck, Philip Rivers, Tua Tagovailoa, Deshaun Watson and Sam Howell.

Brissett has started 48 games. His record is 18-30.

“Being a good teammate will trump anything,” he told reporters when he signed a one-year deal with the Commanders a year ago.

He should know. Brissett has played in 79 games with five teams over eight seasons ... and never taken a snap in a playoff game.

With a one-year, $8 million contract, the Patriots aren't exactly investing in the future with Brissett. But they hope to salvage their present from deteriorating into the dumpster fire that was their most recent past.

Jones, meanwhile, is off to the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he will play for his fourth offensive coordinator in his fourth season in the league. So much for offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt's "clean slate."

No doubt Mac radically regressed, but the Pats' mishandling certainly accelerated his deterioration.

At this point upon the signing of the underwhelming Brissett we're left to wonder: Is Jacoby better than Mac? And, for that matter, is he better than Bailey Zappe?

Start the car, the Pats are about to go for a drive. A slow, modest drive.