Bill Belichick Aug 26, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick walks the sidelines during a preseason game against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Until this weekend, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick had been reluctant to firmly express confidence in starting quarterback Mac Jones. And one NFL insider has a wild theory about why Belichick may have done that.

NFL insider Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network revealed that he thinks Belichick was non-commital about the future of Mac Jones to fool other teams ahead of the draft.

“I spent three years covering the New England Patriots and I feel like I speak Belichick maybe as well as anyone,” Rapoport said. “Him saying Mac Jones, absolutely that he has the confidence in him – that was really telling. Look, Belichick has not committed to Mac Jones over the last couple of months. My read – and this is just a read on this thing – is he wanted to let people wonder was he going to take a quarterback in the draft.”

“They were never taking Will Levis, but they brought him into the facility for a visit. Maybe they wanted another team to jump over them if they wanted Levis. Maybe they wanted another team in the second round to jump over them if they wanted a quarterback,” Rapoport said. “I think Bill Belichick liked the advantage of keeping teams guess, and only after it was clear that they weren’t taking a quarterback early did they say ‘yeah, Mac [Jones] is our guy.'”

It’s certainly a bold claim, and the NFL world had plenty to say about it on Twitter – with many people not exactly believing Rapoport’s speculation.

It’s certainly an interesting theory from Rapoport.

[Ian Rapoport]