Retired former New England Patriots All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski believes quarterback Mac Jones should "ask for his release," specifically noting that he'd be a better fit for the Cleveland Browns amid Deshaun Watson's season-ending injury.
Head coach Bill Belichick -- who coached Gronkowski to three Super Bowls during the tight end's nine seasons in New England -- once again benched Jones in the final minutes of last Sunday's (November 12) 10-6 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Frankfurt, Germany.
"I think Mac Jones should ultimately, even right now, should just go and ask for his release," Gronkowski told FanDuel TV host Kay Adams on her 'Up & Adams Show.' "If you're talking to me about what he should do, ask for his release. And then if it gets granted, he should go sign with the Cleveland Browns and start a new career right there. They need a new quarterback. Imagine that, how wild would that be?"
Jones threw for 170 yards and an interception on 15 of 20 passing, with the Patriots going 5 of 13 on third down attempts before he was replaced by Bailey Zappe on the team's final offensive drive. The Browns, who are currently 6-3 and have won four of their last five games, announced that rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson over veteran P.J. Walker against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday (November 19) shortly after revealing that Watson would undergo season-ending surgery on a displaced fracture to the glenoid of his right shoulder on Wednesday (November 15).
"I think he would fit, there's no doubt about it," Gronkowski told Adams. "He's got some weapons around him (in Cleveland), and that would determine if Mac Jones is the real deal or not. I think he's a decent quarterback. I think he'll definitely be in the NFL for a little bit, even if it's going to be as a backup for a little bit and then a starter once again."
Jones was selected by the Patriots at No. 15 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and was a Pro Bowl selection during his rookie season, leading New England to its only playoff berth since longtime quarterback Tom Brady left the franchise in 2020. The former Alabama standout has, however, struggled since with New England finishing the 2022 season at 8-9 and Belichick switching between Jones and Zappe on multiple occasions.